Mariners Insider

Category: Game updates


Mariners beat Angels to (barely) stay alive: “Game 161 and we’re still in it. It’s awesome.”

(With the Seahawks on a bye-week vacation, I pinch-hit tonight for Bob. He had a personal planes-trains-automobiles day with delays in airports trying to get back from Toronto that would have impressed John Candy and Steve Martin. Not sure it impressed Bob much, though.)

What I saw at Safeco tonight:

The Mariners passed out white towels on Fan Appreciation Night. It was a sea of ivory waving throughout the yard when Dustin Ackley, Kendrys Morales and Michael Saunders hit home runs.

No, these white flags were not signaling a Seattle surrender. Not yet.

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Smoak double sends Mariners past Rays

MsRays0906 Mariners win it, 6-4. Win to Carter Caps, save to Danny Farquhar, and winning hit to Justin Smoak who drove home two with a two-out double in the eighth.

“A big hit,” manager Eric Wedge said. “The kid made a hell of an effort out there in right field to catch that ball, but Smoaky did a good job of getting inside the ball and keeping it fair. … Those are the differences in those games. We’re in pretty much every game. You look at our losses this year and how many tough losses have we had? How many games have we been in where we’re just a hit or play or a pitch away? Tonight we were on the good side of it, which was good to see.”

Seattle starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma went 5.2 innings and got no decision. The win went to Capps (3-3). Farquhar got his 13th save.

Brad Miller and Franklin Gutierrez each had two hits for the Mariners, who also tied their season high with two stolen bases (Nick Franklin and Gutierrez).

Mariners move to 64-77 on the season, while the Rays go to 77-63 and fall a game further behind Boston in the AL East.
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Rays rough up Mariners, 7-1

The Tampa Bay Rays ended up routing the Seattle Mariners, 7-1, at Tropicana Field. But the game was tied in the fifth when Tampa Bay’s Sean Rodriguez changed everything by lofting a short fly just beyond second base.

Shortstop Brad Miller and second baseman Nick Franklin both went after the ball, both called for the ball, and then both watched the ball drop between them.

With the door opened, the Rays barged through for a four-run inning.

“A communication letdown there,” acting manager Robby Thompson said. “I think (Franklin) called for it first, and maybe Brad called for it. But the ball’s got to be caught. For me, Nick’s got to go after that ball – it’s his ball – and he’s got to call him off and make the play. And if Brad does call it, he’s got to be sure that he catches it. But that ball’s got to be caught.”

Both players agreed.

Miller’s assessment: “He broke on it pretty good and when I looked he was camped under it and I was ‘Dang, why did I call it?’ and then we both kind of backed off.”

Franklin’s view: “The ball was right at me, and I just called it. But like I said, it was miscommunication, and it happens.”

With the first two runners on, Wil Myers added a double, and Evan Longoria added a home run. Starting pitcher Joe Saunders didn’t survive the inning.

“I think he threw 17 pitches to a couple of guys in that inning, and then the double followed by the home run,” Thompson said. “Would it be different if that ball was caught? There’s a chance. It kind of snowballed after that.”

Meanwhile, the Mariners couldn’t add anything after Raul Ibanez staked them to a 1-0 lead in the second with a home run to well into the right-field seats.

“I just tired to get the barrel on it,” he said. “It was high enough where I was just hoping it would get out at that point. It was out over the plate and kind of up a little.”

It was Ibanez’s team-leading 25th home run of the season. Ibanez, 41, became the first player 40 or older to hit 25 or more home runs in a season since Barry Bonds in 2007. He became the first Mariner to hit 25 home runs in a season since 2009, when Russell Branyan (31) and Jose Lopez (25) did it. Ibanez’s 25 homers are the fourth-most in Major League history for a player 41 or older and four short of Ted Williams’ record.

Seattle (55-65) fell 10 games under .500 and travels to Texas where the Mariners will begin a three-game series Friday.

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Rays catch and pass Mariners in ninth


The Mariners took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but for the first time Danny Farquhar couldn’t hold the lead in a save situation as the Tampa Bay Rays ralled for a 5-4 win.

The loss went to Farquhar (0-1), the win to Joel Peralta (2-5).

The Mariners fall to 55-64. The Rays snap a six-game losing streak and rise to 67-51).

“We talked about it before the game and it is hard to get those last three outs,” acting manager Robby Thompson said. “A lot of times, no matter who you’re running out there, those last three outs are tough. We kind of had that lineup flipped to the top of the order. Medina got out of it, but those walked kind of hurt: flipped it back up, and those guys saw him last night. All that suff comes into play, but Hurang was good for the five. We felt that he could go back out there and hopefully get through the sixth, and it kind of snowballed on him a little bit there. But I think overall, I think we played a good game. We just came up short at the end.”

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Miller homers twice in homecoming win

Ms0813The Mariners won the game, 5-4 over Tampa Bay … and then there was the game-within-a-game between Mariners’ leadoff hitter Brad Miller and Rays’ leadoff man Ben Zobrist.

Each homered in the first inning, and each homered again later. That is far rarer than you might think, as we will explain in a moment. However, in the end it was Miller – who grew up in nearby Orlando – who got the win and the happy homecoming. Meanwhile, the Rays (66-51) suffered their sixth straight defeat.

