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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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July 19, 2008 1:06 PM

Game thread, July 20

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Bottom 6th: The Mariners scored a couple of runs, but what could have been a big inning short-circuited with strikeouts by Bryan Lahair and Jeff Clement. Those are two of the call-ups the Mariners will be looking at with an eye toward the future, looking for a little bit of hope. Seattle is wearing uniform designs from 1989 today, and that was Ken Griffey Jr.'s rookie season and the year the Mariners acquired Randy Johnson in a trade from Montreal. Are there prospects here that provide similar hope for the future?

Top 3rd: After 52 pitches, three runs and six outs by Miguel Batista, the Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre went to the mound and Ryan Rowland-Smith was rousted to begin working in the bullpen. Seattle trailed 5-1 after Batista gave up three consecutive hits to begin the third.

Oops. My bad. Shin-Soo Choo hit a ground-rule double over Willie Bloomquist's head while I was typing that to make the score 6-1. Batista gave up an RBI single to Casey Blake and was replaced by Rowland-Smith.

Well, six of the nine members of Cleveland's lineup crossed the plate at some point in that inning as Cleveland tallied up six runs and five doubles by the time it was all over.

That was the most runs Batista's allowed this season, and that's really saying something becuase this guy's ERA has been north of 5 since the first week of May. He pitched two innings on Saturday (plus the five batters he faced in the third without getting an out), gave up eight runs on seven hits.

Bottom 2nd: The Mariners' first two innings ended identically on double plays hit with runners on first and third. Seattle had already scored one run in the second when Jose Vidro doubled off the left-field wall, but left two runners on third base in each of the first two innings.

1st inning: Miguel Batista walked the first batter on five pitches, setting the pace for a first-inning slog. The first two outs came on fielder's choices that held a high-degree of good fortune. Jose Lopez was in position for a sharp groundball by Jamey Carrol only because Grady Sizemore was running on the pitch and Lopez was covering the bag. He field the ball and tagged Sizemore out. The second out of the inning came on Ben Francisco's bloop that fell in front of Ichiro. Carrol didn't advance to the bag, fearing Ichiro would catch the ball. When the ball landed, Ichiro threw him out at second.

Cleveland scored two runs, the first on Jhonny Peralta's right-field single. Ichiro got a glove onthe ball, but it came loose when he crashed. Francisco scored on the play. Shin-soo Choo -- a former Mariner -- then crushed a 1-0 pitch to right field for his fourth home run of the season.

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July 19, 2008 11:58 AM

Bedard could be ready before August

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Manager Jim Riggleman said that Erik Bedard may -- in fact -- be ready in time to pitch again this month.

"We may get him in there in Texas," Riggleman said. "It just depends on when he comes out here Monday and plays some catch, how that goes, and how soon he can throw a bullpen session."

The Mariners begin a series in Texas on July 28. Bedard is currently on the disabled list, retroactive to July 4.

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July 19, 2008 11:45 AM

J.J. Putz could be activated Sunday

Posted by Danny O'Neil

J.J. Putz pitched a scoreless 1 2/3 innings in Tacoma for the Rainiers on Friday night, and the next time he pitches might be back on the mound for the Mariners.

No decision had been made, but manager Jim Riggleman said before Saturday's game against Cleveland that Putz could be activated from the disabled list on Sunday or he could pitch one more rehabilitation assignment in Tacoma.

"Nothing is cast in stone yet," Riggleman said. "I don't know if he'll throw another one down there or he'll be activated tomorrow."

Putz was placed on the disabled list on June 12 after being diagnosed with a hyperextended pitching elbow. He pitched twice in Arizona before coming up to Tacoma, throwing a simulated game on Sunday and a rookie-league game on Tuesday. Putz was at Safeco Field on Saturday morning, playing a game of catch in the outfield before the team took the field for batting practice.

Riggleman said Putz feels ready to return. Then again, Putz felt ready as soon as he came back from Arizona, Riggleman said.

"He didn't want to go to Tacoma at all," Riggleman said. "He felt like after his couple stints in Arizona, he felt great, and he didn't feel a need to go to Tacoma, but we had to do that."

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July 2008