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Tillman Sharp as Tides end Skid Defeat Indians 9-1; Orioles take 3 of 4 from White Sox and crush Tribe Tuesday 14-8

Chris Tillman got his 9th Win on Monday

Chris Tillman pitched well on Monday night in Indianapolis to pick up his 9th win of the season and his first in four starts since returning from Baltimore. Tillman pitched 6.2 innings allowing 1 run on 8 hits, striking out 9 and walking only one in the outing.  The Tides hitters continued to hit well pounding out 9 runs on 15 hits tearing up the Indians pitching staff. Matt Angle went 4 for 5 with a double, triple and 2 RBIs, Robert Andino went 2 for 5 but had 2 triples and an RBI, Brandon Snyder went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and 2 RBIs while Adam Donachie had an RBI double and Scott Moore a 2 run home run.

Brandon Snyder doubled twice with 2 RBIs Monday

The Tides took a 2-0 lead on Scott Moore’s 6th home run of the season in the second inning and never looked back. They added another in the 3rd when Robert Andino tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Salazar.  The 4th inning was a big inning for the Tides as they sent 8 batters to the plate and scored 4 runs.  Brandon Snyder led off the inning with a double and Scott Moore walked. Adam Donachie laid down a sacrifice bunt to send the runners to 2nd and 3rd base with 1 out. Paco Figueroa singled to score Snyder and send Moore to 3rd base.  Matt Angle tripled to score Moore and Figueroa.  Starter Jeremy Powell then hit Andino and was replaced by Dana Eveland. Jeff Salazar had a sacrifice fly to score Angle before Nolan Reimold grounded into a force out to end the inning. The Tides scored an insurance run in the 6th when Matt Angle singled and scored on Robert Andino’s second triple of the game and a final run in the top of the 9th when Brandon Snyder hit his 2nd double and was driven in by Adam Donachie who doubled.

The Indians scored just 1 run in the bottom of the 4th inning on consecutive singles by Brandon Moss, John Bowker and Mitch Jones.

The Tides rolled to the win with Chris Tillman (9-7 3.45 ERA) notching the victory and Jeremy Powell (8-8 5.24 ERA) the loss.  The Tides had 9 runs on 15 hits and no errors leaving 11 men on base, the Indians 1 run on 8 hits with 8 runners left stranded.  The Tides sent 47 batters to the plate in the effort.

Jake Arietta got his 4th win as the O’s won their 7th win under Buck Showalter

In Baltimore the Orioles closed out their series with the White Sox winning on a walk off home run by Brian Roberts to give the O’s their 6th win in 7 games and a series win over the Sox following their sweep of the Angels. The Orioles played tonight in Cleveland winning 14-8 with Jake Arietta getting the win. The O’s had home runs from Felix Pie, Luke Scott, Matt Wieters and Corey Patterson. The O’s had 13 hits in the effort and improved their record to 39 and 74 and are not far from climbing out of the Marianas Trench of Major League Baseball.  It is amazing to see the turn around on the O’s since the hiring of Buck Showalter as manager making their record under him 7-1.  The Orioles hitting has come alive after a relatively dismal season and now their starting pitchers are getting good starts.

The Tides are losing 10-6 in Indianapolis as this is published.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Swept by Bats, Orioles continue to win

Michale Aubrey (above) and Brandon Snyder (below) continue to have clutch hits


The Norfolk Tides ebbed out of Louisville Monday morning after having been swept by the red hot Louisville Bats.  They had lost game one on Thursday as they opened the road trip and would drop the final three, all be close margins despite the fact that in each game the Tides starter got knocked around in the early innings bad enough that despite two tremendous comebacks the Tides failed to put anything in the win column.  On Thursday they were shut out by the Bats by a score of 6-0 with Chris George getting the loss.

