Saturday, April 09, 2005

Rauuuuuulllll Does It Again 

Last April, the only bright spot in a dreary season were thanks to the timely home runs from Raul Ibanez. And tonight, he did it again, with an 8th inning blast to give the Mariners back the lead for good in their 9-6 win over the Rangers. A good win for the Mariners, as it should the resiliency of the team, and how wonderful it is to have bats throughout the lineup.

Everyone but Richie Sexson got a hit tonight, and a couple of key players finally got on the scoreboard as Jeremy Reed drove in two, and Miguel Olivo and Wilson Valdez also got their first hits of the season.

Of course, there was some ugly too, with defensive lapses costing the M's a lead in the sixth, and when combined with two walks from J.J. Putz, nearly cost the M's the game in the eighth.

The other hero of the game was none other than Aaron Sele. After allowing two runs in the first, Aaron settled down and pitched four scoreless innings, thanks in large part to three double play balls he induced. 11 of the 16 outs recorded by Sele were on groundouts. Of course, there is still cause for concern. None of the sixteen outs were by strikeout, and he gave three free passes, so its not all golden. But still, if Richie Sexson could have made a defensive play ruled an error, then Sele would likely have gotten the win with a 6 inning, 2 run effort, instead of his final 5.2 inning, 4 run line.

Good start to the series, and combined with losses by the A's and Angels, the Mariners are back in first place in the AL West. Moyer vs. Astacio tomorrow afternoon looks like a good matchup for the M's, so enjoy the game!

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