Mariners Insider

Romero’s homer tops list of positives as Mariners beat A’s 4-2

Post by Bob Dutton / The News Tribune on May 5, 2014 at 11:21 pm with 5 Comments »
May 5, 2014 11:21 pm

OAKLAND, Calif. — Let’s start with the homer. Lots of stuff went right Monday night for the Mariners as they continued their recent surge with a 4-2 victory over the Oakland A’s at the Coliseum.

We’ll get to that but, first, that homer.

It came in the fifth inning after the A’s had just pulled even. It put the Mariners ahead for good. It was the first homer of Stefen Romero’s career. And it was a no-doubter to left on a hittable change-up.

How’d it feel, you wonder?

“You can’t really feel it,” Romero related. “That’s the thing. No vibration. Nothing. When it comes off the barrel, it just feels like a hot knife cutting through butter. That’s the best way to explain it.”

A’s starter Scott Kazmir had allowed just one other homer this season in 43 previous innings. He was unbeaten in six starts and sporting a 2.11 ERA that included six shutout innings against the Mariners on April 13.

While the Mariners nicked Kazmir for two runs in the first inning, Chris Young surrendered the lead on Brandon Moss’ two-run homer in the fourth. All prelude for Romero’s two-out moment in the fifth.

Actually, it was his second chance at a special moment. Romero just missed a pitch from Kazmir with two outs in the third inning. The result was a fly to deep right for an out.

Here, though, on a 0-1 count in the fifth, Kazmir floated a change-up and, in Romero’s words: “I made sure not to miss it again.”

The Mariners added another run against Kazmir, 4-1, in the sixth before riding a strong outing from Young and some sterling match-up moments from their bullpen in winning for the eighth time in 10 games.

Young, 2-0, permitted just two runs and three hits while pitching into the seventh before the Mariners ran through a five-reliever relay.

“Sometimes, you’re better than your results,” Young said. “Sometimes, you’re not. Tonight, I probably got away with a few pitches that they fouled off, and then got lucky with some of the ones they put in play.

“They missed the barrel. I’ll take it.”

The closing innings brimmed with match-up strategies and counter-strategies but, manager Lloyd McClendon said: “It went just like we wanted it to go. In the end, the guys did what they’re supposed to do. They executed pitches. When you do that, it looks good.”

Young carried that 4-2 lead into the seventh, but Josh Donaldson led off with a single before Moss battled through 12 pitches for a walk after falling behind 0-2 in the count.

That finished Young; the Mariners turned to struggling Charlie Furbush — and Furbush fell behind 2-0 on Alberto Callapso before inducing a double-play grounder.

“I’m just staying the course,” said Furbush, who entered the game with a 7.71 ERA. “I’m believing in myself and having that confidence that, `Hey, I’m all right.’

“Things aren’t as bad as they may seem sometimes. You’ve just got to do the best you can to keep things simple.”

Double plays help.

Then back to the bullpen for Dominic Leone, who walked pinch-hitter Derek Norris. That led to another pinch-hitter, Josh Reddick, and another pitching change — to Joe Beimel.

And that prompted another pinch-hitter: Yoenis Cespedes, who popped out to second. Beimel also retired the first two hitters in the eighth before exiting after Coco Crisp’s two-out single.

Yoervis Medina ended the inning by getting Jed Lowrie to fly to center. Fernando Rodney retired three straight hitters for his eighth save in nine chances. The victory also lifted the Mariners back to .500 at 15-15.

There were other pluses, too:

Michael Saunders had two more hits and is now 10-for-23 in his last five games. Corey Hart opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first after Kazmir struck out Robinson Cano with runners at first and second.

Shortstop Brad Miller made a sparkling play on a rocket by Donaldson for the first out in the ninth. Young shows increasing signs that, finally healthy, he can be a reliable cog in the rotation. Rodney had a no-drama ninth.

Romero’s homer stood out, though. He chugged quickly around the bases before returning to the first-homer ritual of a silent dugout.

“When everybody was quiet,” he said, “I knew what they were doing. I tried to play it off a little bit. I went over to the end of the dugout, took off my batting glove and put my bat away.

“I wanted to bee-line it to the edge of the dugout for when they rushed me. Then Cano got a base-hit. And right after Cano got the base-hit, that’s when they lost it.”

A good night all around.


Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. AZBubba71 says:

    Hmmm…Romero starting to produce and Elias has been great! Who could have predicted that?

    Hoping that Miller will come around…a guy that bats nearly .500 for all of spring training, is slightly above average defensively (yeah, that error in Texas was horrible), and has great home to 2nd and 3rd speed just has too much talent to struggle forever.

  2. SRVHawk says:

    Miller hasn’t been good. Who would’ve predicted that?

    Romero has a .699 OPS. Not exactly setting the world on fire yet.

    To be clear, I like both players and think they should play regularly. I see both as likely being above average MLB players in the future.

    Elias has been very good. No doubt about it. It is 7 starts though. Let’s not schedule the party quite yet. Teams have no real scouting report on him. Erasmo Ramirez has been very good for stretches and struck out 10 guys in a game for some perspective. I do like the way he pitches, and his stuff is better than I had heard though. I hope all three have great careers with the M’s.

  3. AZBubba71 says:

    Romero “starting to produce”…think I saw some type of stat that he is batting .309 in his last ?? ABs. He is a young player that will struggle a bit (as they almost all do) before figuring it out.

    Elias is starting to face teams for the second time and has so far held up well…I like his composure, focus, and quiet confidence (stuff isn’t bad, either). (Never believed in Ramirez…looks like a 4th or 5th starter that will struggle to go 6 innings consistently and give up about 4 or 5 runs.)

    I’ve got to believe that Miller will find his way out of this. Though further along than Romero, he is still a young player that will struggle a bit. He has shown too many flashes of talent, and apparently has a great work ethic, for me to believe that he will not be a contributing everyday SS.

  4. SRVHawk says:

    I like Miller and Romero and think they should be playing. The M’s certainly doesn’t have better options at the moment. Both are young and will struggle with consistency. Miller’s defense has been pretty good until recently. Hope that his offensive struggles aren’t messing with his focus.

    I have been impressed with Elias’ composure and intensity on the mound. I’m just cautioning that it has only been 7 starts. I can’t imagine him not having a stretch where he struggles in 2014, which is natural for a young pitcher. Hard to imagine him finishing the year with these numbers. He clearly should be in the rotation over Ramirez. I still believe Ramirez could be a 3-4 starter if he could remain healthy for an extended stretch, but he doesn’t have a spot in this rotation if everyone is healthy.

    It will be interesting to see what they do when Walker and Paxton are healthy.

  5. SRVHawk says:


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