More than 46,000 fans descended on sold-out Safeco Field Friday night to see the Mariners take on the Oakland Athletics in the 2012 home opener. But the A's spoiled the event, blanking the M's 4-0 and disappointing the home crowd.
The showdown was the fourth time the Mariners and A’s have met in the still-young regular season, including two games in Tokyo. Before Friday night, the Mariners had managed to squeeze three wins out of those games.
But in Friday night's game, the Mariners offense struggled and managed only three hits off Bartolo Colon as Seattle's record dropped to 4-5.
Felix Hernandez gave up two runs in the third inning. The A's also added two runs against Seattle's bullpen in the final two frames, including a home run by Jemile Weeks off Charlie Furbush in the ninth.
In one bright spot, former All-Star center fielder Mike Cameron threw out the ceremonial first pitch and announced he will retire a Mariner.
The announcement that the 39-year-old Cameron had signed a one-day employment agreement to officially retire with the Mariners came just a few hours before he was set to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
In addition to the action on the field, fans noticed some changes to Safeco Field. For the first time since the ballpark opened in 1999, crews had replaced the sod on the field.
The choice for the new green stuff— 100 percent Kentucky Bluegrass from Olympia.
There were also some new concessions at the game. Healthy, more natural food options are available in addition to garlic fries and hot dogs.
Mariners spokeswoman Rebecca Hale said the new options will be locally sourced and hand-made.
They include grass-fed barbecue beef brisket, barbecue pulled pork sandwiches and new sausage dishes from Oolie's Sausage in Seattle. They will even start selling oyster poor boys.
In an attempt to help minimize potential traffic problems around the stadium, SeaTac Airport is offering half-price parking with a connection to the light rail — an option that may be ideal for fans heading to the game from the South End.
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