“Good ball game,” acting manager Robby Thompson said. “Great ball game by Brad. … He swung the bat very well tonight, as most of the guys did.”

When Miller and then Zobrist each homered in the first inning, it marked the first American League game in which both teams have led off with a home run since Aug. 17, 2006 – when it happened twice on the same day.

When each homered again later, it marked only the third time in major league history that both leadoff hitters had multiple home runs in the same game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Miller became the third player since 1969 to record his first four career home runs through a pair of two-home-run games.

Adding to the thrill for Miller was that it all played out in front of family and friends and what he said was every coach he’s had since he was 5 years old.

“It was awesome,” he said. “To go out there and get things going, finishing it off with a win: It was perfect, it was a lot of fun.”
If all that wasn’t enough, Miller revealed one more twist.

Mariners move to 55-63. It’s their second straight win overall and fifth of last six against the Rays.

Win to Ramirez (4-0). Save to Farquhar (5).

“He has been huge for us – obviously,” Thompson said of Farquhar. “… We went to him with the hot arm, and he has continued to do so. And we will continue to go to him in that inning right now. He has proven that he’s the guy right now, and we will stick with him.”

Dustin Ackley had three hits including the sixth-inning triple that brought home Justin Smoak with the winning run.

“He’s being a little more aggressive early in the count,” Thompson said. “He is fouling off some pitches and not leaving that third stike up to the umpire like he did earlier and even last year. It looks like he’s turned a corner, he’s gaining some confidence, and he’s swinging the bat real well right now.”

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Blue Jays lead from first pitch in 7-2 win


Things went downhill from the very first pitch for Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners tonight.

Toronto’s Jose Reyes sent that first pitch over the right-centerfield wall, and the Blue Jays were on their way to a 7-2 win, thrilling their many fans among the crowd of 28,198 at Safeco Field.

“It was a struggle,” Hernandez said. “I fell behind from the beginning — a lead-off home run. That was a tough thing.”

Seattle’s implosion came quickly. The Mariners were down 1-0 after one, 4-0 after four, and 6-0 after five, when Hernandez gave way to the reworked bullpen.
Hernandez (11-5) wasn’t helped by the Seattle defense, which recorded three errors behind him and another after he left.

“It happens. It’s baseball,” he said. “That’s part of the game. I made a couple of mistakes and fell behind a lot and they capitalized and scored some runs.”

The Mariners’ ace gave up nine hits and walked three while throwing 101 pitches over five innings. It was his first loss since May 25 and his shortest outing since June 20.

“He wasn’t getting a whole lot off the corner – it seemed like it was a pretty tight strike zone,” acting manager Robby Thompson said. “And when he did miss, he missed out and over the plate, and then he was hit. Even with the sloppy defense we’ve seen a sharper Felix, obviously. But, hey, we’re all human.”

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Toronto beats Mariners and Iwakuma, 3-1


Final: Toronto 3, Mariners 1.

Some Mariners reaction:

Bench coach/acting manager ROBBY THOMPSON
(Iwakuma) gave up two hits and was at 93 pitches. We felt good about sending him out. He had been in command of the game. Obviously, just a one-run lead, we felt it was good to send him back out there. It unfolded on us there a little bit. But you know what? He pitched a real good game – two hits, that’s obvious – and we felt he was our best bet to send back out there.

We put up one run on the board. R.A. Dickey did a great job against us. We got a couple of opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of. We had a little bit of a base-running blunder. We knew that was probably come down to be a big run that we wish we could have gotten. But that’s the game of baseball.

(Dickey) definitely had it dancing all through the night. When we did have runners on we didn’t capitalize on it.

On his home run: It was up, I was swining. I just happened catch it at the right time.

On the pro-Jays crowd: I’m not going to say what I want to say. It is what it is. I guess we’re as close to Canada as anybody. … It was a good crowd for a Monday night game. Good for them, I guess.

My stuff was OK. I had a hard time commanding my pitches early in the game, but I was able to pitch effectively. I was able to keep the ball down, and that helped me a lot.

I’ll be back with some clubhouse reaction.
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Ortiz sets DH record as Red Sox win, 11-4


Boston wins 11-4. It’s their second consecutive night of double-digit run production, and their 11th this season, tied with St. Louis for the Major League lead.

Red Sox climb to 56-37, Mariners fall to 40-51.

Win to Felix Doubront (6-3), loss to Aaron Harang (4-8).

“Aaron struggled,” manager Eric Wedge said. “He battled and he tried to get through it, but he couldn’t take it any further than that. And then it actually got worse from there. It wasn’t a very good ball game at all. I mean, we didn’t play very well. They’ve been knocking the ball around the ballpark the last couple of days.”

David Ortiz has a double and home run, leaving him alone at the top with 1,690 hits as a designated hitter. Harold Banes had the record with 1,688. Edgar Martinez is third with 1,607.

“He’s still a force,” Wedge said. “I’ve seen too much of him over the years. He’s just about as professional as a hitter as you can be: still has the bat speed, still has the power, commands the strike zone probably as good as anybody in the game. … You’ve got guys behind him too. They’ve got one of the best offenses in baseball. You put somebody on and they’ve got somebody else coming up.”

Wedge said Nick Franklin taken out early due to “knee acting up again.” Raul Ibanez was taken out just to get a couple of innings off.

Series concludes at 12:40 p.m. Thursday.

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