Jason Bay just tied the game on the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh, hitting a solo homer just beyond the left field wall. That’s a Safeco-fences-moved-in shot right there and Jason Vargas is the victim. As for the Mariners, they truly needed that one. We’re tied 1-1 in the seventh.
2:40 p.m.: The Mariners blinked first and trail 1-0 after an unearned run by the Angels in the sixth courtesy of shortstop Robert Andino’s error. With Austin Romine on second and one out, Mike Trout hit a grounder to Andino, who appeared to have his eye on third base. Trout would have been tough to nail at first because he’s so quick up the line and Andino might have had a better shot at third. But the ball got by him and rendered the whole point moot.
2:15 p.m.: We’re still scoreless heading to the fifth inning of a solid mound duel between Hisashi Iwakuma and Jason Vargas. Remember, Vargas pitches for the Angels now. Both teams have two hits apiece, the Mariners getting a one-out double to right by Kelly Shoppach last frame. But they failed to get him any further than that.
Menawhile, Iwakuma has logged six strikeouts already and retired the last seven in a row.
12:55 p.m.: This is a pretty important game for the Mariners. Take today’s contest against former Mariners starter Jason Vargas and the Mariners will have claimed three of four from the Los Angeles Angels and grabbed their first series of the season.
It’s late April, so that series win is long overdue. The Mariners have also not won two in a row since April 1 and 2 in Oakland. I can guarantee you, this will never be a .500 club if the Mariners fail to win two in a row the rest of the season.
They have Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound today and have played three pretty good games to start this series. Win three here, they will start to distance themselves a bit from that putrid road trip and can focus on how to get themselves back to the .500 mark come June. Michael Saunders is expected back in action tomorrow for the Mariners as long as he feels OK playing center field for Class AAA Tacoma today.
Saunders text messaged manager Eric Wedge last night and told him “I’m ready!”
They are six games under right now. Five under will feel a whole lot better than seven come Monday morning.
Justin Smoak finally gets a day off today as he still awaits the results that have eluded him thus far.
The Mariners take a bit of a risk today in using Jesus Montero as the DH. That means, if Kelly Shoppach goes down to injury, the Mariners would forfeit the DH the rest of the game since Montero would have to catch. It’s a small risk to take, but the Mariners want Shoppach catching Iwakuma today — keeping Montero from the day game after night chores.