Mariners at Royals Game One Notes
The Mariners and their fans came into this series with the Royals thinking sweep – an easy sweep at that. Little did they know, they were in for a long, back and forth battle between the two lowest scoring teams in the league.
- Adrian Beltre finally returned from the DL tonight, about two weeks sooner than what was expected, but he didn’t fare very well on this particular night. He went 0-for-5 with 3 strike outs. He also had an error in the second, on a play he usually makes consistently, which allowed a run to score.
- After coming off a stellar outing against the Jays, pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith did not have it against the lowly Royals tonight. He struggled with his command, and was unable to hold onto either of the leads the Mariners gave him. He allowed 5 runs and 6 hits in 4 innings of work.
- Russell Branyan, who has been struggling mightily for the last month or so, broke through a little bit tonight, going 2-for-4 with 2 RBI. He had been batting .159 in the month of July, while striking out 32 percent of the time.
- The DA (David Aardsma) made this one a little bit too suspenseful for both the players and the fans, loading up the bases on 2 hits and a base on balls. He then managed to get pinch hitter John Buck to pop it up near the tarp, where Ichiro made an incredible sliding catch behind the tarp to save the game.
- Ichiro had a phenomenal night all around. He went 2-for-5 with 3 runs scored and started the game with his 30th career lead off home run, although his best and most important play of the night did not come through his offense. Although he had a great game on the base paths, the sliding catch to end the game was far more important.
- As for Yuniesky Betancourt, he said that this game was just like facing any other team in the league, but you could tell that wasn’t the case once he stepped up to the plate. He hit a triple off of Ryan Rowland-Smith which tied up the game, and as he was sliding into third he slapped his hand together as if to say, “that’s what you get for trading me!” You could clearly tell by how aggressive he was all night that he wanted to perform against his former team. He also had an RBI double.
- The Mariners won the game 7-6, racking up 14 hits to go along with 4 walks.
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