The next three games were close but the Tides fell short in comeback attempts. On Friday starter Tim Bascom (2-6 7.28 ERA) got the loss and gave up 7 runs on 10 hits in 3.2 innings work and the Tides lost 8-7.  The Tides made it interesting picking up a run in the 5th inning and 6 runs in the 6th but were unable to overtake the Bats.  On Saturday the Tides lost 5-2 with Rick Vanden Hurk giving up 5 runs on 8 hits with the Tides scoring 2 runs in the 7th inning. Vanden Hurk (1-1 2.84 ERA) took the loss.  On Sunday it was another slugfest in which the Tides got out to an early 2-0 lead but saw it melt in a 5 run 5th inning for the Bats against starter Zach Britton.  The Tides would lose by a score of 8-7 when a 9th inning rally fell just short.  Michael Aubrey and Nolan Reimold each had a home run and a double.

The problem for this series was the starting pitching. The four Tides starters gave up 27 (25 earned) runs on 27 hits in a combined 16.2 innings for a 13.88 ERA. Tides relievers on the other hands were very good pitching 15.1 innings allowing 5 runs on 14 hits a 2.98 ERA.  The only reliever that had a bad appearance was Pat Egan who gave up 3 runs on 4 hits in 0.2 innings work in the final game of the series. After Thursday’s shutout the Tides scored 16 runs in the next three games collecting 34 hits.

Jim Miller came back off the Inactive List to provide solid relief work, it’s Miller Time again

This series showed the importance of starting pitching to the Tides. Early in the year Tides starters led by Jake Arietta, Chris Tillman and Alfredo Simon were better than the bullpen much of the time and other starters including Troy Patton and Brandon Erbe often lost games pitching well but getting little in the way of run support.

In Baltimore over the weekend the O’s took 2 of 3 from the White Sox and are playing a close game tied 2-2 in the 9th tonight.  Starting pitching and solid hitting have been the difference since Buck Showalter took over. At the same time Showalter’s arrival coincides with the first time in the season that the Orioles are playing healthy with several positions players including Brian Roberts, Luke Scott and Felix Pie back off of the DL and relievers Mike Gonzalez and Koji Uehara back in the lineup after being on the DL extended lengths of time. .

In personnel matters Troy Patton was sent back down today to make room for Craig Tatum, a move designed to bolster the O’s bench and Adam Donachie was brought back up from double A Bowie to the Tides.

Both the Tides and Orioles continue to play tonight and I will write about those games tomorrow.

Blessings,

Padre Steve+

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Padre Steve is Back in Town: Tides and Orioles Notes

Josh Bell was promoted to Baltimore to replace Luke Scott now on the 15 Day DL

Well I am back and yes sports fans I will be back at Harbor Park tonight as the Tides return to face the Charlotte k-nickets or Knights if you don’t watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Although the ugly Charlotte K-nickets split the two games with the Tides in Charlotte winning by a paltry score of 2-1 on Wednesday after being hammered by the Tides on Tuesday by a score of 12-3 which makes the total score in Charlotte 13-5 in favor of the Tides.  Tonight as I said the teams will meet again at Harbor Park with the visiting K-nickets sending Carlos Torres (6-4 3.04 ERA) against Zach Britton making his AAA debut with the Tides after spending the first part of the season at Bowie where he went 7 and 3 with a 2.48 ERA.

In Tides and Orioles news Chris Tillman and Jeff Salazar were selected to play in the AAA All Star Game next week.  Tillman is 7-4 with a 3.07 ERA for the Tides and a no-hitter and Salazar is hitting .280 with 13 home runs and 34 RBIs.

Cla Meredith remains with the Tides after being designated for assignment and dropped from the Orioles 40 man roster while Josh Bell was promoted to Baltimore to replace Luke Scott who was placed on the 15 day disabled list for a strained hamstring. While this is a good thing for Bell it is a bad thing for the Tides who will definitely miss his bat in the lineup.

Speaking of the Orioles but don’t look now but the Birds are 6-4 in their last ten games and slowly but surely working their way out of the Marianas Trench of the Major Leagues. They still have a lot of injuries but they seem to be improving as a team.

So until tonight,

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Blown Out of Buffalo 11-4: Northern Road Trip Ends with Tides Losing Six of Eight Games….Is there any Hitting in the House?

