Dustin Ackley had his career high fourth hit of the game, a single in the ninth, to bring home another run and make it a 7-1 final in favor of the Mariners. That’s two in a row here with two to go. Ackley’s four RBI night ties a career high. First career win for Taijuan Walker, making him the first Mariners starter to win his debut since Anthony Vasquez in August 2011.
7:50 P.M.: Dustin Ackley collected a triple to center field for his third hit of the game. Abraham Almonte then singled for his first big league hit and second RBI, giving the Mariners a 6-1 lead midway through the eighth.
7:21 p.m.: Taijuan Walker is now done for the night, getting pulled with a 5-1 lead after five innings, having thrown only 70 pitches. Remember, he’s on an innings limit the rest of the year, so no sense pushing him too far when the Astros aren’t mounting much opposition tonight. Walker allowed just the two dubious “hits” and the one earned run, having struck out a pair while walking one. A good job.
6:53 p.m.: The Mariners added three runs in the fifth inning as Brad Miller led things off with his second hit of the game, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and then came home on a single through the right side by Kyle Seager. Brad Peacock then walked two batters to load the bases and Dustin Ackley drove in two more with a single to center. So, it’s now 5-1 for the Mariners.
6:23 p.m.: The Mariners scored two in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead As a pair of walks by Brad Peacock came back to haunt him. With two on and two out, Dustin Ackley lined a single down the right field line to tie the game and move Justin Smoak to third base. Abraham Almonte then hit a potential double-play ball to the shortstop, but hustled fast up the line and beat the relay to first.
It was Almonte’s first major league RBI.
6:08 p.m.: Taijuan Walker retired his first eight batters in a row, then watched Raul Ibanez leap for a liner to left and have the ball go off his glove for what was ruled a double. Moments later, Justin Smoak dropped a routine throw to first for an error that allowed an unearned run to score for a 1-0 Astros lead. Kyle Seager then had a grounder go off his glove for what was also ruled a hit — can I mention here that the official scoring in this game reminds me of the Astros’ season? Walker otherwise got out of it with no earned runs charged. Could have a no-hitter, but we don’t worry about these things in the third inning, now do we?
Mariners had runners at corners with none out in second and failed to score. Yep, things going just great.
5:03 p.m.: This might rate as the biggest excitement we get the rest of the season, but Taijuan Walker is indeed making his major league debut for the Mariners tonight.
Walker is the first member of Seattle’s so-called “Big 3” to make it to the majors. Now, all he’ll have to do is make the all-star team, pitch his team to the playoffs, hope the other two guys follow suit and then we can have some real comparisons to the Zito-Mulder-Hudson trio from Oakland a decade ago.
Until then, as Bob Seager might say, we’ve got tonight.