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July 30, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Mariners at Minnesota Twins: July 30, 2010 game thread

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Seattle finally woke up with a three-run sixth inning to get back in this game, trailing 5-3 and having knocked starter Scott Baker from the contest after 83 pitches. Russell Branyan got things going with his second double of the game, then scored on a single to center by Franklin Gutierrez.
Michael Saunders walked and then Josh Wilson, doing nothing all game to that point, doubled to the gap in right center to bring both runners home.
Minnesota had taken what looked to be an insurmountable 5-0 lead on a two-run homer to right by Alexi Casilla in the bottom of the fifth. Right before, Doug Fister had picked off Denard Span at first base with runners at the corners and one out.
It looked to be huge until, on the very next pitch, Casilla drilled Fister’s 3-1 offering off the very top of a high wall in right center. The ball hit the top, then ricocheted off a railing beyond the wall and back on to the field. The umpires had to gather and then reviewed the play on video before correctly ruling it a homer.
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I’m told the folks at Lookout Landing are having a photo caption contest. Here’s another one above. For what it’s worth, I liked “Gasp! He went to Jarrod!” the best on the previous one.


6:08 p.m.: You know, I was thinking this Mariners team is so darned good that it can afford to spot the Twins three runs. That’s what we’ve seen happen so far, as the Twins lead 3-0 after three innings thanks to three unearned runs.
They got another one in the third inning as J.J. Hardy singled, took second on a weird 3-6-3 lone groundout, then third on a grounder to the right side. Then, Joe Mauer hit a hard grounder to Josh Wilson’s right that the third baseman bobbled just enough for the runner to reach safely on the error.
Hardy scored on the play.
On the 3-6-3 play, it looked real bad but there was little choice. Casey Kotchman was throwing directly into the back of the runner and there was no choice but for Chone Figgins to stay where he was and allow Jack Wilson to take the throw. Again, Figgins could never have gotten it and stepped on the base in time. The only chance was the play the M’s wound up making in order to gain the out at first base.
5:49 p.m.: Your typical Mariners inning summed up nice and neat.
With two out in the bottom of the second, Chone Figgins makes a fielding error on a ground ball and then Jim Thome slugs the very next pitch into the seats in left field to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead.
And yes, the Mariners could have more than zero on their half of the ledger had they seen a little situational hitting in the top of the frame.
The Mariners sure had their chances against Scott Baker, getting a leadoff double from Russell Branyan that hit the high wall in right center and would have been a home run in some other parks. Franklin Gutierrez then drew a walk, Michael Saunders sacrificed both ahead one base and Josh Bard — after nearly being called out on what looked like a third strike — wound up walking as well to load the bases with one out.
Then, the Mariners turned into the Mariners again.
Josh Wilson went down swinging and Jack Wilson popped out foul to the first baseman.
Doug Fister had a 1-2-3 first inning.
Figgins reached on an infield hit in the top of the first, but shortstop J.J. Hardy made a great running catch down the left field line of a Casey Kotchman popup. Figgins then got thrown out trying to steal second, ending the inning.
5:02 p.m.: Fewer than 24 hours remain until the July 31 trade deadline and all the Mariners are still here. The two to watch are David Aardsma and Brandon League, not just because they won’t get through waivers after tomorrow’s 1 p.m. deadline. But also because contending teams are going to want them sooner rather than later if they have needs to fill.
You don’t want to blow a bunch of games letting things drag out until Aug. 10 if you have bullpen problems that require a trade to fix.
Remember, a loss tonight and tomorrow and the M’s will tie for their all-time worst month ever, set back in August of 1977. Doug Fister tries to change the team’s course tonight. No Justin Morneau in the lineup tonight, or the rest of this series. Morneau is still recovering from a concussion. Huge break there for the M’s.
The lineups:
MARINERS
RF Ichiro
2B Chone Figgins
1B Casey Kotchman
DH Russell Branyan
CF Franklin Gutierrez
LF Michael Saunders
C Josh Bard
3B Josh Wilson
SS Jack Wilson
RHP Doug Fister
TWINS
CF Denard Span
2B Alexi Castilla
C Joe Mauer
LF Delmon Young
RF Jason Kubel
1B Michael Cuddyer
DH Jim Thome
3B Danny Valencia
SS J.J. Hardy
RHP Scott Baker

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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