Seattle scored two more runs in the sixth to make it a 5-1 game, with Trayvon Robinson and Eric Thames hitting back-to-back doubles and then Dustin Ackley adding an RBI single to chase Nick Blackburn from the game. Neither Blackburn nor the Twins appear intent on making this much of a game.
They had their chance against Hisashi Iwakua in the fifth, but he now enters the seventh on 86 pitches with a three-hitter going.
8:43 p.m.: Hisashi Iwakuma finally allowed a baserunner when Justin Morneau led off the fifth with a double. That snapped a streak of 42 consecutive batters retired by Mariners pitching, which I’m told the Elias Sports Bureau has calculated is the longest since at least 1974. Still awaiting more information on that.
Anyhow, things took a pretty serious turn on Iwakuma in that fifth when a throwing error by Brendan Ryan put runners on second and third. One out later, Matt Carson singled to make it a 3-1 game, Seattle still ahead.
For some reason, the Twins held the lead runner at third. I know it was a shallow hit but Trayvon Robinson doesn’t have a great arm and made a terrible throw back in. The decision proved costly for the Twins, who wound up loading the bases on a walk, but then saw consecutive strikeouts end the inning.
On to the sixth, M’s leading by a pair.
8:11 p.m.: Hisashi Iwakuma has pitched four perfect innings to start tonight’s game off. His team is rolling with a 3-0 lead and M’s pitchers have now retired 42 hitters in a row dating back to Jeff Keppinger’s leadoff double in the ninth inning on Tuesday.
7:44 p.m.: Miguel Olivo took Nick Blackburn over the left field wall in the second inning to give Seattle a 3-0 lead. That’s two homers by Mariners catchers in their first two at-bats tonight.
7:30 p.m.: John Jaso gave the Mariners a 2-0 lead in the first inning, taking a Nick Blackburn pitch over the right field wall. Michael Saunders was already aboard, having snapped an 0-for-17 slump with a single to center. Saunders then stole second base before Jaso connected with two out.
Hisashi Iwakuma just went 1-2-3 in the second and has retired six in a row. That’s 11 perfect innings in a row for M’s pitchers.
7:07 p.m.: Felix Hernandez was honored down on the field prior to tonight’s game against the Minnesota Twins. Hernandez received a framed picture of himself celebrating the final out of Wednesday’s perfect game. On the photo were the words: “The King of Perfection.”
The visitors will pretty much send the antithesis of Hernandez to the mound tonight in Nick Blackburn, one of the worst starting pitchers in the majors throwing for the worst team in the American League (this week, anyway).
Hisashi Iwakuma tries to build off some recent success for the Mariners.