Seventh Inning Rally Gives M’s Series Win


Pinch hitter Chris Shelton became the hero tonight, delivering an RBI single to give the Mariners a 4-3 lead with two outs in the seventh inning. After a quick two outs, Ken Griffey Jr. reached on an infield single, and Franklin Gutierrez grounded a base hit up the middle.

Manager Don Wakamatsu then made the call to pinch hit right handed slugger Chris Shelton for Ryan Langerhans against the lefty CJ Wilson. After working the count full, Shelton softly lined the payoff pitch over shortstop Elvis Andrus’s head, scoring Josh Wilson from second base.

Rob Johnson followed that up by singling in the same fashion on the first pitch he saw from Wilson, to extend the Mariners lead to 5-3. That would be more than enough for the Seattle pen, as Mark Lowe pitch a very smooth eighth, and David Aardsma piched a relatively quick ninth for his 20th save on the year.

The Mariners scored their other three runs on a Jose Lopez RBI double in the first, an Ichiro infield single in the fourth, and a Russell Branyan bases loaded walk, also in the fourth.

Erik Bedard did not have much command tonight, especially of his fastball, but he was able to escape several jams, scattering three hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings. He was pulled in the sixth with a one run lead, after allowing Hank Blalock to hit a two run bomb.

Miguel Batista came in to protect that lead, but instead saw the first pitch he threw get lined into the right field bleachers by Nelson Cruz. He pitched a scoreless seventh after that, and thanks to the Mariners rally was awarded his sixth victory of the season. Bedard was strapped with the no decision.

So, now we head into the all-star break, sitting four games back of the Angels and 2.5 back of the Rangers. Taking three out of four from Texas was the perfect way to finish off a good first half, and I for one am excited to see how the rest of the season pans out.

Other news and game notes:

-Ichiro’s hit streak is now at: 11 games.

-The Mariners managed to score five runs today, without hitting the ball hard more than a few times. Amazing.

-It’s looking more and more like Rob Johnson has become the every day catcher, and Kenji Johjima has become the backup.

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