Franklin Gutierrez has a tight muscle in the middle of his back, so the Seattle Mariners have a hole in the heart of their lineup.
Out for a second day in a row, Gutierrez will get treatment during the day and the Mariners hope to get him back in the lineup tomorrow in Tampa Bay.
Without him, the lineup remains in a scramble mode, with center field held down by Ryan Langerhans, who’s batting .235 but has drawn nine walks in his first six games.
It’s Felix Hernandez vs. Kevin Millwood, with Mike Sweeney the designated hitter against the right-handed Orioles starter.
- Two pitchers working fast and well through two innings, and the Orioles have the only hit – a one-out single in the second. Millwood has struck out two, Hernandez two. And third baseman Jose Lopez made a lunging, over-the-shoulder catch of a foul pop-up. Clean, quick baseball.
- Ichiro opened the fourth inning with an infield single and Chone Figgins bunted him to second base. Casey Kotchman flied to center field. Sweeney walked on a 3-2 pitch. Lopez grounded out. No score.
- A one out walk to Nick Markakis was followed by a wild pitch and a ground ball, so Hernandez needed to get Ty Wigginton to get out of the inning unscathed. On a pitch that was up and in, Wigginton managed to bloop an opposite field single for the RBI. He has both Orioles hits today. After four: Baltimore, 1, Seattle 0.
- Ryan Langerhans doubled and took third on a fly ball. Rob Johnson grounded out, Langerhans forced to hold at third. Michael Saunders had a great at-bat, fouling off six pitches in a 10-pitch sequence before singling home a run. Ichiro homered, his first of the season. In the fifth: Seattle 3, Baltimore 1.
- With one out in the sixth, Sweeney homered, his first. In the sixth: Seattle 4, Baltimore 1.
- Corey Patterson doubled and Adam Jones got him to third base with a ground ball. Felix got a comebacker from Markakis, holding Patterson. Miguel Tejada struck. That is vintage Hernandez.
- With two outs, Saunders homered, his second. In the seventh: Seattle 5, Baltimore 1.
- Brandon League replaced Felix, who left after seven innings and 105 pitches. League got into trouble, couldn’t get a third out and on his 16th pitch gave up Luke Scott’s second career grand slam. Yikes! After eight: Baltimore 6, Seattle 5.
- One out into the ninth, Josh Wilson is hit by a Afredo Simon pitch. Pinch-hitting, Ken Griffey Jr. was hit by a pitch. Saunders struck out. Ichiro singled. Wilson was thrown out at the plate. It’s a final: Baltimore 6, Seattle 5.