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July 18, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Angels, Sunday, July 18: Mariners win 2-1 in 10

ANGELS 10TH:Aardsma really had to labor, and they got runners on first and second with one out. But the key pitch of the game was a 3-2 checked swing by Erick Aybar that was called strike three on appeal for the second out. Aardsma then struck out Howie Kendrick — a real thorn for the M’s this series — to end it.
MARINERS 10TH:They nearly run themselves out of prosperity, again, but the M’s managed to take the lead on Jose Lopez’s two out single, scoring Gutierrez from second. Ichiro led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Figgins. But he unwisely took off for third on Gutierrez’s grounder to short, getting tagged out in a rundown. Gutierrez remained at first, but stole second, where he scored on Lopez’s broken-bat hit over the shortstop’s head. And now here comes Aardsma to try to hold the Mariners’ 2-1 lead.
ANGELS NINTH: League sets Angels down in order, striking out Rivera, so we’re heading for extra innings. M’s are 1-8 in bonus frames. Kevin Jepsen coming in to pitch 10th for Angels, who are 4-3 in extras. 1-1.
MARINERS NINTH: Bottom of the order doesn’t get a sniff of a hit, so it will be up to League to hold the Angels in the bottom of the ninth. Angels have Hunter, Rivera and Willits due up. 1-1.
Brian Fuentes on mound for Angels in ninth.
ANGELS EIGHTH:The Mariners escape unscathed after Angels get runners on first and third with two outs as Brandon League gets Bobby Abreu to ground out to short. League replaced Vargas after he had struck out Mathis and Aybar with Frandsen on first via a Figgins error. 1-1.
MARINERS EIGHTH: Chone Figgins gets a leadoff walk and moves to second on Milton Bradley’s two-out single. But Justin Smoak strikes out for the third time in the game (called strike three on the pitch after he painfully fouls a ball of his shin). 1-1.
Fernando Rodney replaces Santana on mound to start eighth.
ANGELS SEVENTH:Strong inning for Vargas, who strikes out Rivera and Matsui and gets Napoli on a routine fly. He has 89 pitches through seven. 1-1.
MARINERS SEVENTH:M’s get a rally-starting strikeout from Rob Johnson but can’t score. Johnson reached first when strike three in the dirt bounced away from catcher Jeff Mathis, who couldn’t find it. Josh Wilson singled him to second, but Santana speared Ichiro’s comebacker and threw him out. 0-0.
ANGELS SIXTH:The Angels have a Mariner-like inning, getting a leadoff standup triple from Howie Kendrick and then stranding him there with 3-4-5 hitters coming up. There was a grounder to first by Abreu for the first out, then a liner by Hunter to shortstop Wilson, who doubled off Kendrick. 1-1.
MARINERS SIXTH:M’s go down in order, with Lopez and Bradley striking out on breaking pitches. Santana has struck out five and walked four. 1-1.
ANGELS FIFTH:Vargas issues his first walk of the game with one out to Kevin Frandsen, but Mathis and Aybar flied out. Vargas has thrown 68 pitches through five — 15 fewer than Santana. 1-1.
MARINERS FIFTH:So 1-0 wasn’t insurmountable after all. The M’s tied it when Langerhans walked with one out, stole second, moved to third on Rob Johnson’s single, and scored on a short wild pitch with Josh Wilson at the plate. Langerhans barely beat the tag by Santana, receiving the toss from catcher Jeff Mathis. 1-1.
ANGELS FOURTH: Torii Hunter reached on a one-out single, a ball on which shortstop Josh Wilson made a nice diving stop but his one-hop throw from his knees was too late. Vargas balked Hunter to second, but Juan Rivera struck out and Hideki Matsui grounded out. Vargas is pitching a very nice game, minus one pitch to Napoli. 1-0 Angels.
MARINERS FOURTH: Well, at least the M’s won’t get no-hit by Ervin Santana today. Jose Lopez took care of that with a solid single to left with two outs in the fourth. Milton Bradley followed with an easy grounder back to Santana for the third out, so the shutout is still intact. 1-0 Angels.
ANGELS THIRD:Vargas bounces back with a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two, Mathis and Kendrick. He has thrown 38 pitches through three and fanned four. But this lead might be insurmountable. 1-0 Angels.
MARINERS THIRD:Mariners have been held hitless through three by Santana. If that continues much longer, note shortstop Erick Aybar’s nice play on Ichiro’s grounder to his left to end the third. 1-0 Angels.
ANGELS SECOND: Vargas got two quick outs, but Mike Napoli rocketed his 16th homer of the season to left on the first pitch he saw. Kevin Frandsen followed with a blast to the track that Franklin Gutierrez hauled in. 1-0 Angels.
MARINERS SECOND: The M’s baserunning this series has been horrendous. Milton Bradley walked, then got picked off by Ervin Santana. Bradley broke for second, realized Santana still had the ball, and tried to scramble back to first, too late. That’s three runners picked off in this series, I believe, as well as one thrown out on the bases. Smoak and Langerhans then struck out. 0-0.
ANGELS FIRST:Jason Vargas gives up a two-out single to Bobby Abreu but strikes out Torii Hunter. Small sample size, but he looks sharp. 0-0.
MARINERS FIRST:The Mariners get Franklin Gutierrez to second on a two-out walk and stolen base, but Jose Lopez pops to center. 0-0.
The Mariners will try to salvage at least one game of this four-game series before returning home to face one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Chicago White Sox, for three games.
Angels starter Ervin Santana is7-4, 4.19 in 18 career starts against Seattle; 1-1, 4.26 this year. Seattle starter Jason Vargas is 2-0, 2.82 in four games (three starts) against the Angels. This year, he beat them on May 9, giving up four hits and one run in 7 1/3 innings of a game the M’s won, 8-1. He had a no-decision on June 6, giving up 10 hits and four runs (three earned) in six innings in a 9-4 Seattle loss.
Justin Smoak, after starting his Mariner career by going 1-for-12 with six strikeouts in his first three games, is now hitting .315 (6-for-19) with a .684 slugging percentage with Seattle. That’s what two good days will do for you. Here’s a nice stat from the M’s Fernando Alcala: After starting the year .096 (5-for-52) vs. lefties, Smoak is batting .303 (10-for-33) off them with three doubles, two homers, six RBI and a .576 slugging percentage in his last 17 games since June 18.

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