Frustrated Hitters like Joey Gathright have not had a Good Season so far in 2010

The Tides first northern expedition of the year ended badly in Buffalo on Monday night. On a cool, cloudy and breezy Buffalo night the Tides fell to the Bisons by a score of 11-4.  The game was actually relatively close and could have gone to extra innings but for the 7 runs allowed by the Tides in the 7th and 8th innings.  Tides Starter Troy Patton (2-5 5.53)  gave up 4 runs, three earned on 8 hits in 5.2 innings work.    Jim Miller came into the game to relieve Patton in the bottom of the 6th with 2 outs and retired the first batter that he faced.  Miller gave up a solo home run to Jason Pridie in the bottom of the 7th before retiring the rest of the order.  However the 8th inning was the inning of doom for the Tides as the Bisons’ bats lit up Miller and Pedro Viola for 6 runs on 4 hits which included home runs by Russ Adams and Mike Jacobs and a double by Jesus Feliciano each of which scored two runs.  The Tides tried to rally in the top of the 9th but the rally fell very short with the Tides scoring 2 runs on a series of singles by Josh Bell, Michael Aubrey, Brandon Snyder, Robert Andino and Adam Donachie.  The Tides had scored two runs early in the game when Michael Aubrey hit a two run home run in the top of the 2nd inning.

Rhyne Hughes leads the Tides in batting averaage

The road trip was difficult for the Tides especially in the hitting department. The Tides scored just 21 runs on 57 hits and only 2 home runs.  They were shut out twice with one of those a complete game for the opposing pitcher.  They now sit at the bottom of the International League in the team batting average with a .234 team average and an On Base Percentage of just .299 also the lowest in the league.  They rank third from the bottom in run production with a total of 157 runs in 39 games with a Slugging Percentage of .366 the second lowest in the league.   In some ways the Tides hitting mirrors that of their parent club the Baltimore Orioles.  Who have a .251 average a .310 OBP and scored just 133 runs next to last in the American League with a fourth from the bottom Slugging Percentage of .384.    It is obvious that the Orioles and the Tides need to improve markedly in hitting and run production if they ever want to be competitive.

Former Tides Pitcher Alfredo Simon got the win in Relief in Baltimore while Corey Patterson (below) had a game tying home run in the bottom of the 8th

In the pitching department the Tides are part of the middle of the pack in the International League with an ERA of 4.27.  In a number of pitching categories the Tides are competitive however they have given up 142 walks the most in the League other than Pawtucket and are in the top third of the league in terms of home runs, runs and earned runs.  With the exception of the final game of the series in Buffalo the pitchers kept the Tides in the games despite giving up the long ball in inopportune moments.

While the Tides pitching could improve the pitchers are on the whole improving but the hitters are struggling and players that hit for good averages last year are not getting it done this year. In 2009 Joey Gathright hit .325, Justin Turner .300, Michael Aubrey .290, Scott Moore .254 and Brandon Snyder .248.   By comparison Gathright is hitting .184, Turner .250, Aubrey .266, Moore .256 and Snyder .202.  The team batting average in 2009 was .272 and currently in 2010 .234.  On base percentage 2009 was .330 and this year .299, slugging percentage in 2009 .389 and 2010 just .366.  The Tides have to figure out a way to hit this year otherwise even the improving pitching staff will continue to lose games that on other teams that they would win.   Certainly the talent is there and the hitters are capable of better.  Could it be the change in the hitting coach that occurred with Richie Hebner replacing Dallas Williams who had held the job for four years?  If it is not Hebner certainly there has to be an explanation for this slump.  At the beginning of the season I was not concerned but coming up on a third of the way into the season I am becoming concerned about despite a number of games where the Tides appeared to have broken out of this collective slump but then lapsed back into it.

The Tides played tonight against the Pawtucket Red Sox and lost by a score of 6-0, more on this game tomorrow.

