With Casey having computer troubles and me out of town, we were not able to recap the first game of the Mariners – A’s series so I’ll go ahead and address that quickly. The game was pretty boring for the most part. Seattle struck first in the first with a run. Millwood dominated on the mound pitching 7 shutout innings. Furbush gave up a run in the 8th though, tying up the ball game at 1-1. Well the score would remain like this until the 11th when Oakland took back the lead. Oliver Perez was on the mound and after giving up two base hits, Chris Carter hit a walk off, 3 run shot to win the game 4-1. It was just a disappointing finish for Seattle and the offense just couldn’t get things done. But now its time for last nights game.
Vargas took the mound for Seattle last night and he’s been putting together a handful of strong starts in a row. For Oakland, it was the impressive rookie Jarrod Parker. Seattle was able to get a run in the first when John Jaso picked up a base hit, moving Saunders to second but he then scored on a Coco Crisp error. The lead wouldn’t last long though as Oakland also brought a run in the first as Josh Reddick hit a two out solo homerun.
Seattle would reclaim the lead in the second. Casper Wells opened up the inning with a base hit and Justin Smoak followed him up with a ground rule double. Brendan Ryan then stepped up and hit a double to left, bringing in both runs. The lead would stick though as Vargas would dominate the rest of the game.
In the second, Vargas had a 1-2-3 inning and in the third, he got out of a one out jam with an inning ending double play. The 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th were all 1-2-3 innings. He had an impressive streak of 13 straight batters retired. The streak came to an end in the 8th when Brandon Inge opened the inning with a single. Vargas would get a double play right after that and continue to cruise. He came back on to pitch the 9th and was able to work around a couple base hits to hold Oakland to one run. The final line for Vargas on the night was 9IP 7H 1ER 1BB and 6K. It was a great way for Vargas to close the first half of the season and he now has a 4.07 ERA and a 4.86 FIP. Vargas was pretty efficient on the night, needing 107 pitches, 66 of which were strikes.
While Vargas did his job, the offense did their job. After scoring in the second, they scored again in the 4th and 5th innings. Casper Wells continues to hit well as he hit a solo homerun to left, his 4th of the year. In the 5th, Ichiro picked up a one out base hit and then stole second. Michael Saunders and John Jaso picked up back to back walks, loading up the bases for Kyle Seager. He picked up a big time double, clearing the bases. The 3 run 5th inning would be the last of the scoring for Seattle on the day.
Ichiro, Brendan Ryan, and Casper Wells each had 2 hit days. Smoak, Seager, and Jaso picked up the other 3 hits for Seattle. The team struggled in striking out 11 times, 3 of which came from Carlos Peguero. No surprise there. He has 5 strikeouts in 8 plate appearances since his call up.
Seattle will finish up the first half of the season as they take on Oakland today. Felix is taking the mound against Bartolo Colon. We have seen this matchup a handful of times already this year but I think Felix will continue his recent dominance and finish the first half strong.