Franklin Gutierrez Comes Through Big

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With the Mariners down 1-0, Franklin Gutierrez hit a three run home run  in the bottom of the eighth inning, to permanently give the Mariners the lead. The long ball followed an Ichiro double and a Ken Griffey Jr. walk.

Felix Hernandez pitched another gem going eight strong innings while striking out seven and walking two. He gave up three hits and one run, which came on a wild pitch in the sixth inning. It should have been a passed ball, by the way. I’m really not sure why those never get called on Rob Johnson.

David Aardsma recovered nicely from last night’s disaster, tossing a 1-2-3 ninth, although he did give up a couple of deep fly balls. Josh Hamilton popped up to left field to end the game.

This was a huge win, as a loss would have put us 5 1/2 games back in the division. Hopefully, we can guarantee a split or better tomorrow, when we send Brandon Morrow to the hill. He’s looked better in his last couple of starts, and if he can pitch smart and throw with some command, he’ll do well. If not, it’s going to be a long night.

Other news and game notes:

-Ichiro’s hit streak is now at: eight games, despite the fact that his average has been rather sub-par so far in the month of July.

-Yuniesky Betancourt was pulled at the last minute from his triple A rehab game, and Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik was reportedly “unable to comment”. This, on top of the fact that there was a Pirates special assistant in attendance tonight, make it look a lot like that there is a deal waiting to be finalized. We know that the Mariners are indeed interested in Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson, but we’ll have to wait until at least tomorrow for any updates.

-Felix Hernandez is amazing. So is Franklin Gutierrez. I have some jerseys to purchase.

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