It’s sixty-two degrees and sunny in Seattle as the Mariners and visiting Washington Nationals get underway with game two of three in Safeco Field. Cristian Guzman bats from the right side against Mariners’ lefty Erik Bedard, and Guzman grounds a two-strike pitch to short for the first out of the evening. Elijah Dukes drives a 2-1 pitch to center for the Nationals’ first hit. Lastings Milledge swings like mad at the first few pitches and then starts taking them all, including strike three. Dmitri Young knocks a ground rule double to right going the other way down the line, one-hop and out of play. Dukes to third. Two on, two out...WWJD? Jesus Flores drives a single to right, scoring Dukes, DY tries too, but the throw in from Wladimir Balentien is in time, on target and five steps ahead of DY, who concedes and is tagged. 1-0 Nationals...
...Ichiro Suzuki holds his bat out at an arms length and cock it back quickly, exploding forward, swinging at a pitch from Tyler Clippard and all in one fluid motion lining to right center where Elijah Dukes runs it down, Ichiro rounds seconds as Dukes fires in to the cutoff man Felipe Lopez, who throws on to third, where Ronnie Belliard catches it and tags Ichiro, "You’rrrre OUT!!" yells the Ump. Clippard gets through one with the lead.
Ronnie Belliard bites on Bedard’s sinker and strikes out swinging to start the second. Felipe Lopez lines over short and right to Raul Ibanez on a hop. Wily Mo Pena grounds out to third, and Kory Casto faces Bedard with Lopez on second. Casto grounds deep in the hole at short, but Yuniesky Betancourt is up to the challenge, throwing in time to end the Nationals’ second. Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson both hit Clippard hard, but only enough to get to the warning track in left and center for the first two outs, and Clippard gets Wladimir Balentien to pop out to end the second. 1-0 DC.
Cristian Guzman lines a single to left to start the third. Elijah Dukes backs Ichiro up but can’t get it over the Seattle centerfielder. Lastings Milledge goes down looking again, but DY keeps the DC third alive with a bloop single to short center. Two on and two out for Flores again...but Bedard blows speedballs by him for a swinging K...Tyler Clippard gets a DP grounder from Betancourt to erase Mariners’ catcher Jamey Burke’s leadoff single. Clippard gets Ichiro swinging to end the third. 1-0 Nationals.
Ronnie Belliard gets the "local" treatment as a fan touches his line drive by third to hold Belliard at second. Felipe Lopez doubles over Ichiro in center driving in Belliard for a 2-0 DC lead...Jose Lopez grounds up the middle, but Guzman ranges over tohis left to make the play. Vidro, Vidro, Jose Vidro takes Clippard to right, and...GONE! Vidro lines an inside pitch into the outfield stands. Adrian Beltre ties the game with one swing. Casto tracks it, but it doesn’t come down til it's over the fence. 2-2 after four.
Elijah Dukes’ Discerning Eye takes a leadoff walk to start the fifth. Lastings Milledge K’s swinging this time. DY walks and Flores is up for a third time with two on, this time with one out. Jesus Flores strikes out trying to check his swing on a curve in the dirt. Belliard grounds up the middle, Betancourt dives, rolls and tosses to second, where Jose Lopez steps on the bag for the force. Tyler Clippard retires the Mariners in order in the fifth.
Wily Mo Pena rips one in and out of the glove of Jose Lopez at second to reach safely with one down. Kory Casto chops a groundout to second. Cristian Guzman lines out to right. 2-2 middle of six. Ichiro grounds weakly to second. Jose Lopez grounds out to third. Jose Vidro takes Tyler Clippard’s first walk of the game. Raul Ibanez doubles to right. Vidro to third. Adrian Beltre gets the intentionals to load ‘em up for Sexson. Clippard gets Sexson swinging through a fastball to end the sixth.
Bedard’s replaced by Miguel Batista in the top of the seventh. Elijah Dukes’ Discerning Eye earns another walk to start the inning. Milledge grounds to short, and Betancourt’s throw pulls Jose Lopez off the bag, but Dukes overruns second and gets tagged. DY grounds out, but Milledge is off running, and safe at second. Jesus Flores reaches out and lifts one to left....and...GONE!! Two-run blast, 4-2 Nationals. Stand up and stretch...Clippard’s back out for the home-half. Wladimir Balentien starts the inning with a single one-hop in front of Milledge in center. Jamey Burke walks, and that should be it for Clippard. Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera takes over for Clippard. Yuniesky Betancourt’s looking to bunt, but he strikes out trying. Ichiro grounds to Lopez. flips to Guzman, who throws to DY at first, double play to end the seventh.
Ageless Arthur Rhodes takes over in the eighth for Seattle. Wily Mo Pena destroys a low fastball from Rhodes and PULLS it to left for a single. Ryan Langerhans comes on to run. Kory Casto flies out. Langerhans gets picked, but beats the throw to second. Rhodes is done for. Sean Green on in relief. Guzman grounds out to second. 4-2 after seven and a half. Luis "Set-Up" Ayala on for the bottom of the eighth. Jose Lopez flies out to center. Jose Vidro swings through a fastball. Raul Ibanez flies out to center. 4-2 after eight.
Dukes down swinging. Milledge demolishes a curve from Sean Green knocking it off the wall in left center 377 ft from home. Willie Harris pops out to short. Jesus Flores walks in front of Belliard. Belliard splits the left center gap with a double, Milledge scores. 5-2 Nationals. Bring on the Big Guy...The Tallest Pitcher in MLB History, Jon Rauch towers over the mound in Seattle. Adrian Beltre swings through a fastball. Rauch vs Sexson. For the Heavyweight Title...Strike three chasing. Wladimir Balentien swings at an 0-2 pitch in the dirt. Nationals win 5-2.
Nationals now 28-42.