Friday, April 23, 2010

MARINERS: M’s fall 7-6 in up-and-down match vs. White Sox

Happy Birthday, Andruw Jones.

Celebrating his 33rd birthday and trying to rekindle an up-and-down career, Chicago White Sox Center Fielder Andruw Jones put on a hitting display, going two for four with two solo home runs. He opened the game with a shot in the first, and ended it with a walk-off home run in the ninth.

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The Mariners were up and down tonight (ironically much like Andruw Jones’ career), composing eight hits for six runs, but leaving five runners on. Their usually touted defense committed two costly errors (both at shortstop), while the offense strung together hits to get runners on.

Jose Lopez was the clear highlight of the game for the M’s, hitting a clutch two-out grand slam to give Seattle a short-lived 6-5 lead. Only half an inning later, it was lost when a double off the bat of Chicago’s Alex Rios fell just out of reach of a diving Eric Byrnes in left field.

Much of Thursday’s speculation during the off-day was whether the Mariners would reduce their bullpen by one to carry another bench player. The number of platoon players makes injuries a pressing concern for the team.

Sure enough, in the third inning Jack Wilson took a missed ball off his left hand, prompting him to be removed from the game for X-rays (luckily turning up negative). Matt Tuiasosopo came in to replace him, eliminating one of the platoon players for Milton Bradley—also out with an injury to his calf.

While Wilson likely won't go on the disabled list, he'll be wearing a splint. This injury should prompt the Mariners to send down relief pitcher Jesus Colome to Tacoma and call up a utility infielder.

Tomorrow the Mariners face their old friend Freddy Garcia (0-2) while sending up Doug Fister (2-1), who is battling to keep his starting position with Cliff Lee’s imminent return.

Reach M. Wend at