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March 3, 2007 at 12:06 PM

Washburn gives one up

The one true flyball pitcher in Seattle’s starting rotation has made his spring debut and gave up a home run to the second hitter he faced. Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn, looking to rebound from a disappointing 8-14 campaign last year, went 2-2 in the count to San Diego Padres hitter Termel Sledge before his next offering was Sledge-hammered over the fence in left center. Sledge is a lefty hitter and Washburn yielded a .511 slugging percentage to southpaws last season — something he hopes to improve upon.
Washburn was otherwise fine before and after Sledge, getting a leadoff groundout, then a pop-out by Mike Cameron and a strikeout on Todd Walker to end the frame.
Seattle got a leadoff single from Ichiro, who pulled the ball into right field, but Rey Ordonez popped out, Adrian Beltre lined out to left and Richie Sexson bounced out to short. Ichiro never moved from first base.
The Mariners are the home team today, so it’s 1-0 for the Padres heading into the top of the second.
A little ex-Mariners update here. Seems that Joel Pineiro and Gregg Dobbs had a little reunion down in Florida in the fifth inning of today’s Grapefruit League game between Boston and Philadelphia. Pineiro was on the mound for the Red Sox and served up a two-run homer to Dobbs, grabbed this winter by ex-Mariners GM Pat Gillick. Not a good start for Pineiro, hoping to become the Boston closer. Pineiro issued two walks in the inning — erasing one on a double-play grounder — and the homer before getting out of the frame. That game is now tied 6-6 in the late innings.
The home run by Sledge was the only run Washburn gave up in his two-inning stint, which ended with three strikeouts — two of them in the second inning. Washburn fanned Kevin Kouzmanoff, yielded a bloop single to center by Russell Branyan, then struck out Geoff Blum and got Rob Bowen to ground out. So, a lot of positives for Washburn to take out of a stint that didn’t start off too well.
Seattle went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame on groundouts by Jose Guillen, Ben Broussard and Kenji Johjima. So, it’s still 1-0 for San Diego heading into the third with local product Sean White on the mound for Seattle.
**********YUNI COMES UP BIG IN FIELD**********
The first gem turned in by SS Yuniesky Betancourt this spring came in the top of the third when he went deep in the hole for a grounder to his right and barely nabbed ex-Mariners outfielder Mike Cameron at first base. Betancourt got some help from the first base umpire, but it was still a nice-looking play. Seattle-area product White allowed a Sledge single to left, but got through the inning on the Betancourt play.
*************QUIET DAY AT PLATE SO FAR*********
We’re in the fifth inning and it’s still 1-0. White got through the top of the fourth 1-2-3 with a pair of strikeouts, making it a fine outing for him. But the Mariners haven’t done much of anything with the bats so far. Rey Ordonez led off the bottom of the fourth with a single to left, ending a string of nine consecutive Seattle hitters having been set down in order. But Beltre lined out to left and Sexson hit his second weak hopper of the day to shortstop, beginning a 6-4-3, inning-ending double play.



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