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March 12, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Wrapping up the day

Another good day for the Mariners here in the desert as they beat the A’s 10-2 behind solid pitching from starter Blake Beavan (above in an AP photo) and Luke French (three scoreless innings), and seven extra-base hits including a two-run homer by Justin Smoak in the sixth.
It was the best day of the spring for Smoak, who reached all four times, walking twice, hitting a two-out two-run single in the fourth and then the home run in the sixth.
He was just 2-18 coming into the game.
“It’s always good to see what you have been working on having a little bit of success,” he said. “Just have to keep with it and keep working hard and hope for the best.”
Smoak think he’s been a little too impatient at the plate in the early going.
“It’s one of those things that the first few games I was up there with a shot clock and the last couple times just try to let the ball get to me and use the middle of the field,” he said.
Said manager Eric Wedge: “I like his temperament. He’s really worked hard this spring both at the plate and at first base. I think he’s working hard, like everybody is, to be a better base runner and have better instincts on the base paths and have better instincts in the game in general.”
Beavan isn’t a real candidate to make the Major League roster, but the start today was both something of a reward as well as a gague to see how he’d handled Major League hitters.
Wedge was impressed, saying: “I thought he was really good. I thought Beavan threw the ball well.”
Beavan gave up a run on a leadoff walk and then two singles in the third. But he then got a double-play grounder from Adam LaRoche to get out of it.
“It’s always nice to face heart of the lineups for any team because you get to see how your stuff is,” he said. “I had to make some adjustments after thoses two hits in a row and luckily I made the adjustment and got out of it with only one run.”
The Mariners are now on a six-game non-losing streak, winning five of those, to improve to 8-4-2 on the spring.

Brandon League gave up a run on a single, a wild pitch and a couple of ground outs. Afterward, Wedge seemed to hedge just a bit on proclaiming him as the closer to start the season. “He’s a guy that’s going to be a late-inning guy for us,” he said. “How it all plays out, we still don’t know. Right now, he’s obviously at the top of that pecking order. He’s a veteran guy. He knows what he needs to do as far as coming into camp to get ready. You see him working in the right direction with each outing.”
— Here are Wedge’s thoughts on the performance of Felix Hernandez in the intrasquad game (detailed in the entry below): “I thought he threw very well. Sometimes it’s tough to keep the energy level in those types of games. But he did, and did a good job with all of his pitches.”
Milton Bradley went 2-2 with a double and is up to .389.
Ichiro was 1-2 and hitting .375 and also was hit by a pitch in his calf in his first at-bat, though he stayed in the game. “He should be fine, and obviously he was able to stay in the game,” Wedge said. “But you never like to see anyone get clipped.”
Franklin Gutierrez returned from a two-day leave to attend to be with his family — his father-in-law is Luis Salazar, the Braves’ minor league coach injured last week when hit in the face by a batted ball. Wedge said he talked to Gutierrez and that “it was good to get him back in the lineup today. It’s a tough situation. He was there to support his wife and her family. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Salazar family and what they’re going through. You hope for the best.”
Jason Vargas gets his third start of the spring on Sunday against the Angels at Tempe at 1 p.m (both here and Seattle). Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger is also scheduled to get his first action.



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