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August 19, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Mariners shoot for fifth win in a row

Well, the Minnesota Twins finally conceeded the game in the seventh when they sent onetime Mariners relief pitcher Jeff Gray out there and watched him yield a leadoff double to Dustin Ackley and a two-run homer by Michael Saunders.
One walk and one single later, Eric Thames doubled down the right field line to make the score 5-1 in favor of the M’s, which pretty much guarantees a Seattle sweep the way the Twins are swinging the bats. With Cleveland coming in tomorrow, an eight-game winning streak might not be out of the question.
In two innings, though, it’ll be five in a row. The Twins have already squandered too many chances today to try to make a game of it now. The Mariners hung in there, then capitalized against Gray, who couldn’t even record outs of fewer than 300 feet until the very end. That kind of series, but the M’s will take it in their quest to better their record, which will now be .500 at home.

3:03 p.m.: We’re five innings in and the Mariners still lead it, 2-1, over the Minnesota Twins in another one of those games where both teams are having trouble capitalizing on scoring opportunities. The Mariners had two on with none out on a hit batter and a walk in the fifth, but then saw John Jaso ground into a fielder’s choice.
Jesus Montero lined out to shortstop after that — a bit of a tough break — before Justin Smoak popped out. The game is there for whoever wants to take it.
2:19 p.m.: Three innings in and the Mariners have a 2-1 lead and the Minnesota Twins are fortunate that’s all their deficit is. Samuel Deduno is living up to his rep as a guy who can pitch OK but also tends to be his own worst enemy. Deduno has allowed multiple baserunners in all three innings thanks to five walks.
But the Mariners only have two runs, one of which scored on a bases loaded walk to John Jaso and the other on a double-play grounder by Jesus Montero. So, the M’s aren’t exactly connecting with authority when it matters, they are merely letting an erratic pitcher beat himself.
The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Josh Willingham missed a homer by six inches off the top of the left field wall and settled for a double. He later came home on a not-too-deep fly ball to medium left that Trayvon Robinson wet-noodled to the plate.
1:04 p.m.: Break up the Mariners! Well, OK, let’s not go crazy here. But the Mariners do indeed have a shot at a series sweep of the Minnesota Twins this afternoon with Blake Beavan on the mound.
The Twins will send Samuel Deduno to the hill. He’s got an impressive 4-0 record and 3.38 ERA. But he does tend to walk a lot of guys. The M’s more patient offensive approach could come in handy today.
The lineups:
Twins (50-69)
11 Ben Revere (L) CF
12 Alexi Casilla (S) 2B
7 Joe Mauer (L) DH
16 Josh Willingham LF
33 Justin Morneau (L) 1B
18 Ryan Doumit (S) C
24 Trevor Plouffe 3B
22 Matt Carson RF
25 Pedro Florimon (S) SS
21 Samuel Deduno RHP
Mariners (57-64)
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
55 Michael Saunders (L) CF
15 Kyle Seager (L) 3B
27 John Jaso (L) C
63 Jesus Montero DH
17 Justin Smoak (S) 1B
10 Eric Thames (L) RF
12 Trayvon Robinson (S) LF
61 Munenori Kawasaki (L) SS
49 Blake Beavan RHP

Comments | Topics: Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero


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