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News » Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-05-02

Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-05-02

Seattle Mariners Inside Pitch 2009-05-02
Seattle's surprising start (14-9) has much to do with the club's ability to hit with men in scoring position.

The Mariners came into Friday with a .333 batting average with men in scoring position, among the best averages in baseball.

That didn't hold up for the first eight innings Friday when the Mariners were 1-for-8 and fell behind 6-1 to Oakland in the third after leaving four men on base in the first two innings.

But Jose Lopez kept up the early-season trend with a two-out RBI single in the ninth that broke a 7-all tie to give Seattle the win.

"We've done a good job hitting with men in scoring position all year," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "It's something that we've focused on."

Lopez has struggled overall, although two hits Friday pushed his average up to .263. But with men in scoring position, he's at .368 (7-for-19).

Three other Mariners also have seven hits with RISP in the first 23 games of the year -- Adrian Beltre, Yuniesky Betancourt and Russell Branyan.

MARINERS 8, A'S 7: 2B Jose Lopez capped a 14-pitch at-bat with a two-out single to right-center in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Mariners the win in the opener of a five-game homestand.

Lopez, matched up with Oakland RHP Russ Springer after Springer intentionally walked 1B Russell Branyan, loading the bases.

Lopez looked at Springer's first four pitches to get the count to 2-2, then fouled off nine consecutive pitches before finally whacking the hit that gave Seattle its fourth consecutive win over Oakland this year -- seven in a row dating back to 2008.

The Mariners were down 6-1 after the A's scored six times off RHP Carlos Silva in the third inning, but Seattle took the lead in the fifth on two-run homers by Branyan and CF Franklin Gutierrez.

RHP Sean White gave up his first run of the season when Oakland LF Matt Holliday homered in the seventh, but RHP Shawn Kelley got the final five outs of the game and picked up the win as Seattle went up 3-1/2 games on the rest of the American League West after being the only West team to post a win Friday.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 2, 2009

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