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August 15, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Seattle Mariners at Cleveland Indians: Aug. 15, 2010 game thread

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Felix Hernandez was nearly through a 1-2-3 seventh inning. But then, Chone Figgins bobbled a grounder by Luis Valbuena and threw high and late to first base. After that, the roof caved in on Hernandez and the M’s, who now trail 6-0.
Whoops, make that 7-0 because Sean White just came on and yielded a solo homer to Jayson Nix.
Yes, you read that right. Hernandez threw 21 extra pitches after the error and the last of those was belted over the center field wall for a grand slam by Travis Hafner. Ugly. None of the runs are earned, so Hernandez’s numbers actually go down ERA-wise. But he’s going to be 8-10 on the season barring a miracle comeback.
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Valbuena was safe on the Figgins error, then, moments later, Lou Marson singled to put runners at the corners.
Michael Brantley then singled to center for the game’s first run and Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to right center to make it 2-0 on Hernandez’s 100th pitch.
An intentional walk to Shin Soo-Choo loaded ’em up and Hernandez fell behind 2-1 to Hafner before he went deep.
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As we mentioned in the pre-game blog, this is kind of what happened to Hernandez here last year. He’d given up just two runs by the sixth inning in a close game, but then second baseman Jose Lopez made an error on a routine ball and — four runs later — Hernandez was done.


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11:51 a.m.: Two very different pitching performances here as this scoreless tie heads to the seventh. Felix Hernandez is working on a two-hitter, having fanned seven and walked three.
Cleveland starter Justin Masterson, now out of the game, allowed only one hit. But he also walked six guys and threw more balls than strikes. Tough to do that and not give up a run. But when your opponent has just one hit — a leadoff double by Casey Kotchman –all those base runners don’t mean as much.
Like I said, the M’s hit some balls pretty hard off Masterson and had bad luck. But they’ve got to get something going here to avoid ruining another great Hernandez outing.
11:26 a.m.: Still scoreless midway through the fifth on a day the Mariners aren’t having much luck at all. Felix Hernandez has yet to allow a hit, but he’s walked three guys and begins the fifth on 56 pitches. So, he’ll have to economize a bit if this is to become a true no-hit bid.
On offense, the M’s have done some things right but been snakebit. They messed up that first inning opportunity on their own, but had Russell Branyan on first with none out in the third inning and saw Jose Lopezrip a liner to right on a hit-and-run.
But the ball was right at Shin-Soo Choo, who easily gunned down Branyan for the double play.
Then, in the fifth inning, the M’s got two on with none out after a Casey Kotchman double and a walk. Michael Saunders tried to get the bunt down, but Kotchman was thrown out at third. Chirs Woodward walked to load the bases and Ichiro ripped what would have been at least a two-run double up the first base line.
But a diving Matt LaPorta snagged the liner for the out.
Chone Figgins then dribbled one up the first base line and nearly beat it out. First baseman LaPorta made a last-ditch lunge to tag Figgins and it was ruled he did. Figgins thought he got around the tag and argued furiously. Daren Brown came out as well, but to no avail.
Hernandez just gave up a two-out double in the fifth. Bye-bye no-no. On to the sixth inning of a scoreless game.
10:38 a.m.: We’ve played two innings so far and we’re still scoreless. Felix Hernandez walked a couple of batters in the second inning but got out of it on a Luis Valbuena grounder to third. Seattle failed to take advantage of an erratic Justin Masterson in the first inning after he walked Ichiro and Chone Figgins on nine pitches total. Russell Branyan whiffed after that, Adam Moore grounded out and Michael Saunders fanned as well.
Six in a row retired rather methodically by Masterson. Looks like he’s settled into an early groove. He’s one of the guys who came over from Boston in the Victor Martinez trade a year ago.
9:54 a.m.: Felix Hernandez takes the mound in the series finale, with the Mariners looking for their first three-game sweep in Cleveland since Aug. 29-31 two years ago. They’ve already clinched their third road series win of the season, with the other two coming in Kansas City and New York.
The Mariners have just one road sweep their last two years, coming last season in April at Oakland.
The lineups:
MARINERS
RF Ichiro
2B Chone Figgins
DH Russell Branyan
3B Jose Lopez
CF Franklin Gutierrez
1B Casey Kotchman
C Adam Moore
LF Michael Saunders
SS Chris Woodward
RHP Felix Hernandez
INDIANS
CF Michael Brantley
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
RF Shin-Soo Choo
DH Travis Hafner
2B Jayson Nix
LF Trevor Crowe
1B Matt LaPorta
3B Luis Valbuena
C Lou Marson
RHP Justin Masterson

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins, Chris Woodward

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