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News » Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-04-30

Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-04-30

Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-04-30
The Mariners get Thursday off, which means they finished April with a 13-9 record and ownership of first place in the American League West.

It's the first time since the 2003 season (17-10) that the Mariners have finished April with a winning record, and it sets them up well for being competitive in the division all season.

The Mariners, who suffered a 6-3 loss to the White Sox on Wednesday, came into the month facing a relatively tough April schedule. It included series against the two teams that tied after 162 games for the AL Central lead last year (Minnesota and Chicago), a series against AL champion Tampa Bay and two series against defending AL West champion Los Angeles.

The pitching has carried the bulk of the load. The team ERA of 3.47 is the best in the league, and the 13 home runs allowed by the Mariners -- even after giving up three Wednesday -- are the fewest allowed by an AL team.

Offensively, things aren't as rosy. The team batting average of .262 is just under the median in the AL, but the team's on-base percentage of .311 is 13th out of 14 teams because Seattle's 52 walks drawn is five fewer than any other team in the AL.

WHITE SOX 6, MARINERS 3: Rookie RHP Shawn Kelley hadn't allowed an earned run in the first month of the season, but that streak ended when Chicago LF Carlos Quentin and RF Jermaine Dye homered back-to-back in the seventh inning Wednesday.

Those homers snapped a 3-3 tie and enabled the White Sox to take two of three games in the series from the Mariners.

LHP Erik Bedard left the game with a 3-1 lead with one out in the sixth inning and two men on base, but Kelley allowed both men to score thanks to a double by 3B Wilson Betemit and a sacrifice fly by SS Alexi Ramirez.

Bedard was given the lead in the top of the fifth on a two-run double by DH Ken Griffey Jr. and subsequent RBI single by 3B Adrian Beltre, one of four hits on the day for Beltre.

In the first 20 games of the season, the Mariners didn't have any batter get as many as four hits. In the last two games, however, 1B Russell Branyan (five hits), SS Yuniesky Betancourt (four hits) and Beltre have all done it.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 30, 2009

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