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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

August 2, 2011 at 11:24 PM

The “infield triple” that propeled the Mariners to their first winning streak in a month

If you listened to Geoff Baker Live! (see videos below in two parts), we said it was very likely the M’s would place Chone Figgins on the 15-day DL and call up Kyle Seager. They did just that moments later. Franklin Gutierrez had two more hits tonight after the double last night. Earlier, a viewer asked whether Gutierrez could start losing playing time if he doesn’t pick things up at the plate. Somebody asked me whether the M’s should go after Erik Bedard as a free agent. Once again, I say no. Another viewer asked me about the rumors that Jack Zduriencik’s job could be in danger.
On to the post…
Yes, this is a winning streak for the Mariners. Two in a row for the first time since four weeks ago tonight.

And it all began in the first inning with that truly weird play in which Brendan Ryan legged out an infield single, then advanced to second base and then third when the slumbering A’s left the bags uncovered.
Ryan told us that on plays where a shortstop has to lunge for a ball deep in the hole, “the second baseman often-times is backing up first, so if you can get past the first and second baseman you’ve got second base open.
“So, I looked for it and it looked like nobody saw me so I took off for second. Then I got to second and it looked like the closest person to third was right next to me, so I figured if I could get past him I’ve got third.”

After that, Ryan became a tad humorous.
“And then, I almost died, but I didn’t,” he continued. “So, I got back up, and I looked at home and i saw (A’s catcher Kurt) Suzuki flying home and then I was ‘Damn!’ Too bad he couldn’t trip and fall or anything. I don’t know if i would have made it but it would have been pretty fun to crawl home and score on that.”
Ryan pulled a similar grab of second base in a game at Detroit back in June, but never two swipes in the same sequence.
“It’s just really a wacky opportunity that presented itself,” he said.

There was plenty more wackiness to come. And some traditional good baseball from Casper Wells as well.
The M’s newbie hit a two-run homer to left field in the sixth to make it a 4-0 game. Then, he made a terrific play in left field to cut off a Ryan Sweeney single and keep the ball from getting to the gap with a runner already on in a 4-2 game.
“I love the way he’s playing left field, too,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “That’s really caught my attention as much as anything. That ball he cut off late in the ballgame, that was a big play for us. That ball was getting to the gap and it had something on it. He had to get there and one, cut it off — that’s a tough play — and two, turn around and keep them (the runners) where they were.”
Wells told me that playing at Comerica Park and its spacious outfield gave him “all the experience in the world” needed for handling the sometimes-challenging terrain of left field at Safeco Field. He also said that playing alongside Austin Jackson in Detroit was a bit like having Franklin Gutierrez next to him and has made it easier to communicate with his speedy, talented outfield partner.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins


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