Blake Beavan was at 103 pitches through eight innings, but manager Eric Wedge took no chances and allowed Brandon League to finish off the ninth in a 5-1 win over the Angels. Wedge said after the game that since Beavan had thrown 113 pitches his prior outing, he didn’t want to risk overtaxing the young pitcher’s arm. Fair enough.
Beavan sets a new Mariners record for “quality starts” — at least six innings with three earned runs or fewer allowed — by a rookie to start a career, snapping the tie between him and Michael Pineda. Beavan also becomes the first major league rookie to begin a career with six straight quality starts since Jered Weaver had nine back in 2006.
That’s some pretty good company.
Beavan didn’t do it alone, getting plenty of help from his infield tonight — especially Dustin Ackley, who looked great on a 4-6-3 double-play in the third, then leaped for a line drive in the fifth and made a tough play on a slow grounder in the eighth.
Adam Kennedy added a nice catch near the stands on a Torii Hunter popup, which helped because Bobby Abreu followed with what would have been an RBI double had Hunter reached.
Jack Wilson played another strong game at shortstop. Can’t believe there isn’t another MLB team that could use him now. Maybe they’re waiting for his price to drop a bit more.
“I can’t stress enough how good our defense was out there,” Beavan said. “You try to do the best you can to throw strikes and let your defense do the work. I’m not a strikeout guy. I try to locate everything and when I miss, I get hit. So, that’s been a focus for me.”
And of course, there’s Trayvon Robinson, who hit his first career home run in the seventh on a two-strike pitch.
“It’s the best feeling, the best feeling,” Robinson said. “It’s been the best week of my life. Every day, there’s something new. We’ll see what I can do tomorrow.”
Of course, afte the ball cleared the wall in center, Robinson pulled in to second base and stopped – not realizing it had gone over until second base umpire Jerry Meals signaled for him to keep going.
“I thought, good I hit a double, because I’d only hit nine doubles this year in the minors,” Robinson said. “So, I was like ‘OK, I hit double-digits. Then, I saw the center field umpire put up his hand and I was like ‘That’s even sweeter, OK!’ ”
Robinson’s mother, Jacqueline, got the ball from his first big-league single last night. She’ll also get the first home run ball. Robinson was raised primarily by his mother, and also his grandmother and aunt, less than an hour’s drive away in South Central Los Angeles.
“It’s just like a marriage,” he said. “Everything I’ve got, she’s got.”
His teammates gave Robinson a beer shower afterwards. He remarked that it was real cold and also that he’d need to put some cologne on because his mother would be waiting outside for him.
“I can’t go next to my Mom smelling like that,” he said, his hair still reeking of beer.
Nice to see some of the young guys come through. Adam Kennedy as well with that early two-run double that proved the difference.
“Guys are settling in a little bit and relaxing,” the 35-year-old Kennedy said, adding that this is by far the youngest team he’s ever played on.
“There are some good players and some great guys here,” he said. “They’re fun to be around.”