Jason Vargas was nearly out of the seventh inning unscathed, but then a two-out double by Mike Napoli was followed by a two-run homer to right from Hideki Matsui. That gives the Angels a 3-2 lead as we head to the bottom of the seventh.
Ichiro leaped at the wall for Matsui’s blast and for a moment it looked like we’d have a repeat of that Franklin Gutierrez catch the prior inning. But Ichiro would have needed to be standing on a stepladder for that to happen, and, so, history did not repeat itself.
Trevor Bell is out of the game and right-hander Jordan Walden is now on for the Angels.
8:46 p.m.: Franklin Gutierrez may have helped ruin a big inning with his double-play grounder in the fifth, but he just kept Seattle in a 2-1 lead in the sixth.
With two out, Howie Kendrick skied a ball to center field and Gutierrez, racing back to the warning track, made a leaping grap at the wall to save a home run against for Jason Vargas. Good to know that in a down year offensively, Gutierrez still has the glove.
8:38 p.m.: Seattle just took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, but failed to get more after loading the bases with nobody out against Angels starter Trevor Bell.
Singles by Josh Wilson and Ichiro, followed by Chone Figgins reaching on a fielder’s choice, loaded ’em up. But then Franklin Gutierrez grounded into a 6-4-3 double-play that scored the run but helped Bell escape a big inning. Russell Branyan came up next and struck out for the third time tonight.
The Angels opened the scoring against Jason Vargas in the first inning when Reggie Willits led off with a double, then scored one out later on a groundout by Howie Kendrick.
Vargas has allowed just one hit since that frame and the M’s tied it up in the third inning when Figgins singled, stole second and scored on a Gutierrez single to l
7:00 p.m.: Final full month of the season gets underway for the Mariners tonight, with Seattle trying to snap of losing skid of three consecutive series dating back to when they played in Baltimore on the last road trip.
Jason Vargas attempts to tie Felix Hernandez for the team lead in wins. Never thought I’d be uttering those words on Sept. 1.