Believe it or not, the Mariners now have a series lead on the Boston Red Sox despite scoring just four runs in three games. Seattle pulled out a 3-2 win in the 11th inning tonight and got help from some unlikely bats that have had their struggles this year.
Dustin Ackley got the winning rally going with a one-out single. Miguel Olivo came up next and quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count. But Olivo wasn’t done.
Olivo wound up rallying and lining a ball the other way into right field, which was big because that allowed Ackley to take third base.
Up came Chone Figgins, 0-for-4 on the night and without a big hit since who knows when. Figgins didn’t get a hit this time, but he lined a ball hard to right field.
Cody Ross made the catch and had a play at the plate. But the throw home took one of those in-between hops and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia could not corral it. Ackley scored on the tag-up and the Mariners pull out a win.
“You look for something to drive because you don’t want to take a non-aggressive swing,” Figgins said. “Because if you miss hit a fly ball, you’ve got a chance to score a run. So you really always think attack with a runner on third base less than two outs. That’s the one chance you get to try to hit a home run so you don’t want to back off your swing, you really want to be aggressive on it.”
Figgins also made that big play late on Adrian Gonzalez, charging his single down the left field line, picking the ball up and nabbing him at second trying to leg out a double.
“Actually, I didn’t know he was going,” Figgins said. “I was just going to get the ball in, hurry up and get it in. Then I looked up after I threw the ball in and he was gone.”
The Mariners still can’t generate much offense at home. But some stellar bullpen work got them through the game after Erasmo Ramirez left early with a right elbow injury. He had an MRI taken but the results won’t be known until tomorrow. Tom Wilhelmsen had to battle through the ninth and 10th innings after some seeing-eye hits. And then a great job by Shawn Kelley in the 11th to pick up the win. Some of the best stuff we’ve seen from Kelley all year.
The Mariners needed this one to take some heat off.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge was much happier with what he saw out of his team tonight compared to the debacle last night.
“I just loved our fight today,” Wedge said. “Playing a good ball in a tight game like that and our starter goes down early. When that happens, everybody is on deck. Everybody is going to have to fight hard to help us win that ball game. ”
“After last night to be able to come back tonight to have this type of ballgame against this type of club, that’s what we’re looking for.
“Good to see guys fight through the ballgame and ultimately come out on top.”