Justin Smoak tied it 2-2 by putting Scott Diamond’s full-count pitch over the wall in left center to lead off the bottom of the seventh. That was Smoak’s first homer since July 17 at Kansas City and only the second time all year he’s had multiple extra-base hits in a game.
The only other time he’s done it was on May 30 in a 21-8 rout at Texas.
8:12 p.m.: Runs are at a premium tonight and Jason Vargas gave one up in his seventh and final inning of work to fall behind 2-1.
Matt Carson and Pedro Florimon led off with singles to left field, followed one out later by a single to left from Dari Mastroianni that loaded the bases. Joe Mauer then grounded a ball to Dustin Ackley, who got the force out at second but the M’s did not have time to turn a double play.
The go-ahead run scored at that point.
Vargas left the game and Josh Kinney came on and got an inning-ending grounder.
7:44 p.m.: Midway through the sixth inning, we’re still tied 1-1. Jason Vargas got into some trouble in the fifth when he bobbled a two-out grounder for an error and then saw Ryan Doumit reach on an infield hit.
But Vargas got Trevor Plouffe to ground into a fielder’s choice.
The Mariners have just four hits to this point, one fewer than the Twins. Justin Smoak led off the fifth with a double, but gor no further as Casper Wells flew out to left, Michael Saunders grounded out and Brendan Ryan went down swinging.
6:54 p.m.: Three innings into this one and we’re all tied up at 1-1. Minnesota had taken a 1-0 lead on a first-inning RBI single by Justin Morneau. Jason Vargas gave up a leadoff single to Jamey Carroll, who took second on a one-out wild pitch, then came home on Morneau’s hit to center.
Pedro Florimon had a triple in the second inning with two out, but Vargas fanned Carroll to end the inning.
Michael Saunders got the tying rally going in the third by notching the first Seattle hit on a one-out single after Scott Diamond had retired seven in a row. Brenadan Ryan then singled to left, with Saunders taking third, and Dustin Ackley singled to right to bring the run home.
6:08 p.m.: Jason Vargas takes the mound tonight against Minnesota Twins left-hander Scott Diamond, who is about the best thing the Twinkies can offer up starting-wise these days.
Vargas hasn’t pitched since out-dueling Jered Weaver in Anaheim six days ago.
The Mariners have won 10 of 11 at home, five of six overall and have actually caught the Toronto Blue Jays in the standings. Who’d have thought that back at the All-Star Break? Then again, whod have thought the M’s could pass the Cleveland Indians back in June?
It’s been a wacky baseball season. Let’s see whether the M’s can catch an AL West team.