There’s a chance Ichiro might be playing his final game ever at Safeco Field. I mean, he’s hardly tearing it up this year and who knows what the future holds? If so, he just scored the go-ahead run in the ninth inning of this game, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead. Ichiro walked, took second on a bunt, then scored on a single to left field by Chris Stewart — who hass factored in both Yankees scoring rallies today.
3:40 p.m.: Felix Hernandez did what he had to do to keep the Mariners positioned for a win today, going seven innings and allowing just one run. Unfortunately, we’re still tied 1-1 heading to the bottom of the eighth because the Mariners’ offense — as expected — hasn’t been a factor today. The Mariners have just three hits so far, giving them seven the past two days.
Hernandez looked to have a back spasm on the mound with two out in the seventh, prompting a visit from team trainer Rick Griffin. Hernandez still had enough for one last pitch, reaching back and fanning Brett Gardner with a four-seam fastball. He was pulled from the game after that and will not get a decision.
1:58 p.m.: We’re tied 1-1 midway through the fourth after Brendan Ryan’s infield single in the second knotted up the score. Kelly Shoppach stroked a one-out double that frame, took third on a groundout and then scored when Ryan hit one deep in the hole at shortstop and Yankees infielder Reid Brignac had no play on the ball. Even Ryan would have had a tough time making that throw.
The Yankees opened the scoring off Felix Hernandez in the top of the second, with Jayson Nix leading off with a single and Chris Stewart dropping a perfect bunt hit up the third base line. Brett Gardner followed with a single to center to bring home the run.
With two on, Hernandez escaped the inning on a 4-6-3 double-play grounder to keep it close.
12:50 p.m.: With so many players hurt, or playing that way, the Mariners are now trying to stay afloat while waiting for better times ahead. Trouble is, no one really knows for sure when that will happen.
The best they can do now is salvage a series split with the Yankees, then hope they can finally solve the Houston Astros the way so many other teams have already.
Time is running out on the Mariners in 2013. And yes, it’s gotten to the point where losing series at home is no longer an option. Not when they are nine games under .500 and trying to avoid being double-digits below.
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