Mariners Fall To Orioles, 5-4 in 11 Innings

After a long, long game in which it seemed that the Mariners just might triumph over the Orioles, in the end it was a bunt that gave Baltimore the win.

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Mariners Fall To Orioles, 5-4 in 11 Innings

As early as the first inning, the outlook seemed bleak for Doug Fister. After giving up two singles, he gave up a wild pitch to Adam Jones, allowing Ty Wigginton to score. The Mariners responded with a triple from Michael Saunders that drove in Casey Kotchman, keeping the scoreline level.

In the bottom of the second, another wild pitch by Fister sent Matt Wieters to third, and a sacrifice fly from Brian Roberts brought him home. Fister then tried to knock down a ball hit by Nick Markakis, but was unable to reach it, giving Markakis a single and giving Cesar Izturis the chance to score Baltimore's third run.

The Mariners, absolutely determined to not be outdone by the Orioles, sought to make a dramatic impression in the top of the third. Russell Branyan and Jose Lopez hit back to back solo homeruns, leaving poor Franklin Gutierrez with nothing to do but strike out swinging, wondering how on earth Jose Lopez had shown him up.

Jamey Wright came on in the bottom of the sixth, facing only three batters and striking two of them out. Baltimore responded by replacing Mark Hendrickson with Koji Uehara, leaving Uehara to face Jose Lopez, whom he swiftly struck out. Uehara ended the inning by striking out Gutierrez, who was awarded the Golden Sombrero for striking out four times.

The Mariners wiped the smile off Uehara's face in the eighth, with a double by Casey Kotchman, followed by a sharply hit bunt by Adam Moore which allowed Kotchman to advance to third and Moore a clear path to first. But the Mariners couldn't drive in a run, with Uehara racking up two more strikeouts before being replaced by Michael Gonzalez, who then struck out Ichiro. Mariners fans everywhere gave a sigh of resignation.

Brandon League came on in the bottom of the eighth, where the only damage he did was walking Wieters. He stayed on to pitch the ninth, where he was aided by a couple of great throws by Adam Moore. After collecting a bunt by Brian Roberts, Moore threw out Julio Lugo, pinch running for Josh Bell. Moore then threw out Roberts when he attempted to steal second--essential to bringing the Mariners into extra innings, as Markakis hit a single to Ichiro that certainly would have seen Roberts score.

And then the tenth was all Adam Moore. After Alfredo Simon nearly beaned Moore in the head, Moore let the next pitch go by before jumping on one he liked, knocking it over the center field wall for a home run.

David Aardsma came in the tenth set to terrify all Mariner fans. Aardsma gave up a single and a walk before recording an out, and followed that up by intentionally walking Wieters to load the bases with one out. Cesar Izturis hit a ground ball at Chone Figgins, who threw it home to get the force on Corey Patterson. With the bases loaded, Aardsma walked Lugo, driving in Jones and tying up the game.

In the end, the game was finished in typical Mariners style: Adam Jones laid down a perfect bunt. Jose Lopez charged for it and somehow managed to miss his chance to pick up the ball. Markakis scored to end the game in the bottom of the 11th.

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