Almost. The Seattle Mariners made baseball history last night, but it wasn’t enough to get a sweep over the Chicago White Sox. In major league baseball history, Kyle Seager became the first player to hit a grand slam in extra innings to tie a game, and no team had ever scored five or more runs in the 14th inning or late to tie a game. After thirteen innings of 0-0, the White Sox scored 5 in the top of the 14th, only to have the Mariners tie it up at 5 in the bottom. Chicago ended up getting the win 7-5 in the 16th. Still, the Mariners won their first series since they took two of three at New York in the middle of May. They were 0-4-2 over their last six series with two two-game splits against the Padres. Seattle moved up to 26-34, and they went into a tie for third place with the Angels.
Good Start. Raul Ibanez kept up his hot hitting to help deliver a 4-2 win in the series opener on Monday. After Kendrys Morales’ RBI double in the 3rd inning, Ibanez hit his 10th home run of the season giving the Mariners a lead they would not relinquish. Joe Saunders kept up his great work at home picking up his fourth win limiting the White Sox to five hit and one ER over 6.1 IP. Tom Wilhelmsen bounced back from a tough weekend to pick up his thirteenth save. Tuesday became an unusual sight for Mariners fans: Felix Hernandez struggled early. However, his offense picked him up, and Seattle overcame two early runs given up by Hernandez to lead 6-2 after three innings. Ibanez kept up his hot hitting from Monday blasting another home run and driving in four runs. Hernandez, after giving up a home run to Adam Dunn and single to Alexei Ramirez in the 2nd inning, retired sixteen the next seventeen batters he faced. He moved to 7-4 on the season although his ERA raised from 2.38 to 2.58. In early June, the Seattle ace already has more than half the wins he had last season (13).
Major League History. As I talked about in the introduction, the Seattle Mariners were very close to a sweep of the White Sox. The offense was getting hits, but Chicago turned six double plays. Seattle, who went with the same line-up all night with no substitutions, had every starter get a hit including four getting multiple hits (Shoppach, Ryan, Seager, and Morales). For Kelly Shoppach, it was a strange night going 2-for-7 but he struck out five times. Although he didn’t figure in the decision, it was another stellar start by Hisashi Iwakuma who threw eight shut out innings allowing three hits and striking out five. The Mariners, who pulled off the biggest rally in the fourteenth inning or later, rallied from down 5-0 to tie the game keyed by Kyle Seager’s grand slam after four singles were given up by White Sox closer Addison Reed. Seattle, though, ran out of gas in the sixteenth inning after the White Sox went back up 7-5. Reed got his revenge striking out the side to preserve the victory.
Four vs. the Yankees. So, how will the Mariners look after a very tense game where they couldn’t get over the hump to scratch across a run and beat the White Sox? We’ll find out starting tonight as the New York Yankees come into town for four. Every Mariner starter will go except Iwakuma so the series will line-up: Aaron Harang, Jeremy Bonderman, Saunders, and Hernandez in the finale on Sunday. Harang has looked sharp his last two outings, and Bonderman will be looking to rebound from a sluggish debut against the Twins on Sunday. The Yankees come into Seattle 34-25, a game and a half behind the division-leading Red Sox. They are coming off a 4-4 home stand, but they’ve won their last three with a sweep over the Cleveland Indians. Seattle is 2-1 vs. the Yankees this season with all three having been played in New York. eHe