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July 4, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Mariners at Oakland Athletics: July 4, 2011 game thread

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Great job by Aaron Laffey in the seventh to get the side 1-2-3. David Pauley takes the mound in the eighth, clinging to a 2-1 lead.
2:51 p.m.: The Mariners strung a couple of hits together in the seventh and it paid off, with Justin Smoak — mired in an awful slump — lining one to the right field corner for an RBI double that scored Brendan Ryan after a leadoff single.
That makes it 2-1 for the M’s.
Brandon McCarthy issued a two-out walk that left runners at the corners. But Brad Ziegler came on and struck out Greg Halman.
Michael Pineda is done and Aaron Laffey is now on to pitch the bottom of the seventh.
Pineda had allowed just two hits and threw only 92 pitches. But this is part of the price the M’s have to pay if they want him pitching in September. Two of the first three batters due up this inning are lefties in any event, so why push your luck?


2:27 p.m: Josh Bard just went deep to right field with two out in the sixth to tie this game 1-1 and perhaps lift a Mariners team that looked like it was about to lose another one of those games with zero offense.
Seattle had been held to one hit prior to Bard connecting off Brandon McCarthy. First home run for Bard since his grand slam last August in Cleveland.
Justin Smoak led off the fifth with a walk, but Dustin Ackley fouled out down the left field line and then Jack Cust skied one to the warning track in left center that was hauled in by left fielder Conor Jackson at the last minute.
Though Cust’s ball was hit to the deepest part of the ballpark, Smoak somehow managed to get doubled off first base to end the inning. That can’t happen.
Michael Pineda sailed through a perfect fifth with two strikeouts. Now, he’s back even again, so let’s see how he does.
2:09 p.m.: The fourth inning is done, with the Mariners trailing 1-0. Not bad, four innings played in under an hour. But the Mariners had best start making contact soon.
Ichiro led off the fourth with a single, but that was quickly erased on a 5-4-3 double-play grounder from Brendan Ryan and then a groundout by Adam Kennedy.
Michael Pineda got the side in order with a popout, strikeout and groundout in the fourth.
Both teams have combined for three singles and walk worth of offense so far.
1:57 p.m.: We’re through three innings, with the M’s still down 1-0. The Mariners have gone nine-up, nine down versus a pitcher, Brandon McCarthy, who hasn’t thrown in a MLB game since May 19.
Adam Kennedy is having all types of problems on popups in the sun today. He cost his team a hit and a run in the second inning, then missed another popup in the third inning that dropped at his feet. Fortunately, the M’s got an out in the same at-bat. Then, Kennedy lost another popup in the sun with two out in the third, but Brendan Ryan raced into foul territory to rescue him for the out.
1:42 p.m.: Adam Kennedy lost a ball in the sun at third base on a foul popup by Hideki Matsui is the bottom of the second and as a result, the M’s trail 1-0. Kennedy couldn’t make the catch for the out and Matsui stayed alive to hit a single to right. Chris Carter (not of X-Files or Vikings fame) then followed with a walk, but Michael Pineda looked to almost be out of it on a strikeout and popout.
But Kurt Suzuki (who else?) singled to left and Carlos Peguero made a horrible, offline throw home that enabled the run to score. Even a semi-decently aimed ball would have nabbed the runner, as Josh Bard nearly was able to race back and tag Matsui out. But the throw was just that bad.
1:28 p.m.: Four of the last five Mariners have gone down swinging, which is never a good thing, Dustin Ackley was the only dissenter in the pack, simply grounding out to second base in the second inning.
Seen this act one too many times before.
Still scoreless, heading to the bottom of the second.
1:23 p.m.: The Mariners have made it to Independence Day only 2 1/2 games out of first place. Yeah, they trail two teams, but have four games coming up against one of them by week’s end.
Their chances for contention could be all but done six days from now.
Or, they could be right in the thick of it.
The Oakland A’s are a lot like the Mariners. Good pitching, but can’t hit a lick. The M’s like to play teams just like that. Their pitching is set up well for this series. Anything shy of a series win will have the potential for disaster, given what looms in Anaheim.
In other words, Michael Pineda has to get it done today. And his offense needs to score some runs. Four would be just right.
One inning done so far and both clubs are living up to their reps as the worst offensive units in the league and possibly all of baseball.
The M’s went 1-2-3 with and Ichiro groundout and two strikeouts.
Pineda got a groundout, strikeout and foul popout.
The lineups:
Mariners (41-43)
——————————-
51 Ichiro Suzuki – L RF
26 Brendan Ryan SS
4 Adam Kennedy – L 3B
17 Justin Smoak – S 1B
13 Dustin Ackley – L 2B
29 Jack Cust – L DH
56 Greg Halman CF
8 Carlos Peguero – L LF
3 Josh Bard – S C
——————————-
36 Michael Pineda RHP
Athletics (38-47)
——————————-
19 Jemile Weeks – S 2B
29 Scott Sizemore 3B
4 Coco Crisp – S CF
55 Hideki Matsui – L DH
22 Chris Carter 1B
12 David DeJesus – L RF
28 Conor Jackson LF
8 Kurt Suzuki C
2 Cliff Pennington – S SS
——————————-
32 Brandon McCarthy RHP

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan

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