After watching Felix Hernandez pitch his fiery best yesterday, this game — with Luke French starting — was always going to be a let-down.
French allowed the first run in the second when Mark Ellis, on base via a leadoff double, scored on a single by Coco Crisp.
Oakland’s second baseman, Adam Rosales, left the game after the third inning—he’s nursing an ankle injury. The A's manage to pick up another run in the fourth before adding two more in the fifth. Kurt Suzuki and Cliff Pennington scored on an Ellis double, but Ellis himself got thrown out at third when he tried to sneak in while the Mariners were paying attention to home plate.
French left the game after the sixth, allowing four runs on seven hits and giving up three walks while striking out only two. Brian Sweeney took over in the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, Ichiro lead off with one of his charming singles, a ball that fell just out of reach of the center fielder. While Chone Figgins lined out, Jose Lopez managed a single, and with a walk to Russell Branyan, the Mariners had the bases loaded with just one out. Fans held their breath when Franklin Gutierrez hit a long ball, but it was caught just inside the warning track. Still, Ichiro easily scored. Oakland led, 4-1, and that’s where it stayed as Casey Kotchman grounded out.
But Oakland is determined to win, and Pennington walked before being doubled home by, once again, Ellis. A pitching change came and Jamey Wright replaced Chris Seddon, who had replaced Sweeney two batters previously.
To finish the game, Ichiro grounds out, Figgins strikes out swinging, and Lopez pops up. Credit to Dallas Braden for pitching a complete game and doing it very well.