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News » Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-04-15


Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-04-15


Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-04-15
Ken Griffey Jr. was greeted by standing ovations Tuesday upon his return to Seattle after being away for the past nine seasons.

Griffey, who broke in with the Mariners and played in Seattle from 1989-99, singled in his first at-bat to set up a run and walked later in the game, finishing 1-for-3.

The 45,958 fans who jammed Safeco Field for the home opener wanted to see Griffey, the Northwest idol who'd gotten away. When he trotted on the field for the pregame introductions, the place erupted.

"The first thought was not to trip on the red carpet," Griffey said. "I got a compliment from my son on my big-league trot. Once the first pitch was thrown, I was pretty much ready to go."

"You can tell how much the fans here love Griffey," center fielder Franklin Gutierrez said. "I've heard some ovations before, but that was special."

Griffey was supposed to have played right field in the opener, but those plans were scratched when he came down with some back tightness, so he move to DH instead.

There won't be much right field in his future, because Ichiro Suzuki comes off the disabled list Wednesday, but Griffey will get some playing time in left field.

MARINERS 3, ANGELS 2 (10 innings): Franklin Gutierrez raced home with the winning run on a wild throw by Angels reliever Scot Shields with no outs in the bottom of the 10th to give the Mariners their fifth consecutive victory.

Gutierrez, who had walked and scored Seattle's second run in the fifth inning, doubled to left-center to open the bottom of the 10th against Shields, who had collected the final two outs of the ninth inning.

Yuniesky Betancourt followed with a bunt to the third base side of the mound. Shields got to the ball in time to make a routine throw to first base. But he threw a missile toward 1B Kendry Morales, and the return throw wasn't close to the plate, enabling Gutierrez to score easily.

The Angels put seven men on base from the eighth through the 10th innings, but they couldn't get a hit to break the game open.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 15, 2009

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