Yes, it has the feel of unbelieveable, but the Seattle Mariners have won three consecutive games – three short of their season-best run – and would love nothing more than to keep it rolling into their final home stand.
Jason Vargas will start for Seattle, which has its 131st unique lineup of the year posted to face Texas right-hander Rich Harden. Remember last winter, when Harden was considered one of the more valuable free agent pitchers?
He’s gone 5-5 with a 5.42 ERA this year. So much for high impact.
The Mariners are sitting on 61 wins with five to play. meaning two more wins gets them in under the 100-loss wire. Rookie Justin Smoak is batting cleanup against his former Rangers teammates, and has homered in back-to-back games.
- Chone Figgins singled with one out and with two outs, Justin Smoak homered – his 13th – for the third consecutive game. In the first: Seattle 2, Texas 0.
- Jeff Francoeur doubled and David Murphy was safe on a Figgins error. With one out, Matt Treanor’s fly ball scored Francoeur with an unearned run. In the second: Seattle 2, Texas 1.
- Ichiro led off the inning with base hit No. 208, and now trails Edgar Martinez’s franchise record for career hits (2, 247) by nine. Figgins doubled Ichiro to third base. Franklin Gutierrez doubled home both runs. In the fifth: Seattle 4, Texas 1.
- Vargas pitched around two infield singles – both played into hits by third baseman Matt Mangini. He’s held Tgrexas to one run through five innings.
- Guillermo Quiroz doubled, extending his hitting streak – which began May 31, 2009 – to six consecutive games. Chris Woodward singled him to third. Ichiro was safe on an error, Quiroz scoring. Figgins singld to load ‘em up. Gutierrez and Smoak struck out. Mangini grounded out. In the sixth: Seattle 5, Texas 1.
- Vargas has worked through six tough innings and 91 pitches in the heat and may be done – Garrett Olson was warming up in the bullpen. Vargas is in line for his career-best 10th win if the lead holds.
- Olson on in relief to pitch the seventh inniing. He’s now clean-shaven. A two-out, two-base error set up another unearned run when Michael Young doubled home Ian Kinsler. Jamey Wright replaced Olson. In he seventh: Seattle 5, Texas 2.
- Reliever Mark Lowe, activated from the Texas disabled list today, is on to pitch the eighth inning. If he pitches well this week, Lowe could be on the Rangers post-season roster. With two outs, Figgins singled and is now 4-for-4 today. Lowe got out of the inning striking out two, throwing his fastball at 95 mph.
- Wright allowed a pair of singles and was pulled with one out in favor of rookie Dan Cortes. On four pitches, Cortes walked Treanor to load ‘em up. On four more pitches, he walked Andres Blanco to force home a run. Borbon singled home a run. A wild pitch got the tying run home. In the eighth: Seattle 5, Texas 5.
- Cortes pitched the ninth inning, topped out at 98 mph, but walked Mitch Moreland. Pinch-hitter Nelson Cruz swung and missed a third strike that eluded catcher Quiroz – wild pitch – and Quiroz retrieved the ball and threw wildly to first. Moreland scored. It’s a final: Texas 6, Seattle 5.