That’s the best we’ve seen Sean White look in a while, as he pitches his team through the seventh clinging to a 3-2 lead for starter David Pauley. White got a routine groundout, caught Lance Nix looking at a called third strike, then got Mickey Brantley’s kid on a grounder to first.
The Mariners got a leadoff double from Josh Wilson in the seventh but could not bring him home. We’ll see if they hang on in front of 26,425 here at Progressive Field.
5:47 p.m.: The M’s lead 3-2 heading to the bottom of the sixth after coming away fortunate to score a lone run in an inning in which they had two more hits. Jose Lopez led off with a single, but was gunned down at home on a double down the left field line by Franklin Gutierrez. Guti alertly took third on the play as catcher Chris Gimenez made a rookie mistake by celebrating his tag at home a bit too long.
But Casey Kotchman grounded out without scoring the runner. Adam Moore then looked to have grounded out as well, but second baseman Jason Donald bobbled the ball and the run scored. You can see why these teams aren’t running away with any pennant races.
5:32 p.m.: We’re all tied up 2-2 to start the sixth, largely because the M’s managed just one run with six base runners in the fourth and fifth. Cleveland tied it in the fifth when Mickey Brantley’s kid singled, stole second and came home on a Shin-Soo Choo single off David Pauley, who deserves better tonight.
Seattle had four hits in the fourth, but scored only once. Then, with runners at the corners and one out in the fifth, Chone Figgins was nabbed stealing second. Russell Branyan went down swinging and that was it.
5:04 p.m.: Casey Kotchman just put the Mariners back in front, 2-1, in the top of the fourth inning with an infield single. It was one of three straight hits with two out by the M’s. Russell Branyan had led things off with a double, then, took third after a lineout and groundout.
The slow chopper by Kotchman then was bobbled by charging shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, scoring the run.
Adam Moore and Michael Saunders then followed with line drive singles. Kotchman tried to score on a Saunders liner to right, but Shin-Soo Choo threw him out by nearly 10 feet.
4:43 p.m.: Cleveland just tied it up 1-1 in the second inning when Chris Gimenez doubled off the wall in left center with two out. Jason Donald had just doubled down the left field line right before that. Nice hustle by Michael Saunders on both balls. He nearly had a shot at throwing Gimenez out. Not that Chone Figgins was in position to make the tag. Figgins didn’t even move his glove to apply a tag as he caught the ball. It’s as if he thought the runner ha already beaten the throw, which he hadn’t. Figgins also looked bad in bobbling an infield single by Asdrubal Cabrera in the first ining. Don’t worry. Yes, the Braves read this blog, but no, they don’t think Figgins is a good second basema either. They wanted him at third or in center.
4:12 p.m: We’ve got one of the draft-pick series going tonight, with the Indians still trailing the M’s by a considerable margin in the race for last place. That could change if Seattle sweeps here, though. Ichiro led off with an infield hit (his 39th!) and then stole his 29th base. Ichiro took third on a groundout, then scored on a grounder to the right side by Russell Branyan.
So, it’s already 1-0 for the M’s.