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August 15, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Toronto Blue Jays at Mariners: Aug. 15, 2011 game thread

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You may have missed Geoff Baker Live! tonight (see replay below), but we ran down the list of the top three unsigned picks for the M’s heading into deadline day and looked at why the team has to get at least two of them done. A viewer asked me whether the M’s are hoping to boost Franklin Gutierrez’s trade value in August and September. Not as their primary goal, no. They’d like him to be their center fielder of the future. Someone asked about the report that Jason Vargas had cleared waivers, so I looked at what it realistically might mean. Mike Carp hit another home run tonight. A viewer asked whether Carp could replace Justin Smoak as the first baseman going forward. Not a chance.
So, in case you haven’t heard, the Mariners did sign first-round pick Danny Hultzen to a five-year deal worth a guaranteed $8.5 million, with $6.35 million in bonuses and a potential total value of $10.6 million. They also inked second rounder Brad Miller, but did not reach a deal with third rounder Kevin Cron. Sort of what we predicted this morning on the blog.
Also signed eighth rounder Carson Smith and 9th rounder Kevin Cohoes.
There’s a game going on and the M’s still trail by the same 5-4 score heading to the bottom of the seventh. Michael Pineda lasted five innings, walking four and giving up three home runs. Not his finest hour, but he fanned Brett Laurie with two on to end the fifth on his 94th and final pitch, keeping it close.
Good job in relief by Dan Cortes so far through two innings.

No word officially on Seattle’s draft picks, though the ballplaying older brother of M’s third rounder Kevin Cron just tweeted that his bro will probably be “a Frog” (as in a TCU Horned Frog) unless something drastic happens.
For those asking about the PTBN in the Doug Fister deal, it probably won’t come out tonight. There is no deadline for teams to announce the player. If it was a 2010 draft pick, as is rumored, then they have to wait at least a year. But there is no requirement to divulge the name until the teams decide to do it.

8:48 p.m.: We’ve completed four innings of a back-and-forth duel here and the M’s trail the Blue Jays by a 5-4 count. Not a banner night for Michael Pineda, who has given up three home runs, one of them a solo shot by Brett Lawrie in the fourth that put Toronto on top.
The Blue Jays had regained a one-run lead in the third with a two-run homer by Adam Lind. But then Mike Carp evened the score in the bottom of the inning with a solo homer to left field, extending his hitting streak to 15 games.
Pineda nearly gave up another two-run homer just now in the fifth but the Edwin Encarnacion shot was caught at the left field warning track. Aaron Laffey warming up in the bullpen.
8:01 p.m.: Seattle scored three in the second inning to take a 3-2 lead after rookie Toronto pitcher Henderson Alvarez began falling behind hitters. Alvarez hit Casper Wells with a pitch, then yielded a double to left by Trayvon Robinson that gave left fielder Eric Thames all kinds of trouble.
Wells wound up scoring on the play and then Kyle Seager walked. Jack Wilson then singled to right field to bring the run home and Seager took off for third base.
The throw was late and Seager soon scored on an Ichiro sac fly to left.
7:23 p.m.: Another beautiful night here at Safeco Field as the Mariners prepare to host the Toronto Blue Jays. We’ll have another half-dozen rookies out there for the M’s tonight, including Michael Pineda.
Pineda is already down 2-0 after a command-plagued half-inning in which he walked leadoff man Yunel Escobar, then yielded a two-run blast well beyond the right field wall. Ichiro didn’t even move.



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