I’ll be your host today. Ryan Divish is still recovering from his appendectomy and Larry Larue is en route to Kansas City. Hopefully, Larry has planned properly and will be able to visit here and here and here during his business trip to the “Paris of the Plains.”
Some notes about today’s game:
— The Mariners can sweep the three-game series with Toronto by beating the Blue Jays today. Seattle last swept a team when it took down Cincinnati June 18-20 in 2010.
— Seattle’s bullpen has thrown 16.2 consecutive scoreless innings. .
— Catcher Chris Gimenez will start his second game since being called up Friday from Triple-A Tacoma.
I’m heading down to the clubhouse for some pregame interviews. I’ll be back later with updates.
First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 p.m. Here are the lineups:
SS Yunel Escobar
CF Corey Patterson
RF Jose Bautista
LF Juan Rivera
3B Jayson Nix
DH J.P. Arencibia
1B Edwin Encarnacion
2B John McDonald
C Jose Molina
P Kyle Drabek (1-0, 1.38 ERA)
RF Ichiro Suzuki
2B Adam Kennedy
LF Milton Bradley
DH Jack Cust
1B Justin Smoak
CF Ryan Langerhans
3B Luis Rodriguez
SS Brendan Ryan
C Chris Gimenez
P Jason Vargas (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
Seattle manager Eric Wedge met with media before the game and said he’s planning for third baseman Chone Figgins to return from his thumb injury for tomorrow’s game at Kansas City.
Wedge also expects outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to join Triple-A Tacoma possibly as early as Friday.
“We’re going to shoot to get him out this weekend, that’s what we’re hoping for,” Wedge said. “If all goes well, we’ll shoot for Friday in Tacoma.”
Vargas produced a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Bautista to end the inning.
An error led to Seattle putting Kennedy on second and Bradley on first with one out, but the Mariners couldn’t capitalize. Cust flew out to left field and Smoak grounded out to Drabek, ending the inning.
Back-to-back doubles from Jose Molina and Yunel Escobar gave Toronto a 1-0 run. Vargas didn’t get rattled and recorded an inning-ending strikeout of Bautista for the second time.
With two out, Ichiro went from first to home on Bradley’s RBI double to the gap, tying the score 1-1. Cust followed with an infield single that sent Bradley to third. Smoak ended the inning by striking out.
Bradley helped Vargas out of a jam in the fifth. With Molina on second and Patterson on first with two out, Vargas worked a 3-2 count to Bautista, who launched a deep fly to foul territory along the left-field line. Bradley charged in, leaning over the railing and behind a fan to catch the ball and end the inning.
Still tied 1-1.
Smoak led off the bottom of the inning by blasting an opposite-field home run on a 3-2 pitch. The M’s chased Drabek, who threw 5 2/3 innings and allowed six hits, four walks, two earned runs and struck out five. With two out and runners on first and third, the inning ended on a Suzuki strikeout.
Mariners lead 2-1.
After striking out John McDonald on his 105th pitch of the game, Vargas is pulled. He had a fantastic out, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, one earned run, one walk and struck out seven.
Jamey Wright came on in relief and struck out Jose Molina to end the inning. Seattle’s bullpen has now thrown 17 consecutive scoreless innings.
Reliever Chris Ray started the inning for Seattle and most likely ended the Mariners’ chance at sweeping Toronto. Escobar and Patterson led off the inning with singles and Bautista drilled a three-run home run over left field that gave the Blue Jays a 4-2 lead. Edwin Encarnzion added an RBI double and Jose Molina hit a two-run double to center field off Josu Lueke that made it 7-2.
Seattle tacked on a run in the bottom of the eighth when Langerhans scored on a Ryan single.
Not much of note here. Final score is Toronto 8, Seattle 3.
The announced attendance of 12,407 is smallest crowd in the history of Safeco Field.