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June 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Mariners go for series win in Arizona; officially promote Danny Hultzen and shortstop Nick Franklin to Class AAA

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Four more runs cross the plate in the sixth, two of them courtesy of an inside-the-park homer by Ryan Roberts off Hisashi Iwakuma. The ball got away from Michael Saunders in a tricky center field here and Roberts was off to the races.
So, it’s now 14-6 for the home side and the Mariners are just looking to get out of here without further humiliating themselves. Six home runs for the D-Backs ties a franchise record.
Lucas Luetge gave up two more earned runs that inning. That’s three he’s allowed in two days after not giving up any his first 25 outings.


2:22 p.m.: What an unmitigated disaster that was. The Mariners now trail 10-5 after five innings of play as Jason Vargas gave up his fifth homer of the day — a three-run shot by Justin Upton — and then struggled to get anyone else out. Shawn Kelley came on and gave up an RBI single to Ryan Roberts and a run-scoring double by John McDonald to bring home the last two runs, both charged to Vargas.
Final line for Vargas: 4 1/3 IP, nine hits, 10 earned runs, 2 BB, 2 K and five homers allowed.
U-G-L-Y. You ain’t got no alibi. You’re ugly! You’re ugly!
That’s the pitching line I’m refering to, in case anyone wondered.
Nope, not a good day for Vargas. Trade value? Talk to me in a few weeks and we’ll see whether he repairs the damage this day just caused his numbers. But any team out there will see 20 homers allowed in 16 starts, knowing that Vargas benefits from Safeco Field, and the alarm bells will be ringing full-throttle.
1:49 p.m.: Jason Vargas was just asking for trouble when he walked Jason Kubel to lead off the fourth inning. Sure enough, two batters later, Miguel Montero rocked him for a two-run homer to right. Two batters after that John McDonald — yeah, a backup middle infielder — took him deep to left. McDonald once hit a slam off the M’s when I was covering the Blue Jays, but still, this is a bit much.
We’re tied up 5-5.
1:28 p.m.: Looks like another day of playing Home Run Derby here at the anti-Safeco Field known as Chase Field. Jason Vargas gave up home runs in the first inning to Aaron Hill and Jason Kubel, but the Mariners roared back with five in the third off Trevor Cahill.
Vargas got that rally going with a leadoff single, Ichiro followed with his fifth hit in two days and then John Jaso showed why he’s such a good bat off the bench with a run-scoring double that tied the game.
A surging Casper Wells then drilled a double — yes, off another righty — for two more runs and a Mariners lead. Kyle Seager then unloaded one over the wall in right for his 10th homer this season and a 5-2 Mariners advantage.
Better settle in. This one ain’t done yet.
12:37 p.m.: We’ve got Jason Vargas taking the mound for today’s series finale in Phoenix. This just in: the Mariners have officially promoted pitcher Danny Hultzen and shortstop Nick Franklin to Class AAA from AA. We told you about Hultzen earlier yesterday and that he’d be up this week. Word began to trickle down last night that Franklin would also be joining him.
Today, it’s official. I’d expect Hultzen to be up here sooner than Franklin, namely because I can envision spots where he’d be used. Right now, unless Brendan Ryan is traded, that spot won’t really exist for Franklin until the September call-up season.
Anyhow, let’s see how both do in AAA first.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Hisashi Iwakuma

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