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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

April 23, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Game thread: Astros 3, Mariners 2, bottom of 8th

The Mariners loaded the bases with two out in the first, but came away empty as Raul Ibanez grounded out.

The Mariners loaded the bases with two out in the first, but came away empty as Raul Ibanez grounded out.

Kendrys Morales demolished a pitch in the eighth inning and sent it some 400-plus feet over the wall in left-center to cut the Houston lead to 3-2. But the Mariners are running out of time. By the way, Mariners pitchers have notched 13 strikeouts as we head to the bottom of the eighth.

7:15 p.m.: Hisashi Iwakuma is prone to yielding gopher balls out of nowhere and he did it again in the third inning, giving up a solo shot to right by No. 9 hitter Marwin Gonzalez to fall behind by a run. Later in the inning, the bases were loaded with two out when Iwakuma hit Justin Maxwell with a pitch to force in a run. I wonder whether Iwakuma’s blister finger is acting up? The Mariners were threatening in the top of the third after singles by Michael Morse and Justin Smoak. But Raul Ibanez stranded the runners again by flying out to left.

5:54 p.m.: The Mariners have been hitting with some authority tonight and tied it up 1-1 in the top of the second. Dustin Ackley notched a one-out single, then scored on a two-out double to right center by Endy Chavez. Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez didn’t look too sharp in taking the relay throw, otherwise he likely would have nailed Ackley at the plate. Part of what the Astros are all about.

5:40 p.m.: Not the start the Mariners or Raul Ibanez were hoping for as they trail 1-0 heading to the second inning. Seattle loaded the bases in the top of the first as Kendrys Morales walked and then Michael Morse and Justin Smoak singled to load the bases. But Ibanez grounded out and that was it.

Then, in the bottom of the inning, Hisashi Iwakuma got the first two outs, then walked Jason CastroChris Carter then lined a ball to the left field corner. Ibanez chased after it, but bobbled the ball as he played it. That error allowed Castro to just make it home all the way from first base. Tough start to the night for Ibanez after a two-day absence.

5:02 p.m.: Hisashi Iwakuma has been bothered by a blister issue since spring training and wow, has he looked great all that time. The problem is, he often has to leave the game about six or sevent innings in. The good news is, he often leaves with the lead.

The Mariners will take blister problems like those. Thing is, they do hope he gets over it soon. Would be nice to have him throw more than 70 pitches in a start.

Comments | More in game thread | Topics: Hisashi Iwakuma; Raul Ibanez; Kendrys Morales; Justin Smoak

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