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April 30, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Rays, April 30

RAYS 11TH: League fails to lock down win, giving up a two-out single to Upton after a leadoff double to Luke Scott. 2-2.
MARINERS 11TH: Montero blasts one to right center leading off, giving the Mariners a 2-1 lead that Brandon League will try to make stand up. 2-1 Mariners.
RAYS NINTH: Sorry, I’m trying to write my game story that has to be in immediately upon end of game. M’s blew a big chance in top of the inning, first and third, one out, Saunders bunted and Kawasaki thrown out at plate. In this inning, Olivo had to leave the game with an injury after fielding a nubber in front of the plate. MOntero is now catching, so the Mariners lose their DH. The pitcher is batting seventh. Heading to the 10th.
RAYS EIGHTH: Hernandez wriggles out of damage after two walks with one out. Strikes out Luke Scott, gets Matt Joyce to ground out. 1-1
RAYS SEVENTH: Felix is rolling now — seven straight retired. But can the Mariners get him another run? They haven’t had a runner past first since Olivo’s homer in second. 1-1
RAYS FIFTH: The Mariners get a break when Pena’s drive to center bounces over the wall, forcing baserunner Zobrist back to third with two outs. Longoria would have been up, but he’s out with an injury. His replacement, Elliott Johnson, inexplicably tried to bunt with two strikes and fouled it, striking out to end the inning. 1-1
MARINERS FIFTH: Brendan Ryan is down to .138 after two strikeouts tonight. Eight Mariners in a row have been retired by Hellickson, who went 1-2-3 again. 1-1
RAYS FOURTH: Normalcy returns as Felix strikes out Upton. That’s five strikeouts through four innings. It’s 1-1 heading to fifth.
MARINERS FOURTH Evan Longoria left the game after sliding awkwardly on his steal attempt in the second. That’s a scary development for Tampa Bay — he’s hitting .325 with four homers and 19 RBIs coming into the game. Mariners went down in order. 1-1
RAYS THIRD: A one-out single for Evan Longoria, but innings ends on a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play. Hernandez reached 94 mph on his second to last pitch of the inning. 1-1.
MARINERS THIRD: The Mariners get a one-out single from Ackley, but Ichiro popped out weakly, and Smoak grounded out. 1-1
RAYS SECOND: B.J. Upton entered the game with a .080 average against Hernandez (2-for-25). So, of course, he lashed a double down the LF line on the first pitch he saw to set up an RBI single by Sean Rodriguez that tied the game. But with runners on second and third, one out, Hernandez got a ground out and strike out (Zobrist) to keep it tied. 1-1.
MARINERS SECOND: The suddenly hot Miguel Olivo ripped a one-out homer to left, his third on this road trip (one in each city), and his second in two games. It’s 1-0 Mariners.
RAYS FIRST: Carlos Pena reached on a two-strike bunt single (after an earlier bunt rolled foul) with one out, but Felix struck out Evan Longoria and got Luke Scott on a ground out. 0-0.
MARINERS FIRST: Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson is developing into a Mariner killer, going 3-0 with a 0.81 ERA in three career starts. The Mariners got something going with two outs on singles by Ichiro and Justin Smoak that put runners on the corners, but Montero grounded sharply to third for an inning-ending force out. 0-0.
The Mariners try to get back in gear tonight after two lackluster defeats. It won’t be easy against a really good Tampa Bay team coming off a big win last night in Texas, raising their record to 14-8. Eric Wedge said he believes the Rays have the best starting pitching they’ve seen this year. One possible advantage: the Rays didn’t land until 3 a.m Monday morning after leaving Texas, and many players didn’t get home until after 4 a.m.
Rays fever hasn’t exactly gripped the area. The crowd is sparse, and I hear they’ll be lucky to surpass 10,000.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan


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