Mariners lap Rangers in footrace, stumble through finish line

WHERE GOES THE ARROW - Otto Greule Jr

Mariners sneak one past the Rangers, 6-5.

What a mess.

Wait, I mean wait. Hold on. Not a mess? The Mariners won? What are my fingers doing? Just on auto-pilot, I guess. Yes, the Mariners won their baseball game tonight--their second win in a row--and my was it a doozy. I say this with the backing of 30k people in the stands of Safeco Field, who were either excited to see the Mariners grab their ninth win of the season, or grab a weird beard hat of their own to cover their face as an excuse for an inability to defend their fandom in the next 90-loss season.

But there was no loss today. A bit of a mess, though, early on. Roenis Elias looked a bit spotty, missing pitches and needing 96 of them to make it through five and a half innings. It wasn't the Elias we have come to know over the past few starts, but then again, that sentence itself is a bit of a testament to how well the Mariners pitching staff has managed to survive the flood of whatever it is the universe is throwing at them. The real struggle has come offensively.

And tonight? The Mariners decided to be a real baseball team and give a few exciting hits, first in the fifth to tie the game at two following a Robinson Cano double. Woah! It's just like that thing they promised us last November with the 240 million dollars and the Jay Z song and the Victoria's Secret show and the HITS FROM CANOOOOOOO!

The Rangers tacked another on the board in the sixth to stretch the lead to 3-2 Rangers. Then? An eighth-inning Ranger meltdown following the day Hector Noesi was claimed off waivers by the White Sox. It's as if he's a lingering gas, dissipating in the room after too much pizza and beer. He might not totally screw you over while he's pitching for your team but then oh god, what is that? Oh no, why is that oh shit wait a four-run eighth? What? Meltdown? Am I seriously going to juvenile humor here? I am.

There were many antics in this eighth inning. A leadoff single from Robinson Cano. An HBP to Hart. A bunt single to Stefen Romero. A whopper Justin Smoak double to score two. A Kyle Seager RBI single.

A run for you!

A run for you!

And a run for you!

The Mariners left the inning with four new runs on the board and it was over. At least, it was over until Fernando Rodney came in to get the "save" in the ninth. I don't want to really build this up to anything beyond saying I flipped this on in the ninth inning to see Rodney with the bases loaded after giving up two runs. It was a one-run game. Awful, nightmare, stress-inducing OH WAIT Justin Smoak catching an Adrian Beltre liner and tagging first to get the game-ending double play. With the bases loaded.

It could have gone much, much worse. But it didn't and that's all that matters. Tonight, Fernando Rodney notched what the official scorer in the Safeco press box would dub a "save," and instead of loading his quiver with a flaming arrow, he wiped his brow. An exasperated gasp reverberated throughout the Safeco walls and the Mariners became owners of a shiny new two-game winning streak.

And there you have it folks. Tomorrow it's Felix, and who knows what the hell is going to happen here. But with Beltre in the mix, it just may be another classic, regardless of what the King's line looks like. Here's to a good performance from both.

On a side note, apologies for this brief recap. I had a mad emergency at work following the NBA game I was totally watching (oops), and just got home to sit down at this. Come to think of it, I've had to miss just about all the most exciting Mariners wins so far. Maybe I should hope for more things going wrong over the next few months.

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