NOTE: As suspected — if you listened to Geoff Baker Live! , where we said this could happen (see videos below in two parts) — Chone Figgins has indeed been placed on the 15-day DL, while Kyle Seager has been called up in his place.
The Mariners caught a huge break in the eighth inning of a 4-2 game when, with the bases loaded and one out, Kurt Suzuki went down swinging on a pitch that actually hit him. Lots of weird stuff tonight.
Jeff Gray then struck out Eric Sogard to end the threat.
Oakland’s only runs came on a two-run homer to center by Scott Sizemore off Felix Hernandez in the seventh. Brandon League now on to pitch the ninth.
9:09 p.m.: Casper Wells just broke a tight game open with a two-run homer to left field off Rich Harden in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving the M’s a 4-0 lead. That spells the end of the night for Harden.
The blast came with two out in the frame after a leadoff walk drawn by Adam Kennedy. Wells entered tonight 3-for-8 since Saturday’s trade and now is 4-for-11 after striking out and popping out earlier.
Franklin Gutierrez just added his second single of the night here in the sixth as well. That’s three hits in two nights for Guti, a welcome sign.
The M’s are about to win their second in a row for the first time since they last played Oakland four weeks ago tonight.
8:42 p.m.: Seattle still leads it 2-0 after five innings of a game being dominated by Brendan Ryan’s great play in the first inning — when he grabbed two extra bases on an infield single — as well as an Ichiro impersonator interfering with a Dustin Ackley triple.
That happened in the third inning, when Ackley ripped a ball down the line off the first baseman’s glove. Ackley was already around second when the Ichiro fan — who is dressed like the Japanese star and has been signing autographs in the stands the past few days — reached over and touched the ball.
Dumb play, if you’re a home fan by the way.
Fortunately for him, this isn’t Boston or New York, so the M’s did not eject him. They merely moved him to a different location in the ballpark.
7:29 p.m.: Well, that’s one more play I have never seen at the big league level before. Brendan Ryan beat out an infield single on a chopper to the hole at shortstop to begin the bottom of the first inning. The throw was a bit offline, but first baseman Conor Jackson snared it easily.
Problem is, nobody was covering second, so Ryan took off and made it in there safely. The stunned A’s were still wondering what the heck was going on when Ryan took off for third base, where again, nobody was covering.
Ryan made it in to third, and the A’s were guilty of the worst defensive play of the year. Seriously, how do you top that? Worst play of the year. Defense is a huge reason the A’s went from darkhorse division favorites to a team that is fighting to stay out of last place.
For Ryan, one of the best offensive hustle plays I’ve ever seen.
Dustin Ackley walked and then Mike Carp doubled over the left fielder’s head to bring two runs home for a 2-0 lead.
So, great hustle that inning by Ryan. Horrible defensive lapse by the A’s. And no, I’ve yet to find anyone in the pressbox who’s seen that at the major league level. So bad it was comical.
7:03 p.m.: The Mariners haven’t won two in a row in exactly four weeks. Guess which team they were playing four weeks ago today? You’ve got it. The same team that tonight will pitch a guy they tried to trade to the Boston Red Sox, but failed to when their doctors said “Nah, we’d rather have that healthy guy, Erik Bedard.”
Felix Hernandez goes for the team that should win its second in a row tonight.