September 10, 2009 in Sports

Mariners bullpen rests in loss

Geoff Baker Seattle Times
Associated Press photo

Angels’ Juan Rivera takes aim before launching two-run homer.
(Full-size photo)


Today: Seattle at Los Angeles Angels, 7 p.m. TV: FSN

Radio: 920-AM

ANAHEIM, Calif. – At least Ian Snell was able to keep the Mariners from hitting the panic button for another 24 hours.

Things are dire indeed in Seattle’s bullpen, leading to the Mariners calling up Brandon Morrow from Triple-A on Wednesday so he can start Friday in Texas and leave Luke French available for long relief duty. Even that plan seemed too little by the first inning of Wednesday night’s 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, when it appeared a struggling Snell would not escape the opening frame.

But Snell, after yielding four first-inning runs, settled down and managed to make it into the sixth, sparing further demands on a bullpen that will be challenged to make it to season’s end.

The Mariners fought back on solo home runs by Kenji Johjima in the third inning and Jose Lopez in the sixth, both off Angels starter Jered Weaver. But the early hole dug by Snell, who threw 33 pitches in the first inning and got smacked around hard and often, was too deep for a sputtering Seattle attack to climb out of.

Juan Rivera closed out the scoring with a two-run homer to straightaway center off Jason Vargas in the eighth.

A crowd of 36,340 at Angel Stadium saw the Mariners drop their fourth straight game on this trip. All of a sudden, that .500 season that seemed assured only last week is now teetering again for a 72-68 team that has to face the Rangers in Texas after this series.

Ichiro Suzuki got a single in the third inning to pull four hits from a record ninth straight 200-hit season.

Morrow was called up even though general manager Jack Zduriencik and manager Don Wakamatsu had said 24 hours earlier that he would stay in Triple-A to pitch a playoff game Friday against the Sacramento River Cats.

But after Tuesday night’s latest mound disaster for reliever Miguel Batista, the team’s concerns about bullpen depth won out. Long reliever Chris Jakubauskas is battling stiffness in the back of his shoulder and will be held out of game action at least a few more days.

The bullpen is already short-handed from the loss of late-inning reliever Sean White, who has a sore right shoulder. Wakamatsu said he has no idea how long White will be out.

Angels 6, Mariners 3

I.Suzuki rf 501001.357
F.Gutierrez cf 400002.282
Jo.Lopez 2b 413100.272
Griffey Jr. dh 400001.215
Beltre 3b 401000.261
Hall lf 310013.222
Carp 1b 401002.280
Johjima c 412100.249
Jo.Wilson ss 301002.281
M.Sweeney ph 100100.276
Totals 36393111
Los Angeles ABRHBIBBSOAvg.
Figgins 3b 401001.303
M.Izturis 2b 310011.292
B.Abreu rf 411000.300
Guerrero dh 322010.296
Tor.Hunter cf 311110.306
K.Morales 1b 401302.310
J.Rivera lf 311210.294
E.Aybar ss 300010.303
J.Mathis c 301000.211
Totals 3068654
Seattle 001001001—390
Los Angeles 40000002x—680

LOB—Seattle 7, Los Angeles 5. 2B—Beltre (23), Carp (2), Jo.Wilson (4), Guerrero (13), K.Morales (40). HR—Johjima (8), off Jer.Weaver; Jo.Lopez (23), off Jer.Weaver; J.Rivera (22), off J.Vargas. RBIs—Jo.Lopez (85), Johjima (21), M.Sweeney (30), Tor.Hunter (78), K.Morales 3 (98), J.Rivera 2 (78). RLISP—Seattle 4 (Hall 2, I.Suzuki 2); Los Angeles 2 (E.Aybar, Tor.Hunter). RMU—Griffey Jr., Beltre, M.Sweeney, M.Izturis, B.Abreu. GIDP—Figgins. DP—Seattle 2 (Jo.Wilson, Jo.Lopez, Carp), (Beltre, Jo.Lopez).

Snell L, 4-2 5 1/3 644525.13
J.Vargas 2 2/3 222025.00
Jer.Weaver W, 15-5 6 1/3 722083.76
Oliver H, 16 2/3 000012.80
Jepsen H, 13 1100024.50
T.Bell 01111010.06
Fuentes S, 40-46 1000003.99

T—2:44. A—36,340 (45,257).

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