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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

May 7, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Mariners’ minor-league report, Friday, May 7: Luke French on fire

In case you missed it, here’s my preview of the brewing home-run excitement the Mariners have in store this summer. Look out, Babe Ruth.

And here is the latest minor-league report, reviewing games from last night.

As you can see, left-hander Luke French pitched another gem last night for Tacoma (8 innings, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts) in a 2-1 win at Portland. French is now 4-0 with a 1.35 ERA and has won three consecutive starts. He has allowed two runs or fewer in all six of his starts this year. You have to wonder if the Mariners will be calling on him soon, in light of Ryan Rowland-Smith’s ongoing inconsistency.

French, you might recall, came from the Tigers last July 31, along with pitcher Mauricio Robles, in exchange for Jarrod Washburn. Robles, a 21-year-old lefty, was considered by many the key to the deal. He’s pitching for Class AA West Tennessee and has a 2-1 record with a 3.91 ERA in five starts (25 strikeouts and 11 walks in 23 innings).

Dan Cortes, whom the Mariners picked up from Kansas City in the Yuniesky Betancourt trade, won his third game last night for West Tennessee. He has a 5.52 ERA, with 30 strikeouts and 17 walks in 29 1/3 innings (30 hits allowed).

Dustin Ackley, the Mariners’ top draft pick last year (No. 2 overall) is catching fire. He has had three straight multi-hit games (7-for-13 with a double, homer and five RBI) to raise his avrage to .196. Josh Fields, the M’s No. 1 pick in 2008, has a 1.17 ERA in 11 games for West Tenn. In 15 1/3 innings, he’s allowed just eight hits, striking out 17 with eight walks.

Matt Tuiasosopo is 5-for-13 since joining Tacoma when the M’s sent him down Sunday.

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