Alex Liddi made all of Italy proud in the seventh inning, clubbing a solo home run to give the Mariners a 6-4 lead as we head to the bottom of the eighth. Tom Wilhelmsen is now on the mound, in place of Steve Delabar, who tossed a scoreless seventh.
Liddi has three hits tonight.
5:50 p.m.: Told you that was a big run by the Mariners in the fifth. Miguel Cabrera just showed why, hitting a no-doubt homer to left off Jason Vargas in the bottom of the inning.
But since Vargas was given that added run, he still has a 5-4 lead.
5:45 p.m.: Big fifth run for the Mariners there in the fifth inning, which should do it for Max Scherzer’s night as he’s well over 100 pitches. The Mariners lead 5-3 after singles by Kyle Seager and Alex Liddi were followed by a fielder’s choice groundout from Miguel Olivo that got the run home.
Jason Vargas needed that extra cushion, as the Tigers were starting to creep back into what had been a four-run game.
5:27 p.m.: First base umpire Jim Joyce didn’t help Jason Vargas or the Mariners out in the fourth inning. Joyce is best known for his controversial call here two years ago that ruined a perfect game for Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga. Tonight, he appeared to botch a far less historic call as Prince Fielder was ruled safe at first base on a throw by Vargas, who’d fielded a comebacker.
Fielder appeared ut by a good half-step. The safe call allowed the inning to continue and Alex Avila later hit a two-out, two-run homer to cut Seattle’s lead to 4-3.
It could have been worse, as Ryan Raburn later doubled off Vargas. But then, Chone Figgins…I mean, Miguel Olivo…I mean Brandon Inge, designated Detroit bulls-eye, struck out to end the frame.
5:07 p.m.: The Tigers got a run back in the third so it’s now 4-1, Seattle still ahead. Brandon Inge hit a one-out double off the glove of Michael Saunders in center and later scored on a two-out single by Brennan Boesch.
4:56 p.m.: This is looking like a flashback to one year ago this week, when the Mariners came in and stunned the highly-favored Tigers with an offensive explosion en route to a three-game sweep. It’s now 4-0 after a three-run third inning for the Mariners that began with a leadoff walk by Dustin Ackley, an infield single by Ichiro and then an RBI single by Kyle Seager.
Michael Saunders added a two-run double to left center and all of a sudden, the M’s and a strong-looking Jason Vargas are well out in front.
4:20 p.m.: Chone Figgins got the Mariners started on the right foot with a leadoff walk against Max Scherzer. Dustin Ackley then singled up the middle to send Figgins to third and then — after an Ichiro popout — Jesus Montero singled to left to bring the first run of the game home.
So, it’s 1-0 midway through the first.
The Mariners could have had more, but, after an infield hit by Alex Liddi loaded the bases, Michael Saunders struck out. It will take more than a run to beat the Tigers on most nights, so we’ll see what happens from here.
4:06 p.m.: Tonight’s game will launch a nine-game road trip against opponents of a higher caliber than the Mariners have faced this season. Not the best time to try to re-ignite your squad, but this is the bed the M’s have made for themselves.
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