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April 30, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Mariners leave rotation alone for key upcoming series with Texas Rangers

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There were several ways the Mariners could have gone with their rotation, given Monday’s day off. But with the Texas Rangers coming to town, M’s manager Eric Wedge has left the order alone.
That means you’ll have Erik Bedard going on Tuesday, followed by Michael Pineda on Wednesday and Jason Vargas on Thursday. All three starters will be going on an extra day’s rest.
Wedge had been asked whether he might flip some guys around and give Bedard a full week between outings — something that happened his last time out and saw Bedard gain an uptick in velocity afterward.
But Wedge isn’t convinced the velocity spike was the result of the added rest. He said Bedard did plenty of hard work between outings. In the end, he feels Bedard’s velocity gain is merely the result of him being more comfortable in all aspects of pitching again after nearly two years away from a mound.


Wedge also could have moved up Pineda to keep him on his regular five-day throwing regimen, but the team has said since spring training that it would do what it can to protect him. So, now, he gets an extra day, as does Vargas.
You’ll remember that Vargas had gone 13 outings without a win before last night. At the back of everyone’s mind is some concern about how his arm will hold up after he faded in last year’s second half.
So, the extra day probably won’t hurt him either.
The Mariners are 7-7 on the road this month. If they win tonight, they’ll end April with a winning record. Seattle has been .500 or better on the road in April in four of the last six seasons.
This is the team’s longest road winning streak — five games — since winning six in a row from April 9-25, 2009.
Helping that charge has been the bullpen, which has gone 10 innings without allowing a run. Opponents are hitting just .114 with no extra-base hits over that span. Relievers during that period have struck out eight and walked only two.
The lineup:
MARINERS
RF Ichiro
3B Chone Figgins
LF Milton Bradley
C Miguel Olivo
1B Justin Smoak
DH Jack Cust
CF Michael Saunders
SS Brendan Ryan
2B Jack Wilson
RHP Doug Fister

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins

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