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September 1, 2011 at 11:02 PM

Santana “erratic,” but Mariners don’t capitalize

(Charlie Furbush reacts to his first-inning woes, including a walk, hit batter, and three-run homer by Torii Hunter Photo by Associated Press).
The Mariners, and Charlie Furbush, got off to a miserable start tonight, trailing 3-0 after the first and 4-0 after the third. All the runs came via the home-run ball, which is getting to be a bit of a problem for Furbush, who has now given up six in 31 innings as a Mariner. But to his credit, he settled down and made it through six innings without any more damage. He gave up just four hits in the game, in fact, and struck out five.
“I loved the way he recovered,” Eric Wedge said. “He battled, got us through six innings. He was better as the game went along. A little erratic from time to time, but he had a good fastball. He did a good job working his changeup off it. His slider was a little suspect at the start, but I felt that was better as the game went on. Overall, it was a better day for Furbush. He gave us a chance to win the ballgame. We were right there. We had our opportunities.”
In his last start, Furbush also struggled in the first inning, giving up two runs in a loss to the White Sox.
“Obviously, the results showed I was all over the place (in the first inning),” he said. ” I kind of settled down after that all right. I have to look forward to next time and getting that first inning out of the way.
“I was making adjustments the whole game. That’s the name of the game in pitching, to keep making adjustments, stay in rhythm and stay the course. I felt a little out of whack in the first inning, but I tried to do the best I could to keep the team in the ballgame.”

Here’s what Wedge said about Angels starter Ervin Santana, who may have felt the effect of making his last start (a win over Texas) on three day’s rest for the first time in his career: “We had our opportunities. Santana always has great stuff, but he was erratic today. When he’s erratic like that early on in the game, you’ve got to take advantage of that. You’ve got to finish innings off, you’ve got to take advantage of opportunities, and we just didn’t do that.”
The most frustrating juncture of the game for the Mariners came in the fifth inning, after they had cut the lead to one with three runs in the third. With one out in the fifth, Santana issued back to back walks — and the Mariners proceeded to make five outs on his next seven pitches: An inning-ending double play ball by Mike Carp on his second pitch of the at-bat, followed by a five-pitch inning for Santana in the sixth.
In case you were wondering, the reason Wily Mo Pena didn’t pinch-hit in the ninth (or at any other time) is because he wasn’t at the game. Instead, he was with his wife, who is expecting a child. Pena is expected to rejoin the team at some point during their upcoming series in Oakland.
Struggling outfielder Casper Wells went 0-for-4 for the Mariners and is now hitless in his last 30 at-bats with 12 strikeouts. Trayvon Robinson went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and is now in a 1-for-20 rut with 12 strikeouts.



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