1B Justin Smoak went into Sunday's game with a .190 batting average as a right-handed batter. While he did hit a home run against C.J. Wilson while batting from the right side of the plate, the switch-hitter realizes that there is plenty of room for improvement. "Right-handed is my natural side and it's one of those things this year," he said. "I feel like I'm in a better place left-handed. I'm a way better hitter than I've been. I'm going to try to get video for every swing I've taken this year and go back and look and make the adjustments here and there." Marines manager Eric Wedge doesn't want Smoak to stop batting from the right side and expects time and experience to set things right. "It's going to take some time to tighten his swing up from the right side," Wedge said. "The power is there. The ability to hit with power from both sides of the plate is right there. It's just that he's a young player and learning how to do it from both sides right now."
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma will start Wednesday's game against the Kansas City Royals. His last start was Sept. 18 when he pitched eight shutout innings in an 8-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Iwakuma (13-6) is touting a 1-0 record in September, with three no-decisions and an ERA of 0.98. He won his last three decisions.
SS Brad Miller had a pinch-hit single in Saturday's loss to the Angels but manager Eric Wedge said he wasn't quite ready to put him back into the starting lineup. Miller had been sidelined with a strained left hamstring and Saturday's appearance was his first since Sept. 14. "He's probably good to go but we're going to play it safe and give him one more day," Wedge said. "I know he's anxious to get back in there but giving him one more day is probably a good thing. He felt good (Saturday) night. I talked to him right after. He looked good too."
OF Franklin Gutierrez doesn't know if he's allergic to bees and he wasn't planning on finding out when a swarm of the insects invaded the Angel Stadium outfield in the third inning of Sunday's game. The Mariners were out on the field when the bees showed up. "They started coming out of the stands," Gutierrez said. "I saw people going out and then the bees started coming to right field. I was hoping for (pitcher) Felix (Hernandez) to get the last out. That was scary. I don't know (if I am allergic.) I just started running away just in case."
RHP Felix Hernandez earned a chance to reach the 200-inning plateau for the sixth season in a row. He inched his way closer to that mark Sunday with a four-inning outing. He will go into his final start Friday against Oakland with 198 1/3 innings pitched this season. "That's what I try to do every year," he said. "I've got one more start Friday so that's important to me. That's why they have me here' to pitch. It will be good for me." Mariners manager Eric Wedge wanted to see how Hernandez came out of Sunday's start before determining if he would get another start this season. The decision was made quickly. "I made sure I told him that as I was taking him out so he didn't bite my head off," Wedge said. "We're OK with that. It's good. He should start one more time."