John Jaso leading off, Chone Figgins batting ninth and Jason Vargas on the mound as the Seattle Mariners attemt to win their fourth game in the last five to end a six-game home stand against the Detroit Tigers.
The Mariners have their right-handed lineup in this one – it includes Alex Liddi and Casper Wells, but also lefties from Jaso to Ichiro to Kyle Seager.
Roll out your thoughts – who’s going to play the key role in tonight’s game, for better or worse, and which team is going to win?
Will update the score and situation inning by inning.
Vargas blew threw the top of the Detroit order like this 49-degree breeze is zipping throught Safeco Field. Fly ball, ground ball then a K of Miguel Cabrera.
Mariners went down just as fast. ‘Tis hand-numbing cold right now, with breeze coming in. That might holdscore down, which begs the question: Can the Mariners offense be held down and, if so, how could you tell?
Vargas is a strike-throwing machine: 14 of first 17 pitches were strikes, and the Tigers went 1-2-3 again in the second. Throw strikes like that early, you can expand the zone later and get hitters chasing. Cool weather should favor the pitcher.
Mariners go down in a hurry on a strikeout and two fly balls. Hitters seem overpowered through two innings. Neither team has a baserunner.
Vargas allowed a single but nothing more and SS Brendan Ryan made a marvelous bare-handed play to get Austin Jackson and end the inning.
Mariners prove that sitting Liddi and Wells for days does not improve their swing, and Figgins walked to become Seattle’s first baserunner. Jaso flied out.
Vargas continues putting ‘em down as quickly as they come up. One hit in four innings. That’ll work.
History in the fourth - Ichiro’s single was the first by seattle but his 2,467th of his big league career. That moved him into 100th place on baseball’s all-time hit list. Ichiro stole second and with two outs, Seager doubled him home. That’s 20 RBI this season for Seager, and 13 have come with two outs. Mariners lead, 1-0.
Mr. Vargas worked around a single by getting a ground ball double play. Two hits allowed, no runner past first base yet. Look-ing good.
Liddi drew a leadoff walk and the Mariners are making Drew Smyly work hard despite the score. He’s thrown 85 pitches.
Gerald Laird opened with a double to left center field, took third on a soft single by Danny Worth. Austin Jackson flied out to get the tying run home, With runners at first and second, Vargas got Cabrera to ground into a DP. Mariners 1, Tigers 1
Mariners hurried through the sixth, 1-2-3.
Vargas gets a 1-2-3 inning and can’t pitch much better. All he needs are runs, and that’s been an issue for him since coming to Seattle.
Pitching change. Smyly out after 93 pitches, Luke Putkonen in. No matter. Mariners didn’t hit either one of them, went down 1-2-3 here.
Tom Wilhelmsen warmed up, but Vargas got through the inning without incident – has six strikeouts, no walks and 90 strikes thrown. Has allowed one run and is waiting on the Mariners offense.
Pinch-hit double for Michael Saunders to open the inning. Figgins bunted him to third base. Tigers brouht in LHP Duane Below. Jaso singled home the run over a drawn-in infield. Mariners 2, Tigers 1.
Brandon League trotting in.