M's Pitchers Coming Back?

M's Pitchers Coming Back?

Seattle has six pitchers on the disabled list coming into this week, and five of the six could be ready to be activated before or at the All-Star break.

On top of that, right-hander Julio Mateo is throwing well (1-1, 1.80 ERA, four saves in 11 games) for Class AAA Tacoma, but the Mariners don't know if they want him back while he has a charge of third-degree assault on his wife over his head.

The next week or so should see the Mariners do some roster gymnastics as pitchers get healthy. Right-hander Mark Lowe is the biggest question mark. He has had two elbow surgeries, but if he is healthy again, he could be a huge force for the Mariners because he opened his big league career with 13 consecutive scoreless performances last year.

Jon Huber (forearm), Sean White (biceps tendinitis) and Chris Reitsma (elbow) are also getting close. White is an interesting case, because as a Rule 5 pickup, he has to stay up or be offered back to Atlanta. Reitsma is a veteran with closer's experience, but he has to be content with doing some setup work. Huber has pitched well, generally, but is probably doomed to return to Triple-A, given the numbers game.

And then there is left-hander Horacio Ramirez. The only starter on the disabled list, he's getting close, but it's not at all clear how Seattle will wedge him into the rotation unless he takes the place of left-hander Ryan Feierabend, who has been set up to start at least until the All-Star break.

MARINERS 3, REDS 2: One day after swatting four home runs to beat Cincinnati 9-1, the Mariners relied on small-ball to earn a comeback victory. The Mariners used back-to-back bunts in the seventh inning Sunday to set up and then score the winning run. Left fielder Willie Bloomquist's perfect suicide squeeze brought home shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt from third base moments after a bunt by catcher Jamie Burke had moved Betancourt into scoring position. An inning earlier, designated hitter Jose Vidro's sacrifice bunt moved runners into scoring position for right fielder Ben Broussard's game-tying two-run double.

NOTES, QUOTES

--UTIL Willie Bloomquist has started 15 of the last 34 games, and he's averaging .362 (17-for-47) in those games. That stat doesn't count Sunday's game-winning seventh-inning suicide squeeze bunt.

--LHP Eric O'Flaherty hasn't allowed a run in his last nine appearances after a 1-2-3 inning of relief Sunday.

--RF Jose Guillen was held out of starts Saturday and Sunday because of some soreness in his upper right arm. It apparently is not related to the elbow problems that cut short his 2006 season. Manager Mike Hargrove made two lineups Sunday, one with Guillen playing and one with Guillen sitting. It was eventually decided a second day off would do Guillen good.

--CF Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 19 games Sunday. He already had a 25-game streak earlier this season that set a club record. He's hit in 55 of his last 46 games to push his batting average over .360.

--LF Raul Ibanez, pulled out of Saturday's game with a sore leg, didn't play Sunday and could get another day or two off to get healthy again.

--1B Richie Sexson was back in the cleanup spot Sunday, a day after he hit a pair of solo homers while batting seventh. After batting either fourth or fifth all season, Sexson was moved to seventh when the current homestand started Tuesday. But he's homered four times since then, and Seattle had RF Jose Guillen and LF Raul Ibanez out of the lineup Sunday, so Sexson got moved back up. Coming into Sunday, Sexson has nine homers in his last 22 games after hitting five in his first 49.

--RHP J.J. Putz's run of saves in consecutive chances moved to 21 with a four-out save Sunday against the Reds. It is the longest consecutive saves streak in the major leagues.

--LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith made his big league debut Friday by striking out Ken Griffey Jr. Rowland-Smith, the first player in Major League history with a hyphenated last name, is the third rookie pitcher to debut with the Mariners this year, joining RHP Brandon Morrow and RHP Sean White.

BY THE NUMBERS: 9-9 -- Seattle's record in interleague play this season after being 14-4 a year ago.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's going to be good to get back to playing teams we know a little more about." -- Manager Mike Hargrove, on the end of interleague play.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

RHP Cha Seung Baek (shoulder) went on the disabled list retroactive to June 17.

3B Adrian Beltre (sore left thumb) left the June 12 game. He sat out June 13-18 before returning June 19.

RHP Chris Reitsma (sore right elbow) went on the disabled list June 11.

RHP Jon Huber (elbow) went on the disabled list retroactive to June 7.

LHP Horacio Ramirez (left shoulder tightness) went on the disabled list May 25. He threw his first bullpen session June 19.

LHP Arthur Rhodes (left elbow) went on the disabled list retroactive to April 1. He had Tommy John surgery on May 2, and he is out for the season.

RHP Mark Lowe (right elbow) had a second surgery on the elbow this spring, a move designed to remove scar tissue. He will throw a bullpen session June 20, and
he soon could start a rehab assignment.

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