Meanwhile in Baltimore the Orioles defeated teh Royals by a score of 4-3 in the bottom of the 10th inning. Luke Scott hit 2 home runs off of last year’s Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke.  Former Tides outfielder Corey Patterson hit a home run in the bottom of the 8th inning to tie the game and give the O’s another chance to win.  Former Tides starter and now Orioles closer Alfredo Simon got the win.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Shutting the Other Team out for 26 Outs is not good enough: Tides Lose to Syracuse 2-1

“You got to get twenty-seven outs to win.” Casey Stengel

“You can’t sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You’ve got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game of them all.” Earl Weaver

Corey Patterson seen here with the Norfolk Tides hit his 1st Home run as a Oriole

Brandon Erbe must wonder what is going on. The young prospect was one out from winning his first AAA game when is disappeared like a fleeting cloud on a mid-summer day.  However it was not mid-summer and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky when Erbe watched his victory evaporate with two outs in the bottom of the 9th at Alliance Bank Field in Syracuse.

Erbe had pitched his best game of the season.  He allowed no runs giving up no hits and 4 walks in 7 innings work. Kam Mickolio came on in relief and had another strong outing and then closer Frank Mata who has been has been solid in relief blew the save and lost the game after getting the first two batters that he faced in the bottom of the 9th out.

The game was a pitcher’s duel all the way.  Syracuse starter Andrew Kown went 6.2 innings giving up one run on seven hits. Had it not been for the Chiefs’ two out comeback in the bottom of the 9th he would have taken the loss. Instead he was off the hook got a no decision instead and Jason Bergmann in relief got the win.

Michael Aubrey seen in 2009 had a double and scored the Tides only run

The Tides went ahead in the top of the 5th when Michael Aubrey led off with a double, advanced to second on a ground out by Robert Andino and scored when Michel Hernandez singled.  The Tides loaded the bases in the top of the 7th and could not score and left a runner on in each of the 8th and 9th innings.

Usually reliable Frank Mata blew the save and lost the game with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th

In the bottom of the 9th Frank Mata who has been almost lights out each time he has come into a game retired the first two batters. With two outs Chris Duncan a .244 hitter batting in the 7th position singled. Eric Bruntlett the third baseman a .219 hitter smacked a triple to right which scored Duncan to tie the game and blow the save. With one out and the runner on third and Mata facing catcher Deven Ivany the unthinkable happened.  Mata threw the first pitch in the dirt past Michel Hernandez who could not stop it and Brunlett scored easily giving the Chiefs’ the victory.

It was the kind of loss that tears the heart out of a team, a game that by all means the Tides should have won was lost on two hits by marginal hitters and a bad pitch by a solid closer.  For Erbe who has had nothing but trouble this year it seemed that he would have his first win after pitching his best game.  Instead of getting a 1-0 win the Tides went down to defeat by a score of 2-1.  The Tides had 1 run on 8 hits with 1 error and left 9 men on base.  The Chiefs who looked like they were going down in defeat got to celebrate the victory with 2 runs on 6 hits and no errors while stranding seven.

The Chiefs take the series 3 games to one and the Tides travel tonight to Buffalo where they will play the team that used to be the Tides, the New York Mets AAA affiliate the Buffalo Bisons with Chris Tillman (3-3 3.49) going up against Bisons’ knuckleballer R A Dickey (3-2 2.56).

Up in Baltimore the Orioles won their series against the Seattle Mariners by a score of 6-5 doing something that they have not been able to do in a long time by coming back from a four run deficit in the top of the 8th.  With recently promoted former Tides outfielder Corey Patterson starting the inning with a solo home run and Luke Scott slammed a grand-slam giving the Orioles the lead Mark Hendrickson got the win and former Tides pitcher Alfredo Simon got his 5th save.   The Orioles improve to 11 and 24 and have a two game winning streak going into their three game series at Camden Yards against the 13-9 Cleveland Indians.

Until tomorrow all the best,

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Tides Down Yankees 2-1 Patton Gets Second Win

Troy Patton firing a pitch on Saturday night against the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees

The Norfolk Tides returned home to the friendly confines of Harbor Park where Troy Patton came back from a rough outing in Charlotte to pitch 7 solid innings against the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees on Saturday night.  In front of 10,489 fans in warm weather Patton gave up just one run on five hits in seven innings work, the run coming on a solo home run by Yankees first baseman Juan Miranda to lead off the 2nd inning.  Apart from that Troy had little difficulty with the Yankees and was backed up by Ross Wolf who set the Yanks down in order in the 8th inning. Frank Mata got the save despite a two out grounder with eyes by Yankees shortstop Eduardo Nunez which eluded Tides Third Baseman Justin Turner for a single and a bobbled ground ball by Second Baseman Robert Andino.

