May 8, 2013 at 9:34 AM
Game thread, Mariners vs. Pirates, May 8: M’s win, 2-1
Mariners wrap up a tense 2-1, come-from-behind win to finish 3-2 on this road trip. Wilhelmsen gave up a two-out single to Jones, but got McKenry to fly out to end it. Fifth win for Hernandez, ninth save for Wilhelmsen.
(Tom Wilhelmsen is coming in to pitch the ninth to protect a 2-1 lead for Felix Hernandez, who was outstanding: eight innings, six hits, one walk, five strikeouts.)
PIRATES EIGHTH: Marte reaches on two-out infield single (on a very similar play to his infield hit to lead off the game yesterday, but is caught stealing as he stops halfway. Montero credited with the caught stealing, his first of season after 15 successful attempts against him. 2-1 Mariners.
PIRATES SEVENTH: Hernandez gave up a leadoff single but erased it with a double play. He’s through seven with 90 pitches and has thrown a five-hitter so far. Really, a masterful effort, considering he doesn’t appear to have electric stuff. 2-1 Mariners
MARINERS SEVENTH: Jesus Montero, much maligned of late, came through with a huge hit — a homer to center field on the first pitch of the at-bat from Burnett, giving the M’s a 2-1 lead.
MARINERS SIXTH: A promising “rally” for the Mariners — leadoff walk by Saunders, steals second, moves to third on Bay’s ground out — goes nowhere. Seager grounded out to second with a drawn-in infield, with Saunders unable to score, and Morales struck out. 1-1
PIRATES FIFTH: The Pirates got the potential go-ahead run to third with one out on a Mercer double and fly out, but Hernandez struck out Burnett and Marte. 1-1
MARINERS FIFTH: They finally get a hit with one out on a grounder by Chavez to the right of second baseman Mercer, who backhands, but his off-balance throw is wild. It’s ruled hit/error as Chavez gets to second. And he gets no farther as Andino grounds to shortstop and Hernandez fans. 1-1
MARINERS FOURTH: M’s tie it up without a hit, by virtue of two walks, a ground out and a wild pitch that scored Saunders from third (after Burnett went 0-2 on Dustin Ackley). Ackley struck out looking — the seventh Mariner to go down. 1-1.
PIRATES THIRD: Felix puts up his first 1-2-3 inning, and ends it by striking out McCutchen, the first time he’s been retired in this series. 1-0 Pirates
MARINERS THIRD: Burnett has been totally dominant so far — nine up, nine down with five strikeouts. No ball his left the infield. 1-0 Pirates
PIRATES FIRST: Eric Wedge was raving before the game about Andrew McCutchen, and he bit the Mariners again with an RBI single after Starling Marte led off with a double. McCutchen is now 5-for-5 in this series. Hernandez walked Garrett Jones but got McKenry to hit into an inning-ending DP. 1-0 Pirates.
MARINERS FIRST: Last time he faced the Mariners — with the Yankees in 2011 — A.J. Burnett struck out 11 in a 3-2 win over Charlie Furbush. He struck out two today in a 1-2-3 first.
Apparently, I had Mike Morse playing first base in an early version of the lineup I posted earlier. That was me not being able to read the writing in my notebook. It’s Kendrys Morales at first, as Morse gets the day off after his three-strikeout effort last night. With a 2-2 record on this brief trip, this game will determine if they finish with a losing or winning record.
A good omen: Felix Hernandez is 5-0 with a 0.99 ERA in his last six road interleague starts. Overall, he’s 6-2, 2.31 in 10 career starts in NL stadiums. A not-so-good omen: Pirates starter A.J. Burnett was 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four interleague starts last year. He joined Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg as the only pitchers to go 4-0 in interleague play.