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April 14, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Mariners win, 4-0: Game thread, Mariners vs. A’s, Sunday, April 14

Great night for Jack Zduriencik and his big winter trade: Hector Noesi throws eight brilliant, shuout innings, and Jesus Montero hits his first Mariners homer and drives in three, in a 4-0 Seattle win over Oakland.
MARINERS SIXTH: Big three-run inning for Mariners, highlighted by two-out, full-count, bases-loaded walk by Justin Smoak on a very close call, followed by two-run double by Jesus Montero, who has driven in three. It’s 4-0 Mariners (and now I have to write, so you’re on your own for awhile).
OAKLAND SIXTH: Noesi is certainly making that first game dud a distant memory. He has breezed through six shutout innings. A’s got a one-out sigle, but two popups got him out of it with no damage. 1-0 Mariners.
MARINERS FIFTH: More of the same — pretty weak Mariners hitting, capped by a Miguel Olivo strikeout. He’s down to .125. Can Noesi hold this 1-0 lead? He’s thrown just 53 pitches through five. Montero grounded out softly to second in his second at-bat.
OAKLAND FIFTH: Noesi keeps rolling along. He’s got a two-hitter going through 5. Of course, the Mariners only have one hit — but it was Jesus Montero’s homer. They lead, 1-0.
OAKLAND FOURTH: A one-out single by Josh Reddick, but Noesi gets Cespedes to hit into an around-the-horn double play. He’s still got his shutout going. 1-0 Mariners.
MARINERS THIRD: Not much to talk about 1-2-3, with Casper Wells striking out. He’s 0-for-5 this season with 3 k’s. 1-0 Mariners.
OAKLAND THIRD: Oakland gets its first hit off Noesi, a leadoff single by Daric Barton. And after a force play, Josh Donaldson stole second with two outs, with Montero making a poor throw. That’s a definite weakness in his game. I think he receives just fine, but he’s got a slow delivery on stolen-base attempts and his balls tend to sail, from what I’ve observes. Noesi gets Weeks to pop up to strand the runner at second. 1-0 Mariners.
MARINERS SECOND: A Seattle milestone: Jesus Montero’s first homer as a Mariner. And he crushed it to dead center — not just his first homer, but his first extra base hit. Maybe now he’ll relax and start hitting for more power. Montero now has an eight-game hitting streak. 1-0 Mariners.
OAKLAND SECOND: Another sharp inning for Noesi, who has thrown 23 pitches, 15 of them strikes. Seth Smith hit one hard to left, but Casper Wells ran it down. Otherwise, two infield popups. 0-0
MARINERS FIRST: A’s starter Tommy Milone didn’t have any strikeouts in his eight scoreless innings against Kansas City in his first start. He struck out Mariners’ leadoff hitter Chone Figgins en route to an easy first. 0-0
OAKLAND FIRST: Noesi looked very sharp, hitting 94 consistently and getting the A’s 1-2-3 — the last two, Crisp and Reddick, by strikeout. Jerry Brewer, sitting next to me in the press box, said before the game he really wanted to see Noesi attack the hitters, not nibble like he seemed to in Texas. So far, so good. 0-0.
Hector Noesi needs to improve on his Mariners debut, when he lasted just three-plus innings in Texas, giving up seven runs to the Rangers. He should feel comfortable pitching to Jesus Montero, with whom he came up in the Yankees’ farm system.
Speaking of Montero, here’s Eric Wedge’s assessment of his offense so far. Montero enters the game hitting .286, with a seven-game hitting streak (tied for longest active streak in the majors). But he doesn’t have an extra-base hit yet.
“He’s finding his way, but still getting his hits,” Wedge said. “I think he’s missed some pitches he should have hit, but I can say that about a few of our guys, which is not uncommon early in the year, especially for younger kids.”

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins, Jesus Montero


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