Thursday, July 1, 2010

MARINERS: Series Sweep Eludes M’s in 4-2 Loss to Yankees

It was only a matter of time before the two teams returned to their ways of the 2010 season: one leading the AL East and other holding up the rear in the AL West. After two games where the M’s and Yankees essentially switched roles, leaving Seattle fans scratching their heads and wondering where such performances had been all year, C.C. Sabathia and the Yankees brought everyone back to reality.

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Sabathia (10-3, 3.33) pitched a spectacular game, blanking the Mariners through 7 innings. The Yankees' ace did not overpower the M’s, only striking out 4, but surrendered just 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. He allowed Seattle to tie the game in the top of the 8th on a 2-RBI single by Russell Branyan, but got out of the inning on the same play as Branyan tried to reach second on a throw which was cut off by Mark Teixeira rather than make it to home plate. Mariano Rivera (2-1, 0.89) came in to close out the game for the Yankees and earn his 18th save of the season.

Ryan Rowland-Smith (1-7, 5.92) pitched a solid 6 innings, keeping the M’s alive and giving them a chance to win the game. Rowland-Smith gave up 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 2. Down by a run in the bottom of the 4th, Rowland-Smith sat down Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez to start the inning, but the first pitch he threw to Robinson Cano was taken out of the park for Cano’s 16th home run on the year. The M’s effectively shut down New York through the next three innings.

Don Wakamatsu turned to his closer, David Aardsma (0-5, 5.33) in the bottom of the 8th in an attempt to preserve the tie until the offense had another chance in the top of the 9th. After Aardsma gave up a single to Teixeira, A-Rod came up and belted his 12th home run of the year, giving the Yankees a two run lead for good.

After producing 14 runs the first two games of the series, the M’s lineup had a hard time finding anything in the finale. Aside from Branyan’s RBI single, Milton Bradley was the only other bright spot, going 2-for-4 with a double. Ichiro and Ryan Langerhans were the only other M’s who managed to reach base with a hit.

Seattle now heads to Detroit for a three game series against a Tigers team who has lost 6 of their last 9 games. The Mariners look to Doug Fister (3-3, 2.81) to start another win streak for the team, while Detroit counters with Max Scherzer (4-6, 5.26) to open the series. This series will wrap up their current road trip before the team heads back to Seattle for 7 games prior to the All-Star break.

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