Adam Donachie completing a double play tagging out Reggie Corona at the plate

The Tides generated enough offense to win getting their hits in situations where it mattered.  In the 6th inning Catcher Adam Donachie doubled to lead off the inning and was moved to third on a single by Joey Gathright who then stole second base. Donachie scored on a sacrifice fly by Justin Turner.  The Tides would score again in the bottom of the 7th inning when Brandon Snyder reached second on a throwing error by Shortstop Eduardo Nunez to first.  Corey Patterson then singled to left and Snyder beat the throw from Chad Huffman going head first into home to score the run.

Brandon Snyder scoring the winning run

The Tides also played some excellent defense which was highlighted when with runners on second and third with one out Eduardo Nunez hit a fly ball to Tides Right Fielder Corey Patterson.  Yankees Second Baseman Reggie Corona tagged and came home. Patterson threw a strike to Catcher Adam Donachie who tagged Corona out for the double play which ended the inning and the Yankees only real scoring threat.

Frank Mata closed the game and got his 4th save

When all was said and done on this perfect night for baseball the Tides got back on the winning track and Troy Patton (2-3 6.12) got the win and Frank Mata (0-0 S4 1.64) got his fourth save of the year. Romulo Sanchez (0-2 6.48) got the loss for the Yankees.  The Yankees had 1 run on 6 hits and 1 error and the Tides 2 runs on 6 hits and 1 error.

On Sunday afternoon the teams will face each other again and it will be a hot one with temperatures in the 90s.  Brandon Erbe (0-4 8.35) will take the hill for the Tides, the young prospect is seeking his first win of the season.  He will face Scranton right hander Jason Hirsch (1-3 3.91).

In Baltimore the Orioles defeated the Red Sox for the second consecutive night extending their winning streak over the Sox to 3 games.  Brad Bergeson got his first win of the season for the O’s after having been called back from Norfolk and Alfredo Simon got the save.  The O’s had the best offensive production of the year Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield scoring 12 runs on 12 hits including 5 home runs, two by Ty Wigginton and one each by Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters and Luke Scott.  The O’s will try for a sweep tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards.

See you at Harbor Park.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Tides Lose in Durham 10-1 return Home and Killed by Errors Lose to Braves 4-2 and Orioles Report

Jake Arrieta pitched 6 strong innings for the Tides

Well sports fans I didn’t get the post off in time the other night so both Sunday and Monday’s games are covered in this post.

On Sunday evening in Durham the Tides bats went silent and Durham’s bats caught fire again. Tides starter Chris Tillman was stung for 4 runs in the top of the fourth and suffered from control issues giving up 3 hits, 2 walks, hit Ryan Shealy with a pitch and tossed 2 wild pitches and was not helped by a passed by catcher Adam Donachie.  Tillman threw 43 pitches and was removed at the end of the first being replaced by reliever Jeff George. George threw 4 innings giving up 1 run on 2 hits, the run coming in the bottom of the 5th when Justin Ruggiano doubled to right to drive in Desmond Jennings. Andy Mitchell came into the game and was hit hard by the Bulls giving up 3 runs in the sixth inning and 2 more in the 7th. The damage in the sixth came as the Bulls got 4 hits, drew a walk and were aided by 2 stolen bases. In the seventh Mitchell could not stop the bleeding and gave up 2 runs on three hits including a double by Alvin Colina.  Frank Mata came into the game in the 8th and retired the side in order. The Tides bats were silent. The only Tides run came from a Rhyne Hughes homer in the top of the first.  Bulls starter Jeremy Hellickson (3-0 1.42) who has dominated both Gwinnett and the Tides gave up just 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 8 and walking just 1 in 7.2 innings. Brian Baker closed out the game allowing no runs on no hits.  For the Tides Chris Tillman (0-3 8.38) got the loss giving up 4 runs on 3 hits. Chris George gave up 1 run on two hits and Andy Mitchell was rung up for 5 runs on 6 hits.

