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March 5, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Wrapping up the day

Obviously, tempered feelings here today, as the positive of seeing Erik Bedard (in a John Lok photo) pitch well again contrasted with the sight of Miguel Olivo carted off the field with a groin injury during Seattle’s 7-2 win over the Indians (here’s the box score).
All we know for now is that Olivo strained his groin on the left side and will have an MRI Monday. Too soon otherwise to make much of a prognosis, and at least it happened the first week of spring games instead of the last.
Said manager Eric Wedge: “You always hate to see that and now we just hope for whatever the best case scenario is. That’s what we hope for. We’ll just take it day to day continue to get him looked at and see where we are at.”
As for Bedard, two stellar innings — four K’s and one walk, no hits allowed, 34 pitches, 21 strikes.
Bedard said later it was too early to get excited, and that he wouldn’t start thinking much about what this means for his season until the end of spring training. That’s obviously the wise approach at this point, coming off two shoulder surgeries.
But no doubt, so far so good in Seattle’s gamble to get something out of Bedard and maybe get a pretty cheap No. 2 pitcher behind Felix Hernandez. As many other issues as this team has, that 1-2 combo would make the Mariners competitive on an awful lot of nights.
Said Wedge: “I feel like it was just another step today. He went out there for a couple of innings and threw the ball well and did exactly what he has been doing, moving his fastball around, using his secondary stuff effectively and controlled the ball game.”
Bedard said he used all of his pitches, citing a cutter to get a called looking strikeout in the first, and another on a sinker. He was a little wild in the second inning when he walked a batter, but chalked that up to consistency.
Asked how his arm felt, he said: “Yeah it’s fine. At this point you are just trying to get some stamina going and throw more innings every time you go out and hopefully you feel good every time.”
He said he feels he’s on a pace to increase his workload gradually through the spring, just like any normal healthy pitcher would be.
Wedge liked what he saw out of the offense today, including the three RBI by Franklin Gutierrez that included a two-strike sac fly off of Joe Smith in the fifth.
“Especially with someone throwing underneath like that, that’s a tough right-on-right situation,” Wedge said. “You’ve got two strikes there, he stuck his nose in there got the ball to the outfield and got us a run. That’s the kind of at-bats we’ve got to have.”
Adding more on the offense, Wedge said: “I liked the way we were creating offense. We didn’t have any big innings, but we were consistent througouut the game and the at-bats were better, particulary with two strikes sticking our nose in there and battling.”
The only pitcher to get roughed up was Dan Cortes, who gave up three walks and two hits and both runs in the fifth.
“He’s young,” Wedge said. “He has great stuff. But he still gets in a little bit of a hurry now and again. These reps and the time we get out there each time, that experience is going to help him.”
The Mariners play Sunday in Scottsdale against the Giants at 12:05 Seattle time with Nate Robertson getting the start.



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