Thursday, June 24, 2010

MARINERS: Pitching Duel Ends in 13-Inning Loss to Cubs, 3-2

The M’s ace, Felix Hernandez (5-5, 3.28), pitched a great game, but Seattle’s offense could not produce enough to earn them the victory. The loss ended a season best 6-game win streak for the M’s, and wrapped up their current home stand in which the team went 5-1.

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Hernandez reminded M’s fans why management gave him that stellar contract in the offseason. Felix pitched nine innings for the second straight game, allowing only 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk and sat down 8 batters via strikeout. The Cubs, however, did not enter the last game of the series to roll over and leave town having been swept by Seattle.

Ted Lilly (2-6, 3.28) allowed only 1 run on 5 hits and struck out 6, but his pitch count had reached 103 by the end of the 6th. He left the game as it was tied, but ended up being in line for a win after the Cubs scored a run in the top of the 7th on an RBI single from Chad Tracy. Andrew Cashner (0-0, 0.87) came in to attempt to hold the lead for the Cubs, but allowed Josh Wilson to score on a Jack Wilson ground-rule double in the bottom half of the 7th. That, however, would end up being the only falter of the Cubs’ bullpen, as they shut down the M’s, allowing only 4 hits over the course of the final 6 innings.

Seattle’s bullpen held strong after Hernandez exited the game, holding the Cubs to only 2 baserunners in innings 10 through 12. Garrett Olson (0-2, 4.50) came in to pitch the 13th for the M’s, and immediately gave up a walk to Alfonso Soriano. After a sacrifice bunt which advanced Soriano to 2nd, Shaun White (0-0, 7.27) entered the game in an attempt to stop the late rally by the Cubs. He gave up a single to Marlon Byrd, allowing Soriano to score and give the Cubs the lead for good.

The Mariners’ offense had a decent game, but just could not seem to get key hits to drive in runs and take over the game. Seattle only managed to go 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position. Jack Wilson had 3 hits and an RBI to lead the M’s offense in his second game back from a hamstring injury. Ichiro and Jose Lopez also swung the bat well, ending the night with 2 hits apiece.

The M’s now head to Milwaukee to face the Brewers in their final Interleague series of the 2010 season. Ryan Rowland-Smith (1-6, 5.98) will take the mound, looking to earn his second straight victory, against the Brewers' Dave Bush (2-5, 4.67) at Miller Park.

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