This game is officially terrible. Yes, it’s a good sign to see the career-high four-hit night by Adam Moore, including the go-ahead homer off. Alfredo Simon in the 10th. Moore also threw out two baserunners at second in the ninth inning to send this thing to extras.
Not so good? David Aardsma allowed the O’s to load the bases with one out in the bottomof the inning. Then, he got Cesar Izturis — having an awful night — on a fielder’s choice out at home.
But then he walked Julio Lugo on four pitches to bring the tying run in.
The M’s escaped the inning after that. Actually, the game should be over since the O’s were denied a bunt single on a nice throw to first by Jose Lopez. But the throw wasn’t in time. The umpire blew the call. That would have left bases loaded, none out and we know what would have happened next.
Or, maybe we don’t, because these two bottom-feeders have combined to strand 23 runners tonight. The O’s just took that lead 12-11.
Get me out of here. Get me water, at least…
6:41 p.m.: The Mariners keep outdoing themselves at stranding runners. They had guys on first and third with none out in the eighth after a Casey Kotchman double and a fluke bunt single by Adam Moore in which he raised his bat up in a self-defense move to protect his face and wound up deadening the ball pretty good.
But Michael Saunders and Josh Wilson went down swinging against Koji Uehara, Then, with Mike Gonzalez brought in, Ichiro went around on a 1-2 pitch up near his head. Ugly.
Still 3-3. Brandon League on to pitch after two perfect Jamey Wright innings.
5:58 p.m.: Huge chance blown by the Mariners in the sixth inning after they loaded the bases with one out on singles by Adam Moore and Josh Wilson and a walk to Michael Saunders.
In came Washington native Mark Hendrickson — we used to call him “Lurch” in Toronto because of his NBA height. Ichiro ripped a line drive right into the first baseman’s glove for the second out and Chone Figgins went down swinging. That’s five runners stranded by Figgins his last two at-bats.
Still tied 3-3. Jamey Wright coming in to pitch for the Mariners. Fister is five and div…well, not really a dive. He kept them in the game, like a fifth starter.
5:46 p.m.: Things have settled down a bit here on another sweltering night, with the teams tied 3-3 as we head to the sixth. Doug Fister actually struck out the side in the fifth, but not before a pair of two-out Baltimore singles. So, a close call there.
Seattle got two on in the fourth on singles by Adam Moore and Ichiro, but Chone Figgins grounded out.
5:07 p.m: Lots of action happening here, with the Mariners and O’s tied 3-3 in a see-saw game after Russell Branyan and Jose Lopez hit back-to-back solo homers in the third inning. It’s only the second time this season that M’s have gone deep in consecutive at-bats. Branyan’s homer, off Baltimore starter Brad Bergesen, was a 436-foot rocket over the center field fence.
Lopez’s was 370 feet into the left field — where else? — stands.
Baltimore had gone ahead 3-1 in the bottom of the second on consecutive singles and then, the second wild-pitch of the night by Doug Fister — and the second on that Adam Moore should have blocked — that moved the runners up. Brian Robers hit a sac fly to bring in the go-ahead run and then singles by Nick Markakis and Ty Wigginton scored another.
The Mariners had tied it 1-1 in the top of the inning when Casey Kotchman singled and came all the way around on a Michael Saunders triple. But Saunders was stranded at third base with one out as Josh Wilson grounded out to first base and Ichiro was thrown out trying to bunt for a single.
Baltimore opened the scoring in the first inning as consecutive two-out singles by Wigginton and Luke Scott put runners at the corners. The first wild-pitch of the game, which Moore failed to block in the dirt, brought the run in.
4:00 p.m.: Keith Law is reporting on Twitter that the M’s signed second-round pick Marcus Littlewood for $900,000. Hmm, why would a team with so much bat trouble sign a guy named Littlewood? Mysteries…
Welcome to the “Slot Series” or the “Picker’s Punch-Out” or the “Thrilla in the Cellah”. The Mariners take on the improving Baltimore Orioles to see who can finish last and maybe claim the No. 1 or No. 2 overall draft pick next June. No, there are no Pittsburgh Pirates around so even these two bottom feeders don’t have destiny in their hands. But they can certainly stake their claim as to who is worse.
We’ve got 90 degrees at first pitch. And it’s very humid. Makes it feel like it’s 103, according to The Weather Channel.
Doug Fister goes tonight. As the Baltimore radio host told me on-air this afternoon, Fister “fisted” the Orioles the last time these teams played. And as I told him, we’ve only heard combinations of that same joke about six dozen times since the season began.
2B Chone Figgins
DH Russell Branyan
3B Jose Lopez
CF Franklin Gutierrez
1B Casey Kotchman
C Adam Moore
LF Michael Saunders
SS Josh Wilson
RHP Doug Fister
2B Brian Roberts
RF Nick Markakis
1B Ty Wigginton
DH Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
LF Felix Pie
C Matt Wieters
SS Cesar Izturis
3B Josh Bell
RHP Brad Bergesem