UPDATE: Mariners relief pitcher Dan Cortes is done for the season. Cortes fractured his hand in what the team says was an “off-field incident” on Thursday. He’ll need three weeks to heal, then play winter ball.
Colby Lewis had struck out six of his last seven by the time Mike Carp stepped up in the fifth inning, but Carp did his job with a two-run homer to right center. That cuts the Texas lead to 7-6 and puts the M’s right back in a contest they looked out of moments earlier.
5:28 p.m.: Texas scored three more times in the fourth inning for a 7-4 lead. Anthony Vasquez walked leadoff batter David Murphy, ending his day as the M’s called on Jeff Gray.
One out later, Ian Kinsler walked and Elvis Andrus singled to load the bases. Josh Hamilton brought two runs in with a single and then a sac fly by Michael Young scored the other.
Colby Lewis struck out the side in the bottom of the frame. That’s now four whiffs in a row for the M’s. Fan Appreciation Day is heading south in a hurry.
5:01 p.m.: Well, that lead didn’t last very long. Texas tied it 4-4 in the third after Anthony Vasquez decided to throw a little late BP, giving up three home runs to the first four batters he faced. Elvis Andrus left the building first, belting one into the M’s bullpen in left, then Josh Hamilton lined one over the right field wall two pitches later.
Vasquez got a lineout, then saw Adrian Beltre bang one off the second deck in left on the first pitch thrown his way. See? Beltre can have power at Safeco Field — when the pitcher he’s facing tops out at 85 mph.
Onward we go…oh yeah, Brendan Ryan is already out of the game, replaced by Luis Rodriguez at shortstop. That pregame handshake I gave him in handing out the local BBWAA Unsung Hero Award must have been a little too firm. Actually, the M’s just announced it’s a neck spasm. Kept wheeling around to watch all of those home runs, perhaps. Or, perhaps not. In the photo below, you can actually see me administering the Vulcan nerve pinch.
4:51 p.m.: Big second inning for the Mariners, who scored four times to take a 4-1 lead. The Rangers had opened the scoring in the top of the frame with a Craig Gentry single that brought Mike Napoli home after a leadoff double.
But then Adam Kennedy and Brendan Ryan singled, Michael Saunders walked to load the bases with two out and Ichiro delivered his second single of the game for a 2-1 lead. Kyle Seager then doubled to right field, bringing home two more runs.
3:38 p.m. It’s Fan Appreciation Day at Safeco Field today, which means I’ll be down on the field in a few minutes to present our annual BBWAA chapter awards to Mariners players.
Best Player: Dustin Ackley
Best Pitcher: Felix Hernandez
Unsung Hero: Brendan Ryan
The M’s have made a late scratch, subbing Michael Saunders in for Casper Wells in center field. We’ve been told by a PR spokesman that Wells is “not feeling well.”
51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
15 Kyle Seager (L) 3B
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
20 Mike Carp (L) 1B
4 Adam Kennedy (L) DH
3 Josh Bard (S) C
26 Brendan Ryan SS
12 Trayvon Robinson (S) LF
55 Michael Saunders CF
59 Anthony Vasquez LHP
5 Ian Kisler 2B
1 Elvis Andrus SS
32 Josh Hamilton (L) LF
10 Michael Young 1B
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
25 Mike Napoli C
17 Nelson Cruz DH
7 David Murphy (L) RF
23 Craig Gentry CF
48 Colby Lewis RHP