(Photo by Associated Press)
(NOTE: The Mariners placed Dan Cortes on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left ankle. He apparently hurt himself initially covering home on a wild pitch in Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay, and aggravated it in the first game of today’s disabled list. That clears space on the 25-man roster for Anthony Vasquez, who has been officially selected from Tacoma to start the second game. To clear space on the 40-man roster, the Mariners released third baseman Matt Mangini, who hit .336 in 58 games with Tacoma this year. I’m not really sure why he was the choice.
The lineups are already out for Game 2. Still no word on the roster move to clear space for Anthony Vasquez.
51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
20 Mike Carp (L) 1B
29 Wily Mo Pena DH
15 Kyle Seager (L) 3B
26 Brendan Ryan SS
3 Josh Bard (S) C
12 Trayvon Robinson (S) LF
59 Anthony Vasquez LHP
12 Ezequiel Carrera (L) LF
13 Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS
17 Shin-Soo Choo (L) RF
41 Carlos Santana (S) C
47 Shelley Duncan DH
1 Kosuke Fukudome (L) CF
18 Jason Donald 2B
9 Jack Hannahan (L) 3B
6 Lou Marson C
57 Zach McAllister RHP
On May 13, facing Cleveland at Progressive Field, the Mariners scored three runs in the seventh to go up 4-2. But in the bottom of the ninth, Brandon League gave up a three-run homer to Travis Hafner — the fourth game League had lost that week.
He recovered nicely after that, making the All-Star team, but the walk-off horror returned today at Cleveland in the first game of a doubleheader. This time, it was Shin-Soo Choo hitting a three-run homer off League after the Mariners had rallied for two in the top of the ninth to erase a 4-3 Cleveland lead on Trayvon Robinson’s two-RBI double. Choo (traded to Cleveland from Seattle for Ben Broussard) had missed Monday’s game when his wife went into labor, giving birth to a girl.
The inning unraveled quickly as League faced three players who all started in the Mariner farm system. Ezequiel Carrera (traded last year for Russ Branyan) started it off with a double to left, surprising the Mariners by going opposite field.
“The leadoff hitter, you don’t expect him to hit the ball that far the opposite way,” manager Eric Wedge said. “We’re playing the percentages, we’re playing where we feel like he has the chance to hit the baseball. And he hit it over the left fielder’s head.”
Asdrubal Cabrera (traded for, ugh, Eduardo Perez), hit a sharp grounder to second baseman Dustin Ackley. He had Carrera dead to rights at third, but Ackley kind of double-clutched, then threw high to third. Everyone was safe.
“Dustin made the right decision, but he hesitated enough where it threw him off of his throw,” Wedge said. “He makes a good throw, he’s out. He doesn’t hesitate, he’s most definitely out. So it was the right decision mentally, but he got himself on his heels when he hesitated a little bit there.”
And then Choo jumped on the first pitch from League. It was a no-doubter to left for the 7-5 Cleveland win.
“I came with my fastball, and you saw what happened,” League said. “It was just flat today. I’ll go back to the drawing board and make it sink.”
Robinson’s double was an obvious bright spot for the Mariners. He worked the count full after falling behind 0-2 against closer Chris Perez, who scuffled for the second game in a row.
“You have to love that at-bat,” Wedge said. “He didn’t give in to it. You talk about fighting through an at-bat, that’s what we’re talking about, and he was rewarded for it.”
Here’s what Robinson said: “It was a real tough at-bat. I was just trying to get something I could drive, get at least one in and tie the game back up. I wanted something I could elevate. Just drive him in….I was trying to stay within myself and not try to do too much. He wanted me to roll over.”
That made him a hero for about 10 minutes, until Choo’s homer.
“It’s part of the game,” he said. “Live and learn, turn the chapter, and keep it going. That’s it.”
By the way, Dan Cortes left the game in the seventh because of an ankle injury, suffered during a pitch. And no one felt the third-inning earthquake. In fact, many players were puzzled when asked about it after the game, not knowing it had even occurred.
“I wasn’t aware of it,” Wedge said. “There was no talk of it. Believe me, if we would have felt it, there would have been talk of it.”