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April 17, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Mariners will try to overcome Justin Masterson tonight

Sorry for the infrequent posts tonight, but our paper has been having all types of blog software problems.
What a night to be missing the live updates. We’re tied 8-8 in the bottom of the fifth in what has turned into one of those Fenway Park types of games.
The Mariners just blew an 8-1 lead when the Indians scored seven in the top of the fifth. Seattle had scored six in the bottom of the fourth following a go-ahead homer by John Jaso in the third. I think that long fourth may have disrupted Kevin Millwood because he was not the same when he came out to pitch again.
A leadoff double by Jack Hannahan, a single by Jason Donald and then an error on Brendan Ryan allowed a run to score, then two singles and a three-run homer by Carlos Santana made it a one-run game.
Erasmo Ramirez took over from there and got a groundout, but then a walk and a double followed by another walk and a sac fly tied the game.
Seattle’s big fourth inning was keyed by three singles from Justin Smoak, Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders that loaded the bases. Brendan Ryan walked to force in a run, John Jaso was hit by a pitch to bring in another and Chone Figgins followed with a sacrifice fly. A walk and two singles followed, including the second of the inning by Smoak.
That chased Justin Masterson and brought onetime University of Washington product Nick Hagadone into the game.
Hagadone is still pitching here in the fifth.
7:26 p.m.: Kevin Millwood threw 26 pitches in the first inning and trails 1-0 after an RBI single to left by Travis Hafner. Michael Brantley led the game off with a single to center, then stole second with two out.
Millwood walked Carlos Santana before Hafter singled to left. Chone Figgins made a strong throw home, but Brantley just beat it. Jesus Montero made a strong throw to second on the Brantley steal, but I thought the catcher took just a fraction of a second too long in getting rid of the ball.
You’ll remember that, in Texas last week in his season debut, Millwood had a rough, high-pitch-count first inning, but escaped with minimal damage and went on to a very good night. So, let’s see what happens next.
7:02 p.m.: Indians starter Justin Masterson completely dominates right-handed bats, which is another reason Miguel Olivo isn’t playing tonight. And why the M’s have stacked their lineup with left-handed hitters and switch-hitters.
Masterson has held right-handers to a .120 batting average, which would actually be an improvement for Olivo if he could reach it since he’s hitting just .111. Instead, it will be Jesus Montero’s turn behind the plate and the plate tonight. Bit of a challenge for his right-handed bat, but as Eric Wedge says, hitting is the last thing he looks for from his catchers.
The Indians aren’t exactly a track team on the bases, so Montero should be able to focus on stuff other than throwing out runners.
As usual, follow along here or at my @gbakermariners Twitter feed.

The lineups:
CF Michael Brantley
2B Jason Kipnis
RF Shin Soo-Choo
C Carlos Santana
DH Travis Hafner
LF Shelley Duncan
1B Casey Kotchman
3B Jack Hannahan
SS Jason Donald
RHP Justin Masterson
RF Chone Figgins
2B Dustin Ackley
RF Ichiro
1B Justin Smoak
3B Kyle Seager
C Jesus Montero
CF Michael Saunders
SS Brendan Ryan
DH John Jaso
RHP Kevin Millwood

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins, Jesus Montero


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