MLB Team Report - Seattle Mariners - INSIDE PITCH
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Seattle Mariners are hot, and there's one main reason why: their pitching.
Seattle, winners of eight of its last nine games, has posted shutouts in four of the last eight games, the first time the club has done so since April 21-28, 1993.
"Our starters have been giving us everything we've asked them," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "And probably a little bit more."
The pitching staff has an ERA of 1.90 in June (71 innings, 15 earned runs). That includes ace right-hander Felix Hernandez, who was named American League Player of the week on Monday for his two strong starts, including striking out 15 in a no-decision against the Rays Sunday. Even right-hander Erasmo Ramirez pitched in with 4 2/3 scoreless innings in Monday's 3-0 win over the Rays, with the bullpen picking it up from there.
"Everyone's arms are fresh, hitters are doing their part, starters are doing their part and we're winning," reliever Danny Farquhar said. "It's been fun."
MLB Team Report - Seattle Mariners - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won three
NEXT: Yankees (LHP Vidal Nuno, 1-2, 5.33 ERA) vs. Mariners (RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, 4-2, 2.66 ERA)
--RHP Erasmo Ramirez has made three scoreless starts in his career, and two have them have come against Tampa Bay, including Monday's 4 2/3-inning outing. He allowed a career-high five walks. "He did OK," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "It was better than his last two or three outings. He made some good pitches at times."
--CF James Jones continued to use his speed as a weapon, bunting for a single again Monday to set up the Mariners' three-run third. Jones had a career-high three hits. "He's been great," McClendon said. "He's going to have his ups and downs. He's got to learn one of his weapons is his legs. He's on his way to being a pretty darn good major-league baseball player."
--RHP Fernando Rodney had a pair of saves during this series against his former team (Tampa Bay Rays), tying him with Royals RHP Greg Holland for the AL lead with 18 saves .
--RHP Felix Hernandez was named American League Player of the Week for his two strong starts this past week, including striking out 15 in a no-decision Sunday against the Rays. Hernandez is now 8-1 on the season with a 2.39 ERA, 17 walks and a major-league-best106 strikeouts.
--1B Ji-Man Choi was activated from suspended list after completing 50-game drug suspension, which resulted from a drug test that revealed steroids. Choi was assigned to Double-A Jackson with LHP James Paxton transferred to the 60-day DL to make room.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Just goes to show you how good this guy is." -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon, on 2b Robinson Cano, who had a two-run double and a stellar defensive play in the Mariners' 3-0 victory over Tampa Bay on Monday.
MLB Team Report - Seattle Mariners - ROSTER REPORT
--OF Michael Saunders, one of the Mariners' hottest hitters, did not play again June 9 but is expected to return to the lineup soon after an examination of his sore right shoulder revealed no structural damage. Saunders experienced discomfort June 6 during a swing in the third inning. "This is just proving that it is going to be day to day," he said.
--RHP Taijuan Walker (right shoulder soreness) went on the 15-day disabled list March 29. He made two rehab starts in the minor leagues but was scratched from his scheduled April 16 start for Triple-A Tacoma because of a flare-up in the shoulder. He was playing catch again as of May 3, and he threw his first bullpen session in more than a month May 11. He pitched a simulated game May 23. He began a new rehab assignment with Tacoma on May 28. He is due to start for Tacoma again on June 9, and he could be back with the Mariners in mid-June.
--RHP Blake Beavan (right shoulder stiffness) went on the 15-day disabled list April 16, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 30.
--LHP James Paxton (strained lat muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list April 9. He met with the team doctor April 23 and was cleared to start playing catch. He threw bullpen sessions May 9, May 11 and May 14. He pitched in a simulated game May 17. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on May 24. He didn't throw May 26 due to left shoulder soreness, and he was shut down for five to seven days as of May 28. He might be able to rejoin the Mariners by mid-June.
--RF Logan Morrison (right hamstring tightness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 15. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on May 23.
--DH Corey Hart (strained left hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 19.
RHP Felix Hernandez
LHP Roenis Elias
RHP Chris Young
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma
RHP Erasmo Ramirez
RHP Fernando Rodney (closer)
RHP Danny Farquhar
RHP Tom Wilhelmsen
LHP Charlie Furbush
RHP Yoervis Medina
LHP Joe Beimel
RHP Dominic Leone
1B Justin Smoak
2B Robinson Cano
SS Brad Miller
3B Kyle Seager
INF/OF Willie Bloomquist
LF Dustin Ackley
CF James Jones
RF Michael Saunders
OF Stefen Romero
OF Cole Gillespie
OF Endy Chavez