Topic: nick franklin; joe saunders; comeback; robby thompson
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August 20, 2013 at 11:29 PM
This was just the third win all season by the Mariners in a game they’ve trailed after seven innings. They’ve lost another 50 of those, so you kind of sense how the season has gone. Throw in the 10 walkoff losses and it’s usually the Mariners bullpen hanging its head after these types of games.
But not tonight.
That’s because tonight, the Mariners scored five runs in the eighth and won 7-4 in a game they’d trailed all night and had only managed two hits in before the frame began.
But one of those hits was a two-run homer by Nick Franklin off Sonny Gray and wow, did it matter. That’s because winning a game you trail 4-2 in the eighth seems a little more doable than one in which it’s 4-0. Puts more pressure on the opposing bullpen as well and pressure is all the Mariners kept sending the A’s relievers’ way.
Sean Doolittle simply could not get anyone out, including Franklin, who drilled a game-tying single off him to spoil Gray’s quest for his second career win.
“The pressure is on him,” Franklin said of Doolittle, who’d already given up three straight hits and a run to start the inning. “I was just looking for a good pitch to hit. More than anything, just fighting my way to just put the ball in-play somehow and some way. With the pressure that was on him, if they make a mistake, it’s a different ballgame.”
Ryan Cook came in after that and couldn’t stop the bleeding. He uncorked a wild pitch to bring in the go-ahead run, then saw Franklin score on a grounder to second baseman Alberto Callaspo, who tried to nab the runner at home on a bang-bang play.
Franklin jabbed his right foot in ahead of the tag, while his left leg got spiked by catcher Derek Norris on the knee. Trainers helped Franklin off the field and he was given five stitches to close the laceration. The injury should keep him out the next four to five days until the stitches can heal.
Norris was also hurt, having fractured his big left toe. He’ll probably need to go on the DL.
Despite the wound, it was still a great night for Franklin as he battles back from a terrible hitting slump that had seen him not go deep in more than three weeks. Franklin’s homer came on a high changeup by Gray, a big victory of sorts for Franklin, who has struggled with changeups throughout his slump.
“I wasn’t really expecting anything, I was just trying to go back with my same approach,’’ Franklin said. “I really worked hard on it today in BP and everything.’’