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June 19, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Erasmo Ramirez gives it another shot for Mariners

We’re all tied up again at 9-9 after Brendan Ryan walked in the eighth, took third on a single by pinch-hitter John Jaso (what a bench guy he is) and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Ichiro. Charlie Furbush did a great job by striking out the side in the bottom of the inning, so we’re on to the ninth.
Onetime Mariners closer J.J. Putz is on the mound this inning.
9:23 p.m.: Lucas Luetge just gave up the first earned run of his career after opening the season with a club record 25 scoreless outings spanning 16 2/3 innings. But Jason Kubel lined a single to right, Paul Goldschmidt walked and Miguel Montero singled to score the run and put the D-Backs up 9-8.
It could have been much worse, though. With runners on first and second and none out, Luetge got Josh Bell to ground into a double-play. Gerardo Parra then took a called third strike with a runner on third to end the inning.
There were two wild pitches that inning. Busy night behind the plate for young Jesus Montero.
8:59 p.m.: We’ve got your typical Mariners road slugfest going here in the sixth inning, with Seattle and Arizona tied 8-8 on a wild and wacky night.
Arizona just scored three in the fifth off Hisashi Iwakuma and nearly had more before Shawn Kelley used a slider to strike out Justin Upton with the count full and the bases juiced. It was Ball Four coming out of Kelley’s hand, but close enough to the zone that Upton bit.
The D-Backs had gone ahead 5-2 in the fourth inning on home runs by Gerardo Parra and Aaron Hill — both off Erasmo Ramirez. But whoo-boy, big stuff was coming in the fifth, when the Mariners erupted for six runs to chase starter Daniel Hudson from the game.
It happened in lightning fashion, with Ichiro lining his third hit of the game, Franklin Gutierrez drawing a walk and Kyle Seager crushing a ball over the wall in right-center to tie the score. Just as fast, Jesus montero singled, as did Michael Saunders to end Hudson’s night.
Craig Breslow came on to pitch and struck out Justin Smoak, but then a wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position. Dustin Ackley struck out then as well, but the D-Backs — with first base open — allowed Brendan Ryan to swing away, rather than face pitcher Ramirez or a pinch-hitter like John Jaso.
Ryan surprised everyone in the building by drilling a ball over the left field wall for a three-run blast that made it 8-5.
Oh, but the fun was just beginning. It was Iwakuma Time in the bottom of the fifth and the D-Backs went to town on reliever Hisashi Iwakuma with a Paul Goldschmidt solo homer, then a single by Miguel Montero, a missed double-play chance on a Ryan throw that pulled Smoak off first base and a single by Parra that put two on.
Lyle Overbay pinch-hit and singled one run home, then Willie Bloomquist did the same to tie it.
A wild-pitch by Iwakuma moved the runners up and so Aaron Hill was walked intentionally to load ’em up and bring Kelley on to face Upton.
Lots of fun here. Hard to keep up.

7:48 p.m.: Erasmo Ramirez took a two-run lead into the bottom of the third, but now trails 3-2 when he got some pitches up and paid big-time. Willie Bloomquist showed he can still turn on the jets when he lined one to right-center for a triple to open the inning.
Bloomquist then accomplished a rarity: scoring on a pop fly in fair territory that was caught by second baseman Dustin Ackley in shallow right. Ackley was off-balance when he made the catch and there was no chance his throw was going to beat Bloomquist home.
Justin Upton then hit a hard grounder off Brendan Ryan’s glove for an error. Jason Kubel doubled to right field to put two on and Paul Goldschmidt drove them both in with a single to center.
In the top of the inning, Ichiro had helped stake the Mariners to a 2-0 lead with a leadoff double. He was bunted to third, then scored on a Kyle Seager single.
7:21 p.m.: After narrowly missing three home runs at home, Justin Smoak just connected for a solo shot to right field off Daniel Hudson in the top of the second, giving the Mariners a 1-0 lead. It wasn’t a great inning for Hudson, who came up with two on and two out in the bottom of the frame and went down swinging against Erasmo Ramirez.
7:00 p.m.: Ichiro got hit No. 2,500 out of the way right off the bat to begin the game, hitting a flair into center field that dropped in front of Gerardo Parra. Ichiro accomplishes the feat in only 1,817 games, making him the fourth fastest behind Al Simmons (1,784), Ty Cobb (1,790) and George Sisler (1,808).
The inning didn’t go very far, since Ichiro was caught stealing. The Diamondbacks saw Aaron Hill — fresh off hitting for the cycle last night — drill a one-out double to left off Erasmo Ramirez in the bottom of the inning. But the inning ended on a deep flyout by Justin Upton and a hard smash by Jason Kubel that first baseman Justin Smoak knocked down before tossing to a covering Ramirez for the out at first base.
6:41 p.m.: We’re set for the middle game of this series in Arizona, where it’s a pleasant 104 degrees outside. Much better than that 111 degrees yesterday. Ichiro is back in the lineup as expected tonight, seeking career hit No. 2,500.
Casper Wells, who had a run-scoring double for Seattle’s only run in a two-hit game last night, takes a seat.
Erasmo Ramirez gets his second start in the big leagues, trying to keep his pitches down this time and mix them up a little better. For those who keep asking whether Danny Hultzen will be up anytime soon, the answer, as I said this morning on Talkin’ Baseball on Sports Radio KJR, is that he’ll first go to Class AAA at some point in the next day or so. Once that happens, we can start worrying about whether Hultzen will come up. First, he’ll have to show he can adjust to hitters at that level. One step at a time. Same for James Paxton and Taijuan Walker. Neither is coming here straight out of AA.
So, for now, Ramirez is it for the young guys starting. That means Hector Noesi is here for a bit and will get more chances to turn things around. How do I know all this? I just do. Trust me.
The lineups:
RF Ichiro
CF Franklin Gutierrez
3B Kyle Seager
C Jesus Montero
LF Michael Saunders
1B Justin Smoak
2B Dustin Ackley
SS Brendan Ryan
RHP Erasmo Ramirez
SS Willie Bloomquist
2B Aaron Hill
RF Justin Upton
LF Jason Kubel
1B Paul Goldschmidt
C Miguel Montero
3B Josh Bell
CF Gerardo Parra
RHP Daniel Hudson

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Hisashi Iwakuma, Jesus Montero


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