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September 8, 2010 at 10:00 PM

A’s 4, Mariners 3: Offense goes AWOL after second inning

Two innings in, and the Mariners seemed to be rolling on offense once again. They scored seven runs last night, you’ll remember, then had a 3-0 lead tonight on home runs by Russell Branyan and Matt Tuiasosopo before the second inning was even done.
But that was it.
Seattle had two hits the rest of the way, one of them a Chone Figgins double that bounced off the third baseman’s glove. A’s starter Gio Gonzalez, on the ropes early, was allowed off them and rallied to throw seven strong innings on 117 pitches.
The Mariners nearly held on to the lead, but a key sixth inning double-play ball by the speedy Cliff Pennington wasn’t turned and that was the game-changer.
Mariners shortstop Josh Wilson took the Figgins relay at second for one out. But Wilson then dropped the ball as he tried to exchange it to his throwing hand.
“If i could have gotten it out of my glove and made a good throw, I think we’d have had him,” Wilson said afterwards.
But baserunner Steve Tolleson made a hard slide that, while not making contact with Wilson, still distracted him a tad. Wilson was also ever-conscious of how fast Pennington runs up the line.
“He was coming in pretty quick, he was on me,” Wilson said of Tolleson. “I think I tried to be too fast, too quick.”
The tying run scored when Pennington made it to first base.
Coco Crisp then grounded a ball just past Figgins and into right field for the go-ahead and decisive run.


The Mariners never really came close from there, other than the two-out double by Figgins in the seventh.
Gonzalez struck out Branyan to end that inning and Seattle went six-up, six-down off the bullpen from there.
“He was throwing his curveball for strikes a little better,” Wilson said of Gonzalez. “He started using his curveball a lot more effectively.”
Mariners manager Daren Brown said his team had chances to put Gonzalez away early, but didn’t do it. The M’s had the bases loaded with two out in the second, after the Tuiasosopo home run, but Branyan flied out.
“I keep talking about a big hit that kind of puts the game away,” Brown said. “But we just didn’t get it.”

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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