Thursday, May 13, 2010

MARINERS: Rowland-Smith, M's struggle in Baltimore, lose 5-2

With a questionable lineup put forth, the Mariners lost their first game of the season against the lowly Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Wednesday evening. Ryan Rowland-Smith started for the M’s and needed a career game, or even simply a game good enough to earn his first win, in hopes to turn his season around. The towering lefty failed to pitch beyond 3.0 innings, however, giving up 3 ER off of 7 hits in the process.

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After a simulated game thrown by veteran Erik Bedard Wednesday afternoon, Hyphen needed to go out in Baltimore last night to prove that he’s worthy of securing his spot in the M’s starting rotation when Bedard returns from the DL. After failing to pitch past the fifth inning for the second consecutive start, Rowland-Smith will surely be facing a torn clubhouse trying to figure out his future with this team.

The bottom of the M’s lineup last night was heavy with former AAA Tacoma players, in attempts to rest some of the regular starters. After the typical Ichiro, Figgins, Kotchman, and Lopez (at DH), Don Wakamatsu followed with immediate call-up Tuiasosopo (3B), Langerhans (CF), Josh Wilson (SS), Moore (C), and Saunders (LF).

Out of all the bottom five batters, Ryan Langerhans was the only one to compose a hit (2), and Ichiro was the only player with an extra-base hit, hitting a double in the 8th. Ken Griffey Jr. made a pinch hit appearance in the 9th (whether he was napping in the clubhouse prior to that remains to be said), and earned a sac fly scoring Tuiasosopo for the second and final run of the game.

The Mariners (13-20) remain in last place of the AL west, 5.5 games behind the division-leading Rangers. They will aim to win the rubber match of this current series against the Orioles in a matinee game Thursday, starting at 9:35am local time. Felix Hernandez (2-3, 4.30) takes the mound, facing off against the O’s Kevin Millwood (0-4, 3.26).

Reach Jacob Kehle at