Thursday, April 22, 2010

MARINERS: M's, Felix complete sweep over Baltimore, finish home-stand 7-2

By Kyle Fosnes

The Seattle Mariners are finally putting the pieces together, as the team managed a 4-1 victory over the struggling Orioles on Wednesday. Seattle got off to a slow start until the forth inning when their offense showed its full potential alongside a dominant Felix Hernandez performance. The M’s swept the three-game series against the O’s and finish the opening home-stand at 7-2.

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The Mariners found themselves down 1-0 after an aggressive start by the Orioles. Felix “The King” Hernandez was throwing strikes, but an untimely error by Matt Tuiasosopo in left field allowed a runner into scoring position. The O’s grabbed the lead shortly after on an RBI single by Matt Wieters.

In the fourth inning, the M’s capitalized off a one out walk to Jose Lopez, providing back-to-back singles from Casey Kotchman and Tuiasosopo respectively. Rob Johnson contributed with an infield RBI single in which Tui showed great hustle in making it safely to second with two outs in the inning.

With the bases loaded, Cap’n Jack [Wilson] then cleared the bases with a double to deep right-center field, tallying 4 total runs.

After the forth inning, and a comfortable lead for Hernandez, the game was essentially over. King Felix shut down the Orioles from this point out, pitching a complete game while striking out six and walking zero.

Felix was very accurate with his pitches, throwing 82 of his total 113 pitches for strikes. This was the first complete game pitching performance for the Mariners this season, rightfully accomplished by the staff ace.

Felix’s performance, along with the superb outings earlier in the homestand by Fister and Vargas, has the M’s in great position, closing in on Oakland for the division lead.

The Mariners now have a travel day Thursday while preparing for their series opener in Chicago on Friday. The M’s will throw Ryan Rowland-Smith (0-1, 4.50) while being countered by Gavin Floyd (0-2, 9.00) for the White Sox. The local start time for this game is 5:10 pm.

Notes: -Left Fielder Milton Bradley was given the night off resting a sore left calf, which he aggravated the night prior.
- The team announced Wednesday that LHP Cliff Lee will return from the DL and make his Mariners debut on Friday April 30th at home against Texas.

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