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July 25, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Mariners vs. Red Sox, July 25: Lineups and notes

Red Sox
Marco Scutaro SS
J.D. Drew RF
David Ortiz DH
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jeremy Hermida LF
Mike Cameron CF
Bill Hall 2B
Dusty Brown C
RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-3, 4.29)
Mariners
Ichiro RF
Chone Figgins 2B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Jose Lopez 3B
Justin Smoak DH
Casey Kotchman 1B
Michael Saunders LF
Rob Johnson C
Jack Wilson SS
RHP Doug Fister (3-6, 3.56)
It’s a quiet morning after the fireworks this weekend. But the day is young.
Today’s starter, Doug Fister, is 0-5 with a 5.33 ERA in his last eight starts. That’s a little deceptive — he threw at least seven innings in three of those starts — but the M’s would definitely like to see a stronger outing from Fister, who in his past two starts has given up 19 hits and nine earned runs in 11 2/3 innings.
Good note from the Mariners’ PR staff: The Mariners’ four hits last night (homer by Saunders, triple by Bradley, double by Figgins, single by Saunders) marked just the second time in club history they had just four hits and hit for the cycle. It also happened in a 3-2 loss to the White Sox on July 3, 1991 (homer by Ken Griffey Jr., triple by Pete O’Brien, double by Omar Vizquel, single by O’Brien).


Russ Branyan (back) is out of the lineup again. Manager Don Wakamatsu said he’ll be back during the four-game series starting Monday in Chicago “at the earliest…We have to be real careful making sure we don’t rush him back.” But there are no current plans to put Branyan on the disabled list.
Pretty soon, the Mariners will have to figure out what to do with Mike Sweeney (back), on a rehab stint with Tacoma. “He has to be pretty close to being ready to come back at some point,” Wakamatsu said. “With the roster now, we’ll have to make moves to allow him to come up. He’s doing everything he can. He’s feeling good.”
Wakamatsu believes Saunders’ showing last night against one of the tougest lefties in the league, Jon Lester, is part of his continuing growth process.
“You see a lot of left-handed hitters, especially young players early in their career, get protected to the point maybe it does affect them long term. We want to build his confidence, and a game like last night, against a pitcher like Lester, I sure think that helps.
“With him, and any hitter, it starts upstairs, the mental side of it. You talk about watching body language in a player. He feels real good about his swing right now, feels real good about what he can do. You see it in him. You can see his confidence grow in the last year or so. That leads to the right mechanical changes, in a sense. There’s not that urgency to swing at ptches outside the zone. It’s why you’re seeing more patience from him in the last month. He said he’s starting to realize what pitches he can hit. That’s probably the first step.”

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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