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July 22, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Mariners at Boston Red Sox: July 22, 2011 game thread

NEWS UPDATE: David Aardsma underwent successful Tommy John surgery today in California.
Felix Hernandez couldn’t get the double play grounder he needed from Adrian Gonzalez in the seventh. Instead, the ball went up the middle for a two-run single to begin a five-run Boston outburst.
Kevin Youkilis came up next and doubled home another run, then the throw by Mike Carp hit the runner and bounced away from third for an error to score one more. Felix Hernandez was done on 117 pitches at that point and Jeff Gray came on.
David Ortiz then singled to score another run.
Carp hit a three-run homer in the eighth to make it 7-4, but the M’s are now three outs away from loss No. 13 in a row.
5:47 p.m.: Yet another double-play grounder gets Felix Hernandez out of the fifth inning, still trailing 2-1 but fortunate it isn’t more. Hernandez walked off the field after that frame, having already thrown 86 pitches in this intense heat — 96 degrees at gametime.
There were bases loaded, one out and Kevin Youkilis up when Brendan Ryan turned his second 6-6-3 double-play in three innings. This one was a bit easier than the one that ended the third. But both were huge. The way this game is going — even in this ballpark — you get the sense another Boston run here would really put the game away.

5:11 p.m.: Boston took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on a leadoff homer to right by Jacoby Ellsbury. But it could have been a lot worse. With two on and one out, David Ortiz rifled a shot that appeared headed up the middle for an RBI single.
But then, Brendan Ryan appeared out of nowhere, stabbed the ball with his glove while off-balance, then raced to second for the force out. Ryan then had plenty of time to throw to first for a 6-6-3 double play that may have just saved the game for his team.
Who knows where the game goes if that ball gets through? It’s at least a two-run lead with two on and one out. The way this M’s team doesn’t score, that may have been enough.
The way Seattle has hit since the first inning, it might still be enough at 2-1. But at least, as the boys said in Dumb and Dumber…they still have a chance!
4:52 p.m.: Boston got a pair of singles to open the second inning and Felix Hernandez then went full in the count to Jarrod Saltalamacchia. But then, one more ball away from big trouble, Hernandez got the strikeout he needed. Marco Scutaro then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play — with Dustin Ackley providing a nice, quick feed to second — to end the threat.
Still tied 1-1.
4:37 p.m.: Felix Hernandez gave the lead right back in the bottom of the first, yielding a one-out single to Dustin Pedroia, who took second on a groundout, then third on a passed ball charged to Miguel Olivo.
Kevin Youkilis then singled through the left side to tie it 1-1.
4:24 p.m.: Felix Hernandez tries to halt this losing streak at 12 games. If he can’t do it, you have to wonder how much longer this could go on. John Lackey has been woefully inconsistent this year for Boston and heads in with a 6.70 ERA.
The veterans are mostly sitting tonight, with a lot of the “kids” in the lineup. Maybe that will make a difference.
So far, it’s been a good veteran-youth mix. Seattle leads 1-0 after Ichiro led off with a single, stole second base and then third, then came home on a single to center by Dustin Ackley.
The Ackley hit came on an 0-2 count.
According to Stats Inc., Ackley entered the day leading all players in batting average among those who have fallen behind 0-2 in the count at least 20 times this season.
Ackley was at .400 in 20 at-bats, leading Travis Hafner of Cleveland, who was at .378 in 37 at-bats and Jemille Weeks of Oakland, at .333 in 36 at-bats.
The M’s had runners at the corners with two out in the inning, but Justin Smoak went down swinging. Let’s see whether that missed opportunity comes back to haunt the Mariners.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan


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