That’s two huge double-plays iduced by Stephen Pryor to end the sixth and seventh with the Mariners still up 7-6. The last one came with Albert Pujols on third after he’d just missed a home run to lead the inning off. Howie Kendrick hit into the 6-4-3 rally-killer to send us to the eighth.
The real beauty came in the sixth inning with two on when Maicer Izturis grounded into a 3-6-1 twin-killing. Brendan Ryan made an unbelievable turn at second with a tremndous throw to nab the speedy Izturis by a half step. Pryor made the proper stretch at the end in getting him.
Fun to watch. That’s why the M’s are one of the best defensive teams in baseball.
9:14 p.m.: We’ve got another see-saw battle going here, with the Mariners scoring three times in the sixth to take a 7-6 lead. Ichiro snapped an 0-for-20 slump — second longest of his career behind an 0-for-22 in 2005 — with an RBI single to left field with two out. Dustin Ackley walked to load the bases and Kyle Seager then ripped two-run single up the middle to put Seattle ahead.
That’s now 22 RBI this season with two out for Seager. He’s got four RBI tonight.
8:59 p.m.: Hector Noesi walked the first two batters he faced to start the bottom of the fifth and was pulled. Shawn Kelley came on and yielded run-scoring singles to Kendrys Morales and Howie Kendrick that now have the Angels ahead 6-4. Noesi finishes with six earned runs allowed over four-plus innings. Not a good night for him, short rest or not.
8:38 p.m.: Amazing what one missed ground ball in a major league game can do to change an entire night. The Mariners appeared to be on one of their slow death marches to another loss when shortstop Erick Aybar flubbed an Ichiro grounder with two out and nobody on. Dustin Ackley then roped a gorund-rule double to left field that Mike Trout was fortunate to knock into the stands with his glove or it might have been an RBI triple or worse.
Didn’t matter though, as Kyle Seager came up next and drilled a double to right center to bring both runners home and tie the game 4-4. That gives Seager 20 RBI with two out this season.
8:03 p.m.: Hector Noesi should just start issuing intentional walks when he falls behind 0-2 to anyone who can hit. Kendrys Morales certainly fits that description and he obliterated a Noesi fastball right down the middle, sending it screaming well back into the seats in right-center field.
The two-run rocket makes it 4-2 for the Angels. With Noesi, you just keep banging your head against the wall. I mean, the M’s are going to have to start fining him if he doesn’t make his 0-2 pitches bounce at least once in the dirt — regardless of whether there’s anyone on base. This is just ridiculous.
7:52 p.m.: We’re tied up 2-2 after two inning of play as the Angels scored twice in the bottom of the second to erase a lead the M’s had taken at the top of the frame.
Kendrys Morales drew a leadoff walk, then Mark Trumbo lined a 1-2 pitch up in the zone into right field to put two on. A bunt moved the runners over and then a double to center by Maicer Izturis scored the first Angels run. A sacrifice fly by Hank Conger brought the other one home.
Seatrle took a 2-0 lead in the tp of the frame when Jesus Montero did a nice job of singling to the opposite field. Michael Saunders later singled up the middle and Mike Carp doubled down the left field line to bring both home.
7:03 p.m.: Hector Noesi is up against the type of lineup that can hurt him. A lineup that doesn’t forgive mistake pitches. We saw that against Blake Beavan last night. Beavan really needs to get his curveball more consistent so that he has another effective pitch rather than a fastball-slider combo.
That didn’t happen last night, he had to use his fastball too much, caught too much plate and got tagged for three homers.
The issues with Noesi are a little different. He’s got the repertoire to dominate teams for long stretches and gets ahead of hitters quickly. But then, for whatever reason, he has the knack for losing focus, not executing, not finishing…whatever you want to call it. And teams that jump on mistakes can kill him.
The White Sox did it last weekend.
We’ll see whether he tempts fate again with the likes of Albert Pujols, Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo. If he doesn’t, he might deliver a solid five innings. Remember, he’s on short rest.