Raul Ibanez just hit his second home run of the night and his 24th — no, I’m not making that up — of the season so far. Kendrys Morales then followed with a solo homer to center to make it 8-0 for the Mariners in the seventh inning. That’s four homers by Seattle tonight and for Ibanez…tough to believe what I’m seeing.
8:08 p.m.: The Mariners have poured on the offensive lumber tonight and lead it 6-0 in the fourth inning, having already chased starter Jerome Williams just 3 1/3 innings into the contest. Raul Ibanez hit his 23rd home run of the season in the fourth, a second-deck shot to right field that leaves him six long balls shy of Ted Williams for the most by a player age 41.
Ibanez also doubled home a run in the first inning. Kyle Seager then hit his 15th homer in the second inning, extending the team’s home run streak to a club record 20 games.
The Mariners blew it open with a four-run fourth as Ibanez opened with his homer, Kendrys Morales followed with a single and Seager walked. Mike Zunino and Dustin Ackley then added RBI singles to make it 5-0 and chase Williams. In came Garrett Richards and he promptly uncorked a wild pitch that brought another run home — charged to Williams as well.
The Angels had their chances to tie it off Joe Saunders when it was still a 1-0 game. Mark Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo opened with back-to-back doubles, but the second one was a blooper and the slow-moving Trumbo had to halt at third base. Saunders came back with consecutive strikeouts to escape and the Angels haven’t really been in the game since.
7:08 p.m.: The last time Joe Saunders faced his former Angels club was four weeks ago, when he tossed an eight-inning complete game but still lost 1-0, with the lone run scoring on a wild pitch.
The offense has picked up significantly since that time, so we’ll see whether Saunders can get away with a mistake or two tonight. The Mariners have lost three in a row and sit 12 games under .500, so they’d like to be able to snag some wins before the all-star break.
As for the Angels, they sit just two games under .500 and appear poised to make a move in the AL West, much as they did last season in winning 89 games despite a stumbling first few months.