Franklin Gutierrez just ripped a single to center to bring home a pair and give the Mariners a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning. The big play of the inning came with Dustin Ackley on first base and Brendan Ryan up. Ryan blooped a ball to right for a single and Ackley aggressively pushed the play, challenging the cannon arm of Josh Reddick. The play at third was close but Ackley beat it by an eyelash, while Ryan alertly took second on the play.
And that aggressive running helped lead to two runs.
Felix Hernandez retired the first 10 batters in a row before John Jaso thanked him for the new Rolex by drilling a double to left center. Hernandez has allowed just that one hit thus far.
8:16 p.m.: Well, we’re finally here. Much has been said all off-season and in years prior to this one. Years of 101 losses in 2010, 95 more defeats in 2011 and 87 last year. Yeah, an optimist could see improvement there, but at that rate of return, we’ll be looking at a .500 team sometime in 2015 or 2016. The Mariners are looking to jumpstart the process a bit.
Tonight, we get our first look at Felix Hernandez with a semblance of an offense behind him. Hernandez made a classy pre-game gesture, having a clubhouse attendant deliver a package to opposing catcher John Jaso. Inside the package? A Rolex watch. Hernandez’s way of saying thanks for catching his perfect game last summer.