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The Lineup: The Mariners just scored again

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
Mariners

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The M's couldn't stop scoring (assist: Holland, Derek), and a couple of Carloses couldn't stop raking. But which Josh Beckett will show up on Thursday? For that matter, which Zack Greinke? And can you guess who's got the most respectful home-run trot of 2012?

Full Wednesday scoreboard with box scores and recaps for all games

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Mariners offense: During one particular span this season, it took the Mariners eight games to score 21 runs. On Wednesday night, it took them nine innings. Yes, the Mariners, the team that entered the night ranked 13th in the AL in OPS, summoned up their frustrations and ritually abused the Rangers for 20 hits, six walks, seven doubles, four home runs, 39 total bases, and, yes, 21 runs.

Carlos Quentin: Sure, the Padres lost to the Cubs on Wednesday (this is apparently what the Padres do, after all), but it was no fault of Quentin's. In just his third game back from knee surgery, Quentin went 3-for-4 with two bombs, four RBI and a walk. So consider the following tweet both a testament to Quentin's hot start and a stinging indictment of all other things Padres:
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies: On Wednesday night, CarGo became the first Rockie since Jeff Baker in 2006 to hit three home runs in three straight at-bats. He's now slugging a hefty .629 on the season.

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Derek Holland, Rangers: From the Texas perspective, the main offender in the Mariners' 21-run outburst was Holland. In 1.2 innings of work, he gave up eight runs on eight hits and raised his ERA by more than a full run. Of the 15 batters Holland faced, 10 reached base.

Mets bullpen: Starter Dillon Gee turned in a quality start and handed the bullpen a lead over the Phillies. And what did the pen do? They left the gate open: 2.1 combined innings, eight runs, eight hits, two bombs. Phillies win.

Howie Kendrick, Angels: The Halos' second baseman, in the course of a one-run loss to the Yankees, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, a GIDP and six runners left on base. He's now hitting .257/.287/.383 on the season.

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The Beckett boom: Needless to say, Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett has been the subject of much consternation this season. From his early struggles to his breathtakingly scandalous golf outing to his recent renaissance, Beckett has proved useful for those who traffic in loud opinions. So those sorts should note that on Thursday Beckett will face the hard-hitting Tigers when he attempts to go at least 7.0 innings for a fourth straight start. He'll be opposed by strikeout machine Max Scherzer. 7:10 PM ET

Bud Norris facts: Bud Norris once gave up just two runs over a span of 26.0 innings (earlier this month, actually). Bud Norris once began a season with a 3.34 ERA across 10 starts (this season, actually). Bud Norris once ranked eighth in the NL in strikeouts (right now, actually). Bud Norris once opposed Jeremy Guthrie in Coors Field (Thursday night, actually). 8:40 pm ET

Zack attack!: Prior to Saturday's start against the Diamondbacks, Brewers ace Zack Greinke boasted a 2.70 ERA for the season and only one run allowed over his previous 21.2 innings. After giving up seven runs on 10 hits in just 2.1 frames, however, his ERA stood at 3.66. Can he rebound against Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers? Worth noting: Current Dodgers have combined to hit .293/.348/.427 against Greinke in his career. 10:10 pm ET

Thursday probables for all games


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This day in history: What happened on May 30, 1982? MLB.com's Zack Meisel reminds us that on that day an unassuming rookie shortstop named Cal Ripken Jr. began a streak of consecutive games played that wouldn't end until September 20, 1998.

Getting shifty: Count the Cardinals among those teams that are making more frequent use of defensive shifts this season. "I imagine if I was a hitter I might try to do something out of character to show somebody" it won't work, manager Mike Matheny said. "The next thing you know you're messing up your approach. It's a tool. I don't think it's the end-all, be-all. But we're going to try it." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

McCourt to court: Chagrined that former Dodger saboteur Frank McCourt is getting away scot-free and enriched by a billion bucks or so? This is for you: McCourt and ex-wife Jamie are being investigated by a grand jury for "possible criminal financial misconduct." [Los Angeles Times]

Hasty Harper: Who has the fastest home-run trot this season? It's Nats phenom Bryce Harper, and it's not particularly close. [D.C. Sports Bog]

Paulie! Paulie!: How rare is Paul Konerko's late-career surge? Pretty rare, and it puts him in some Hall-of-Fame company. [High Heat Stats]


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