RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH may not have enjoyed his return to the Seattle
Mariners’ bullpen today after making two starts for the team recently when
he found the going tough during the M’s 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals.
Ryan replaced starter Carlos Silva to start the bottom of the seventh and he
was immediately under pressure after Ross Gload and John Buck both punched
singles up the middle to open the inning. The situation became even more
sticky when David DeJesus laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners.
That was all for Rowland-Smith today when he was replaced by Sean Green with
one out in the frame. However, by the vagaries of baseball scoring, he
collected a hold, even after Green cashed in one of his earned runs for his
0.1ip 2h 1er 0bb 0k (3.53ERA) effort today. RON
MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) pitched 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k
(1.84ERA) for Kansas City.
Aussie, GRANT BALFOUR, had a similar experience yesterday when he
came into the bottom of the eighth inning for the Tampa Bay Rays who were
well on their way to a 4-8 loss to the Cleveland Indians. Grant would have
expected a quick end to the inning with two out and none on, but he dug
himself a hole with a six pitch full-count walk to Ben Francisco and a seven
pitch full-count walk to Jhonny Peralta. Veteran Casey Blake saddled ‘Balf’
with an earned run with his RBI single to left field, but the inning also
ended when Peralta was put out at third base on the play.
dwell on that outing, GRANT BALFOUR was back to his more normal,
highly effective, self today when he contributed a strong 2.0ip 1h 0er 1bb
2k (1.64ERA) for the Rays in their 2-5 loss to the ‘Tribe’. This time Grant
replaced ace starter Scott Kazmir for the bottom of the seventh to open with
a commanding 1-2-3 inning. He had Jamey Carroll struck out swinging, Ben
Francisco ground out to the third baseman and Jhonny Peralta ground out back
to the mound for his own assist.
Back for the bottom of the eighth he had Casey Blake “whiffed” before Ryan
Garko drove a double to right field. Then after getting Andy Marte to fly
out to centre field, he filled the open first base with a strategic walk to
Sal Fasano. It worked out for him when the light hitting Franklin Gutierrez
flied out to right field to conclude his solid day’s work.
… and in
other games over the weekend:
PAUL LoDUCA (Adelaide Giants 1995) batted
2-4 (.226) and scored a run, which was not quite enough for his Washington
Nationals who were outscored 4-6 by the Houston Astros. In the same game
RYAN LANGERHANS (IBLA Internationals 2001) pinch hit with 0-1
(.194) for the ‘Nats’ while
BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) could have been a villain for the
‘Stros’ after batting 0-5 (.212) with SIX left on base!
starter KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) was hit hard
with 5.1ip 10h 5er 4bb 4k to take his fifth loss of the season for the Texas
Rangers who were trumped 7-9 by the Chicago White Sox. ‘Big Kev’s’ record
slipped to 6-5, 5.11ERA.
were even worse for Houston reliever CHAD PARONTO (Perth
Heat 1998) the previous day when he took a painful loss for the
Astros in a 0-10 hammering by the Nationals. Making his second appearance
for the season, Paronto was tagged for 2.1ip 6h 3er 1bb 1k to see his record
fall to 0-1, 4.26ERA.
DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) batted 1-2 (.270) with a RBI
and two walks for the Cincinnati Reds, helping them to a 6-5 win over the