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April 5, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Mariners at Texas Rangers: April 5, 2011 game thread

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The Mariners are back in this game, trailing 3-2 as we head to the seventh inning stretch. Five straight Mariners reached base that inning on four singles and an error. With one out, former M’s pitcher Mark Lowe gave up singles to Miguel Olivo, Adam Kennedy and then an RBI single to Jack Wilson.
After that Darren Oliver came on to pitch and Michael Saunders came up with a single off the tough lefty to make it a one-run game. Ichiro then reached on an error, loading the bases with one out.
But Chone Figgins lined out softly to the shortstop and Milton Bradley hit a flyball that was caught in shallow center by a diving Julio Borbon for the final out.
Jamey Wright is indeed on to pitch for the M’s. Pineda allows three runs over six innings, with 4 K, 1 BB and five hits given up.


6:56 p.m.: Michael Pineda hit a bit of a wall in the sixth inning. More like he hit a bunch of Texas Rangers bats with his pitches. Then again, considering who he went up against, that’s nothing to hang his head in shame over.
Pineda trails 3-0 after giving up a pair of runs in the sixth, starting with a line drive single by Ian Kinsler just off the glove of leaping shortstop Jack Wilson. After a bunt moved Kinsler to second, Josh Hamilton got hold of a Pineda offering and sent it deep to the gap in right center for a run-scoring double.
Adrian Beltre flew out to deep center after that. But Pineda couldn’t retire the side as Michael Young doubled over Ichiro’s head in right field to bring the third Texas run home. Young needs two more doubles to tie Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez for the all-time Rangers lead.
Alexi Ogando, as expected, is now out of the game. That issue he had last inning was a small blister on his right index finger. I’d be surprised if the Mariners let Pineda go back out there next inning. His pitch count is still good for another frame, you’d think, but he just had a stressful inning and can be pulled with a quality start under his belt. Jamey Wright is warmed up and ready to go.
6:50 p.m.: Tough not to like what we’ve seen from Michael Pineda tonight. Pineda and the Mariners still trail, 1-0, heading into the bottom of the sixth. The Mariners have been stymied by Texas right-hander Alexi Ogando, making his first major league start as well tonight. Ogando did pitch in relief last season.
Milton Bradley drew a two-out walk in the sixth, bringing Jack Cust to the plate. At that point, the Texas training staff and manager Ron Washington went to the mound to tend to Ogando. After a brief delay, he resumed pitching — his pitch count up at 86 — with Mark Lowe warming up in the bullpen.
Cust went down swigning. Ogando is now at 90 pitches and — after the mound visit — I wonder whether we’ve seen the last of him. That would be a huge break for the M’s, who kind of need to get this kid out of there and find a way to score.
Pineda has given up just two hits tonight, a triple and a double by left-handed-hitting Mitch Moreland. He also allowed one walk, to Nelson Cruz — who later scored on the Moreland triple.
That’s been it as far as scoring goes. The big thing for Pineda? He’s needed only 60 pitches to get through his five innings so far.
5:54 p.m.: Michael Pineda is through another 1-2-3 inning, still trailing 1-0. The Mariners are facing a bit of a young challenge tonight as well, with Alexi Ogando making his first career start after appearing 44 times in relief last season.
Seattle has had just two baserunners against Ogando the first four innings. Milton Bradley singled in the first and Jack Cust just walked in the fourth, but neither guy made it any further.
5:35 p.m.: Michael Pineda gave up his first career run, serving up a triple by left-handed hitting Mitch Moreland. The blast by Moreland, with Nelson Cruz on first base after a leadoff walk, nearly left the ballpark before hitting the center field wall.
Michael Saunders climbed the fence, rather needlessly, given that the ball actually hit in front of where he was. The ball rolled back on to the outfield grass after the carom and Moreland was at third with his first career triple before anyone got the ball back in.
Pineda did get out the inning. But he trails 1-0.
5:21 p.m.: Michael Pineda wasn’t perfect in that first inning. After all, one of the 10 pitches he threw was actually called a ball. As for the other nine pitches, all strikes, he caught Ian Kinsler looking at an 84 mph slider after setting him up with 95 mph fastballs. Elvis Andrus hit an easy grounder to third for the second out.
Then, Josh Hamilton barely had time to blink up there and also went down swinging. For a debut, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Scoreless after one. Milton Bradley singled after entering the game hitting .353 but was left on base. Great start to season by Bradley.
5:02 p.m.: This is one of those nights we could be looking back on years from now: Michael Pineda making his major league debut.
Just remember, the Rangers are a good fastball-hitting club. So, don’t expect a complete-game shutout tonight. Not worried so much about the lefty-righty thing, though Josh Hamilton versus Pineda does scare me a bit.
He’ll have to have the slider going and keep the right-handers honest. Because believe me, if there’s a team with right handed hitters out there that can get around on 98 mph fastballs, it’s this one.
Sit back and enjoy. Should be quite the showdown.

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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