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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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June 22, 2008 4:36 PM

Don't mess with Teixeira

Posted by Larry Stone

I'm officially retiring my "reverse lock" theory after that game. The Mariners never had a chance. Their makeshift lineup looked anemic against old Oakland adversary Tim Hudson, who had been 0-10 with a 7.82 ERA against the American League in interleague games since joining the Braves in 2005. (Which reminds me: I defer to no one in my admiration for Billy Beane, but the Hudson trade was not one of his finest moments. The A's received pitchers Juan Cruz and Dan Meyer, and outfielder Charles Thomas, none of whom have made an impact. Cruz and Thomas are out of the A's organization, and Meyer is still at Triple-A).

Hudson must have been licking his chops to face a Mariner lineup without Adrian Beltre and Jose Lopez. They were also without Richie Sexson, but it's his presence that makes pitchers lick their chops. When it came to chop-licking, Teixeira led the way today with his three-homer game. One of the Atlanta reporters asked Kelly Johnson after the game what their strategy was against Silva. "Swing,'' he replied.

Poor Jose Vidro had a swollen left cheek after that ugly incident in the third when his own foul ball bounced up and hit him flush in the face. Vidro stayed in through the sixth, but he didn't look good afterward. X-rays were negative. I'd think the Mariners have to be close to doing something with Sexson and Vidro, both of whom continue to drag down the lineup. Vidro hit cleanup today despite having just 13 extra-base-hits in 216 at-bats. We don't need to go into Sexson's problems.

The one positive today was Jeff Clement, who had a ringing double and a homer to center. The Mariners hope that will boost his confidence and allow him to relax. I focused my game story for tomorrow's Seattle Times on Clement.

Can't wait for tomorrow's game: Felix vs. Santana. Now that could be a classic. By the way, Clement will start at catcher, despite being a left-handed hitter. Turns out lefties have had better luck against Santana than righties this year.

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