IRVINGTON HIGH SCHOOL, FREMONT, CA--Missing recent All Stars Bobby Camarena, Eric Eldredge, and Kevin Miller, along with stellar new Mariners in David Vasquez and Gilberto Perez, the San Jose Mariners made do with the talented players that they did have available, and played a tough game in game 1 that was very close for most of the way; in game 2, they hung close for awhile, before the Sox pulled away once again.

Game 1 was viewed as a "starter by committee" situation, with Derek St. Louis toeing the rubber for the fist time this season, and for the first time with the Mariners since 2011. Not expecting to go more than 3 innings, St. Louis was able to make it through 2, due in large part to defensive miscues, both physical and mental, that forced St. Louis's pitch count up early.

The Red Sox took a 4-0 lead over those first two innings, including 3 runs in the first. St. Louis did have 3 K's, but also allowed an uncharacteristic 3 walks, as he shook off the rust. Meanwhile, the M's offense did virtually nothing over the first two, drawing a pair of hit batsmen in the first with two outs, but getting no other baserunners.

The M"s did make some noise in the top of the third, as Scott Gentile didn't have to even take the bat off his shoulder, drawing a 6-pitch leadoff walk. A line drive single by new Mariner Victor Gutierrez, in his first at-bat with the team, left runners at first and second. Jose Luis Diaz, having arrived late, was added to the bottom of the order and drilled a 2-run double to get the M's back into it. A perfect bunt single Jeronimo Cobian put runners on first and third with no outs, but a double play off the bat of Dave Cook, which did send home the third run of the inning, also deflated the rally, which ended with a groundout. The double play ball would be the Mariners' nemesis even more so in game 2.

Mariners 2017 #2 overall draft pick, Stephen Santoyo, finally made his M's pitching debut in the third inning of this game, and he did not disappoint, facing only four hitters, with one strikeout, in scoreless third. Santoyo then matched the Sox's 1-2-3 inning turned in the top of the fourth, with a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half, including a pair of K's.

After the M's went down quickly and quietly in the top of the fifth, Santoyo hurled his third straight scoreless inning with a little help from his defense. A bloop single and a walk, sandwiched around a strikeout, put two runners on base, and a passed ball put the runner at second and third with one out. A fly ball was hit to St. Louis in medium depth right field, which St. Louis handled easily. Seeing that the runner from third wasn't attempting to score, St. Louis was about to throw the ball into second, but, at the last second, saw the runner break for home on a delay. The outfielder gunned the ball to the plate to erase the runner, turning a double play to end the inning, and set the M's up to take their only lead of the day.

In the top of the sixth, with two down, Cook and Luis Macias singled, and were both doubled home on a mammoth drive by Santoyo, Cobian scoring as a courtesy runner for Cook, and Macias dramatically belly flopping into home plate, just ahead of the tag, for the go-ahead run.

Now up 5-4, the lead didn't last long, as the M's defense didn't do Santoyo any favors. A pair of errors started off the inning, and opened the floodgates to a 2-run inning. Santoyo did a terrific job of limiting the damage, but had to pitch to four extra hitters due to the errors, wearing him down for the next inning.

A pair of singles went for naught in the M's half of the seventh, and Santoyo did indeed show some wear in the bottom half, as he issued three walks, after having only tossing two in the previous four innings. Another error didn't help, and there was only one hit in the 4-run inning.

That was the end of the scoring for the game, as the Sox went on to the 10-5, 9-inning victory.

It was Diaz who was a warrior for the M's in game two, battling through a sore forearm to deliver five effective inning on the mound. Things didn't start off too smoothly for the M's in this game, either, as the very first hitter for the Sox reached on error, and advanced to second on a botched pickoff play. A double drove in that run, and an RBI single drove in the second of the inning.

The M's came right back in the bottom half, as Cobian led off by also reaching on error, and was doubled home by Cook. With two outs, courtesy runner Gentile scored on Diaz's single to tie up the game.

Although Diaz allowed a single and a double in the top of the second, an infield pop-up and a pair of K's held the Sox scoreless.

The Sox did take the lead, though, in the top of the third, on four hits, including a double, to take the lead at 5-2.

The M's had a good opportunity go by the boards in the bottom half, as Santoyo doubled with one out, and Diaz followed with a single to make it first and third, with one out; however, Jeff Dugmore, who would go 3-for-4 for the game, had the misfortune to make his only out of the game at this time, grounding into an inning-ending, 6-4-3 double play.

After both teams went scoreless in the fourth, including the Sox being retired 1-2-3 with a K and two infield pop-ups, the Sox added to their lead in the top of the fifth, using two errors, a hit batsman, a single, and a 2-run double to add 3 runs to their lead.

The M"s countered in the bottom half with one-out singles by Santoyo, Diaz, and Dugmore to load the bases, but again had the bad timing of a double play ball, this time off the bat of Alex Gonzalez, to kill the threat.

The M's, then, experimented with new Mariner Julio Reeguero on the mound for three batters, then had Macias come in to successfully finish things off, as he did in game 1. The M's did score one final run against former Mariner Pete Madden, who went the distance for the Sox. Macias led off the seventh with a single and, after two pop-ups, advanced on a Dugmore single, and scored on Gonzalez's single. The Sox took the game, 9-3, which overall felt (and was) less competitive than game 1.

The Mariners will again seek their fist win of the season as they face the Pirates for a morning game, first pitch 10 AM at Irvington. This time for sure!
Posted by Scott Gentile, Fri Jun 9, 2017 @ 1:06 AM 0 Comments
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