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February 27, 2007 at 9:53 AM

A home run for the ages

Not every day do you come out of a Mariners intrasquad game with something truly memorable to talk about. For anyone who cares, Team “A” defeated Team “B” by a 3-0 score in this 4 1/2 inning contest. But the only thing anyone was talking about was the home run hit by Mariners outfield prospect Mike Wilson off Juan Sandoval in the top of the fourth. The blast cleared not only the 410-foot-sign in dead center, but also sailed over the 30-foot-high “batter’s eye” screen as well.
Estimates of the blast ranged between 450 and 500 feet. That’s no exaggeration. Wilson gave a conservative guess of 450 or 460. But center fielder Adam Jones swears he saw it land on the concrete pavement behind the batter’s eye — a good 60 feet beyond the fence.
“That was a bomb!” Jones exclained.
Flip side of the equation
Sandoval was making his first appearance in a game-type situation since losing the vision in his right eye to a shotgun blast nearly 13 months ago.
“He gave me a nice welcome back,” Sandoval said of Wilson, a 23-year-old, second-round pick in the 2001 draft.
One of the first people to speak with Sandoval afterwards was fellow pitcher and Dominican native Miguel Batista. The veteran took Sandoval aside, told him to remember he hadn’t pitched since 2005, was doing so with only one eye and had gotten ahead of the hitters he’d faced before hanging a slider to Wilson.
“I told him there are pitchers with two good eyes, who pitched last year, who were going out there and falling behind the hitters,” Batista said. “He was throwing strikes, that’s all he should be thinking about now.”
More notables
— Ichiro went 3-for-3 with three singles
— Jeff Weaver retired all three batters faced on ground balls
— Jose Vidro (whoops — make that “Guillen”) went 0-for-2 and grounded into a double play his first time up
— There were three double-plays turned in the game, two by the combo of SS Yuniesky Betancourt and 2B Gookie Dawkins and one by SS Rey Ordonez and 2B Willie Bloomquist
— Richie Sexson went 0-for-3 after coming up with five total men on base during the course of the game. Sexson struck out looking on three pitches with two on and none on his first time up, flied out with two on the ensuing at-bat and hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice.
— Jose Vidro had a nine-pitch at-bat off Cha Seung Baek before blooping a single in the top of the first inning.
— In the first “situational hitting” occasion of the spring, with none out and a runner on second in the fourth, Jeremy Reed came through with a grounder to the right side to move the runner over.
Mistakes made
The game’s first run scored in the fourth inning when Jones threw well over the catcher’s head after catching a fly ball to shallow center by Mike Morse. Kenji Johjima was about to hold at third base — making it the spring’s first failed situational hitting attempt — but took off when the Jones through sailed.
A final run crossed the plate in the fifth when 3B Adrian Beltre let a Vidro grounder scoot under his glove.
Hargrove still restless
Even some game action wasn’t enough to get manager Mike Hargrove jacked up this time of spring. To clarify, though, he was refering more to his players state-of-mind than his own when speaking.
“These games are not fun to play in,” he said, before joining the team as it headed off for its charity golf tournament. “Believe me, they’re not fun at all. There’s nothing on the line.”
Hargrove did say he was thrilled that nobody got hurt and that his hitters took pitches early in the count. He played Morse at third base and said the reservist should see both infield and outfield playing time this spring.
Lowe under the knife
Mark Lowe was to undergo arthroscopic surgery this morning in Los Angeles. We should be getting an update on it later this afternoon, but don’t expect to see him throwing again until late in spring training.



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