Midway through the fifth inning, the M’s still lead it 2-1. Blake Beavan has gotten into a bit of a groove in the way he’s mixed his pitches up a bit. He’s retired 10 of the last 11 on either ground balls or strikeouts.
Matt Moore is also on a roll, having retired eight in a row.
The Mariners this series have scored 21 of 38 runs on this trip in the first two innings of games. That’s 21 runs over the same early 14-inning span. In the remaining 50 innings — all after the two opening frames — they’ve scored just 17 runs.
Tough to keep winning that way without a whole lot of mound help.
11:14 a.m.: Blake Beavan gave the run right back to the Rays in the bottom of the first, but the Mariners just retook the lead 2-1 on a Brendan Ryan double with two out in the second. Michael Saunders reached an infield hit, then appeared to be cooked when he broke for second on a steal just as Matt Moore threw over to first base. But first baseman Carlos Pena made a poor throw to second and Saunders slid in safely.
Ryan then ripped a pitch down the left field line to give Seattle the lead.
Beavan was helped in the first inning by a leaping catch at the wall by Ichiro to rob Pena of an extra-base hit. With two out and none on, Ben Zobrist ripped a double off the first base bag and then scored on a single to right by Matt Joyce.
10:56 a.m.: So, the Mariners have opened the scoring in the first inning for the third straight game here and the fifth time in seven contests this road trip. Casper Wells led things off with a double down the right field line, but was thrown out at third after a terrible bunt by Ichiro that went right back to pitcher Matt Moore.
Ichiro made up for it a bit with a pair of stolen bases. He then scored on a Jesus Motero double. Let’s now see whether the M’s get anymore runs this entire game. Didn’t do it last night after taking a 2-0 lead.
10:39 a.m.: It’s Star Wars Day at the ballpark and we just saw Darth Vader try to throw out the first pitch. Hopefully, Blake Beavan can hit the catcher’s mitt with a bit more accuracy.
Given how bad the offense has been this series, it’s a bit amazing that the M’s have a shot at taking two of three. But they do: provided they can score some runs, preferably not all of them in just the first inning.