Tides Manager Gary Allenson was tossed just prior to the start of the bottom of the Third

On Monday the Tides came home to face their old rival the Gwinnett Braves, a rivalry that has cooled since the Braves left Richmond two years ago.  The Tides started Jake Arrieta (1-0 0.50) who is rapidly becoming the ace of this staff. Jake got his second no-decision of the season pitching 6 innings giving up 2 runs, only one of which was earned on 5 hits striking out 5.  I would not be surprised if Jake continues to mature as fast as he has if he ends up on the Orioles 40 man roster soon.  Ross Wolf (0-1 2.61) got the loss for the Tides giving up 2 runs neither of which was earned on 3 hits in 2 inning s work.  Wolf too has also come a long way since last year and is becoming a reliable middle reliever for the Tides.  Alberto Castillo came in to finish the game for the Tides giving up nothing to the Braves.

Rhyne Hughes singled to up his hitting streak to 11 games

The Tides lost a chance in the third inning when following the ejection of Tides Manager Gary Allenson before the first pitch of the inning arguing a call from the top half of the inning.  Allenson must have questioned third base umpire Lance Barrett’s parentage as well as his eyesight and well after the toss was chewing on Barrett’s ear and if he had been any closer he would have “Van Gough’d” Barrett.  Allenson was relieved as third base coach by Hitting Coach Richie Hebner. With Joey Gathright on first Robert Andino doubled to deep right center. Hebner held Gathright at third even though it was obvious that Joey with his great speed would have been safe and up at the concourse hot dog stand before the throw came in.  Instead both Gathright and Andino were left on base on second and third with no outs when the middle of the order could muster nothing to drive them in.

Joey Gathright singles in the bottom of the 6th. Joey went 2-3 with 2 walks and the RBI

The Tides runs came in the bottom of the sixth when Jonathan Tucker doubled to score Josh Bell and Joey Gathright drove in Tucker. Gathright then stole second and third but was left at third when Robert Andino struck out swinging.

Jake Arrieta rushes to field a bunt

The Tides Roster has seen some changes in the past several days. Lou Montanez was called up to Baltimore to replace Felix Pie in the outfield with Pie on the DL.  Kam Mickolio went up to replace injured Mike Gonzales, Justin Turner to replace injured Brian Roberts and Orioles starting pitcher Brad Bergeson was optioned to Norfolk after a series of poor outing the last against the Mariners where he gave up 7 runs in the 3rd inning.

Braves catcher Gregor Blanco goes down avoiding a high and tight pitch from Arrieta

The Orioles broke their 10 game losing streak in Oakland on Sunday defeating the A’s 8-3 behind the pitching of rookie Brian Matusz who got his second and the Orioles second win of the season. Ty Wiggington provided much of the offensive punch driving in 4 runs and hitting his fourth home run of the season.  On Monday night in Seattle starter Brad Bergeson gave up 7 runs in the bottom of the fourth and the O’s went on to lose to the Mariners 8-2.  The O’s offense once again was provided by Ty Wiggington who hit his 5th home run of the year a solo shot in the top of the 9th against Mariner’s reliever Shawn Kelly.

Tides Left Fielder Jeff Salazar races to make a catch on Monday at Harbor Park

The other run came in the top of the 7th when Luke Scott doubled to break up Seattle starter Doug Fiester’s (2-0 1.42) no hitter and was driven in by catcher Matt Wieter’s. After the game Bergeson (0-2 12.19) was sent down to AAA Norfolk for a tune up.  No related call up from the Tides has been announced.  Tonight Tides starting pitcher Alfredo Simon (1-0 2.00) will go against Gwinnett’s Todd Redmond (1-1 1.93).  I’ll see you there from my pew in Section 102, Row B seat 1. Later in the evening the O’s will send up David Hernandez (0-2 4.91) will face Jason Vargas (1-1 5.56) at Safeco field.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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