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April 24, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Mariners send down Lueke, Peguero after Sunday loss

fistersun.jpg
(Doug Fister pitched well Sunday but the M’s were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and lost 5-2. Photo by Associated Press).
You knew Josh Lueke wasn’t long for this team after he got shelled on Saturday night (four hits, three runs in the sixth inning). That left his ERA at 17.05. Opponents are hitting .429 off him. His velocity is down. It wasn’t pretty.
Sure enough, after Sunday’s 5-2 Mariner loss, Lueke was optioned to Tacoma. So was Carlos Peguero, as expected, to make room for the return of Justin Smoak from the bereavement list. And boy, do the Mariners ever need Smoak’s bat back in the lineup.
To take Lueke’s spot, the Mariners recalled right-hander Dan Cortes. Cortes, 24, appeared in four games last September for the Mariners with a 3.38 ERA. In six games for Tacoma, he was 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA in 8 1/3 innings. He gave up nine hits, struck out nine, and walked four. Cortes came to Seattle form Kansas City in the deal that sent Yuniesky Betancourt to the Royals.


As for Sunday’s game, the less said about it, the better. Eric Wedge is getting as fed up with the Mariners’ lack of clutch hitting as the fans. They were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and are now hitting .188 in such situations for the season.
“We had opportunities on and off throughout the course of the ballgame,” Wedge said. “These guys are going to have to figure out a way to fight through whatever they’re going through mentally and fundamentally, for that matter, and finish off innings. That’s the difference in the ballgame.
“That and making plays when plays need to be made in certain situations.”
With the latter comment, he was referring primarily to Chone Figgins‘ “ole” stab at Connor Jackson’s grounder in the ninth. What could have been an inning-ending double play ball instead led to two runs. Those turned the A’s 3-2 lead into a 5-2 lead heading into the ninth, and the M’s were sunk.
Of course, the M’s offensive struggles aren’t surprising when you consider their lineup included .152 Ryan Langerhans, .167 Figgins, .169 Miguel Olivo, .214 Brendan Ryan and .216 Michael Saunders.
Figgins had a particularly brutal day. In addition to the error, he tapped back to the pitcher with a runner on first in the third inning; grounded out softly to third with runners on first and second and one out in the fifth; and struck out looking with a runner on third and two outs in the seventh.

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins

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