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April 19, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Tigers, April 19

Mariners roll to their best offensive night of the season — 15 hits, 11 walks — and crush the Tigers, 13-3
Sorry to report that Justin Smoak’s father, Keith, died of cancer tonight at age 54. Condolences to the family.
TIGERS EIGHTH: My fingers are numb (from the cold, not from writing about all these runs). TIgers score one but leave bases loaded against Aaron Laffey. 11-3 Mariners.
MARINERS SEVENTH: Five more runs as Ichiro gets an RBI single and Figgins singles home two. Ichiro and Figgins have combined (so far) to go 6-for-8 with six runs, four runs batted in, three steals and two walks. 11-2 Mariners
TIGERS SEVENTH: Fister pulled with one out and bases loaded after walking in a run. You can’t do much better relief job than Jamey Wright: One pitch, inning ending double play ball from Brandon Inge, 4-6-3. It’s 6-2 Mariners.
MARINERS SEVENTH: M’s squandered leadoff double by Figgins. 6-1 Mariners.
TIGERS SIXTH: Fister is really rolling. He hasn’t given up a hit since the second. Brendan Ryan robbed Jackson of a hit with a great backhand play, and Fister ended the inning with his seventh strikeout — a new career high. 6-1 Mariners.
MARINERS FIFTH:Two walks and a single, but no runs. Jack Wilson is thrown out stealing, and Saunders is thrown out trying to stretch a single. Wilson entered the game with no walks in 32 at-bats, but has two tonight. 6-1 Mariners.
TIGERS FIFTH: Fister gets them in order, striking out the final two, Avila and Inge. Fister is pitching a gem — two hits allowed and six strikeouts through five. 6-1 Mariners.
MARINERS FOURTH: The M’s run themselves into a couple more runs. Ichiro singled, stole second and third, then scored on a Figgins single. With Figgins taking off for second, Coke had him picked off, but first baseman Miguel Cabrera threw wildly to second, and Figgins ended up at third. He scored on Milton Bradley’s ground out. Jim Leyland pulled Coke after a Jack Cust single. Reliever Enrique Gonzalez walked Olivo but got Ryan on a fly out. Ichiro and Figgins combined 3-for-4 with two walks, four runs, one RBI, three steals through the first four innings. 6-1 Mariners.
TIGERS FOURTH: The TIgers hit a couple of long drives, but they were hauled in by Ichiro and Bradley, respectively, sandwiched around a Chone Figgins error. He let Miguel Cabrera’s hard smash get through him. Fister ended the inning by fanning Raburn — his fourth strikeout. 4-1 Mariners.
MARINERS THIRD: M’s squander leadoff double by Miguel Olivo — just his third hit this year at Safeco Field. He’s now 3-for-22 at home (.136). It’s followed by flyout and two groundouts. 4-1 Mariners.
TIGERS THIRD: Fister settles back down with a 1-2-3 inning, the final out on a nice running catch by Ichiro on Rhymes’ drive to right-center. 4-1 Mariners.
MARINERS SECOND: After an Ichiro infield single, Milton Bradley made a bid for a two-run homer. Off the bat, I thought it was going, but Ryan Raburn hauled it in at the wall in left. Jack Cust grounded out for the third out and is now hitting .182. 4-1 Mariners.
TIGERS SECOND: The Tigers get one back on Jhonny Peralta’s RBI single to right, but it could have been worse as the inning started with runners on second and third, no outs. Brennan Boesch, who had doubled, was doubled off second on looper to second baseman Jack Wilson by Ryan Raburn that Boesch badly misread. As a fellow Cal man, I expected better judgment from Boesch. 4-1 Mariners.
MARINERS FIRST: The M’s had scored one run in the first inning all season in 17 games prior to this one. They scored four in the first tonight — all unearned, thanks to an error by pitcher Phil Coke on a nubber by Milton Bradley. Coke also walked four — including Jack Cust with the bases loaded. Brendan Ryan brought in a run with a ground out, and Chris Gimenez — starting in place of Justin Smoak — delivered the only hit of the inning, a two-run single to left. 4-0 Mariners.
TIGERS FIRST: Impressive inning for Fister, who strikes out Jackson and Rhymes, both looking,and gets Kelley to ground out to second. 0-0
Eric Wedge had some interesting comments before the game about Milton Bradley and his ear plugs. Asked if they were affecting Bradley’s hearing, and thus his ability to communicate with teammates on defense, Wedge said, “Milton’s fine. It’s more of a focus for him. It helps him concentrate. It allows him to stay in the zone a little bit better. It’s just one of those things, if it helps him, then so be it. It’s my job, ultimately, to manage everybody and put them in the best position to succeed. Whatever he has to do to do that, that’s what we’re going to do. In regard to communication, he’s fine.”
Bradley enters the game as one of the more productive Seattle hitters with a .263 average (.364 on-base percentage, .474 slugging), two homers and a team-leading eight RBIs.
“He’s done a very good job here in the early going,” Wedge said. “I love the way he’s busting it and getting after it. I think youi’ve seen some consistency with that. I think we’d like to continue to see what we’ve been seeing with him.”

Also, Wedge gave a clarification on Ryan Raburn’s popup Monday that hit the Safeco Field roof — the first ball ever to do that since the stadium opened in July of 1999. Turns out that despite Chone Figgins’ best efforts to track the ball, it was a dead ball from the instant it hit the cross-bar of the roof. The ground rule is that any ball that hits the roof in foul territory — as that one did — is immediately dead, “so it doesn’t matter what happens after that,” Wedge said.
Any ball that hits the roof in fair territory is live, though Wedge said that after peering up at how high the roof is in fair territory, he’s not concerned about that possibility “unless Dave Kingman comes back.”
One other note I neglected to mention previously: Reliever David Aardsma was officially sent on a rehab assignment to Class AAA Tacoma and is expected to pitch for the Rainiers tonight at Cheney Stadium against Coloradao Springs.
The Tigers, like the Mariners, will be without a regular. Catcher Victor Martinez went on the disabled list with the strained groin he suffered Monday, and they purchased the contract of catcher Omir Santos from Class AAA Toledo.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins


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