The good news was the Mariners opening the scoring in the seventh on a Justin Smoak home run? The bad news? The Mariners and their bullpen gave it all away in the bottom of the inning and now trail 3-1.
Jason Vargas allowed a leadoff walk to Coco Crisp, but got a flyball out and was pulled. Shawn Kelley came in and got a second out on a fielder’s choice and life was looking good.
But then Yoenis Cespedes unloaded on a Kelley offereing and sent it deep to left center for his first big league hit and home run. That gave Oakland the lead for the first time this series and then — with George Sherrill coming on to pitch — Josh Reddick belted a 1-2 pitch over the right field wall.
Sherrill gave up a bullet line drive single to center and a hard single to right after that. Did not look good. Steve Delabar finished it off with a strikeout, but the M’s are six outs from defeat and have just three hits so far.
3:11 a.m.: Well, hey, that’s a start. The Mariners loaded the bases with two out in the fifth on singles by Jesus Montero and Miguel Olivo and a walk to Michael Saunders. But then, Brendan Ryan hit into a fielder’s choice, so we’re bak to square one.
Menawhile, Suzuki just made a nice grab at the right field wall of a Suzuki blast to start the bottom of the fifth. That’s Ichiro catching Kurt’s flyball and the crowd, naturally, gasping aloud and roaring.
2:57 a.m.: I’m no genius, but I think offense might again be a problem for these teams tonight. The Mariners have gone 12 up, 12 down and Jason Vargas has retired the last 11 A’s hitters in a row. We’re still scoreless after four.
2:31 a.m.: It took fewer than 10 minutes to play an entire inning as the Mariners and A’s went six up, six down between them. Justin Smoak lined out to center, Jesus Montero struck out and Kyle Seager grounded out to first unassisted.
Jason Vargas notchedtwo groundouts to Brendan Ryan at shortstop and then Josh Reddick lined one into Smoak’s glove. Scoreless after two.
Vargas has thrown just 23 pitches.
2:19 p.m.: Jason Vargas gave up a one-out single to Cliff Pennington in the bottom of the first, but then rallied for a popout on Coco Crisp and a called strikeout on Jonny Gomes.
2:10 a.m.: Ichiro came close to opening with another single, but second baseman Jemile Weeks made a nice play on the ball going to his right and threw Ichiro out by a coule of steps. Mariners go 1-2-3 in top of first.
Be sure to follow along as well on my @gbakermariners Twitter account.
1:12 a.m.: Felix Hernandez won’t be on the mound for this second game of the regular season, so the Mariners will have to try to score some runs before the 11th inning. Jason Vargas takes the hill after a string of shaky spring training outings.
Vargas threw a simulated game here on Saturday.
Earlier, we did our season debut of Geoff Baker Live! from outside the Tokyo Dome. Thanks to all who stayed up to participate!
LF Chone Figgins
2B Dustin Ackley
1B Justin Smoak
DH Jesus Montero
3B Kyle Seager
C Miguel Olivo
CF Michael Saunders
SS Brendan Ryan
LHP Jason Vargas
2B Jemile Weeks
SS Cliff Pennington
LF Coco Crisp
DH Jonny Gomes
C Kurt Suzuki
CF Yoenis Cespedes
RF Josh Reddick
3B Josh Donaldson
1B Kila Ka’aihue
RHP Bartolo Colon