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September 10, 2011 at 2:12 AM

Mariners postgame: Liddi on his first hit, Olivo on chasing the cycle and Ackley on the home run that wasn’t

I’m balancing both Mariners and Sounders duty this weekend, so I apologize for not having the time to get into an in-depth postgame recap as you might be used to. There were quite a few story lines to Friday’s 7-3 win against Kansas City, so I at least wanted to get some extra material on the blog.
Here’s some reaction from the clubhouse, including: Alex Liddi (on his first hit as a major leaguer), Miguel Olivo (as he chased the fifth cycle in team history), Dustin Ackley (who had a home run robbed of him on multiple fronts and some other misfortune) and more.
* * *
ALEX LIDDI, third baseman
(Does it feel good to get the first hit out of the way?) “Yeah, it kind of took the pressure off me a little bit. After I got it I kind of calmed down a little bit and started enjoying it.”
(Is it even more special with family here?) “My parents were here, so it was good to do it in Seattle and in front of my family, too.”

(What did you think about the reception in the dugout?) “I really appreciate that. Everybody is happy for me. It’s a good clubhouse and I really like it.”
(What are you going to do with the ball?) “I’m probably going to put it in the case at home with all my stuff.”
(Did they give you a fake one?) “Yeah, they gave me a fake one… (laughs) It said ‘Alex’ with a ‘C’ and ‘Liddi’ with a ‘Y’ with a sharpie.”
(On trying to get the single to complete the cycle…) “I tried to do my best. I tried to the put the ball in play. I tried to win the game. … Tomorrow’s another day. We’ll see what happens.”
(Still a very productive night…) “It is. I’m very happy.”
(Do you remember the last time you were close to a cycle?) “I think I (came close) in Minnesota when I was playing with the White Sox. I don’t know. You never know, maybe one day it’s going to happen. It’s baseball and I just need to keep doing what I’m doing. The good thing is we won the game today.”
(When do you start thinking about it?) “I know I had home run, the double and the triple. I know if I got a single I’d hit for the cycle, but I didn’t put any more pressure on myself. I just tried to put the ball in play and let it happen.”
(If you hit one in the gap would you ever think about stopping at first?) “No. I’m not a selfish player. I’d never do that. If I hit a single, double or triple, I’m going to run.”
DUSTIN ACKLEY, second baseman
(On Francoeur robbing the home run…) “I didn’t think he had it at first. I saw how high up he went. I was like, ‘Did he really catch that or not catch it?’ Once I saw the ball I was like there’s nothing you can do now. Hopefully you get a cheap hit somewhere down the road that makes up for it, but those are tough.”
(You had three hard line-drives tonight and he got you twice…) “He did. That’s just the way it is sometimes. He’s a good outfielder and if you’re hitting it in his location he’s probably going to put a glove on it, and he did a couple times tonight.”
(On hearing that the play should’ve been ruled a home run after hitting a fan’s glove before the catch…) “That makes it hurt even worse to think it should’ve been a home run to begin with and it was caught. Then it should’ve been a home run again because it hit a fan’s glove. That’s one of those things where I wish they could’ve replayed it or done something, because you can replay things now and see that. It’s tough when you’ve got to see that and can’t do anything about it.”
BLAKE BEAVAN, starting pitcher
(What changed after the rough start?) “I just had to make an adjustment. Those guys came out hacking. First pitch of the game, it wasn’t a bad pitch, and he connected and got a home run off it. That kind of told me right away that I was going to have to start pitching backwards to these guys early on.”
(You retired 13 in a row at one points, did you sense a good run coming for you?) “I guess you want to feel that you’re going to get outs and get in a rhythm out there, but it’s all about just making pitches. For me, it’s just about getting ahead. Most of the time for me that’s when I do get in a rhythm is when I’m pitching ahead in the count. After that first inning I kind of blew some steam off and got it out of my head. I went back out there and regrouped and kind of focused on making quality pitches, using my breaking ball a little bit more and getting them off my fastball.”
(On rooting for Miguel to get the single…) “I think everybody was. I think everybody wanted to see him get that single. Regardless, he had a heckuva night behind the plate and on offense.”
(How much did it help getting some runs in the bottom of the first?) “It helped a lot. No one wants to give up the first two runs of the game in the first inning. For the offense to come in and step up right there and get some clutch runs, it basically (made) it like a new ballgame.”
ERIC WEDGE, manager
(On Beavan responding to bad start…) “They came out swinging the bats and they’re a good hitting ballclub. I thought Blake did a great job of settling down. We wanted to get him through the first inning and he really settled in after that. He was just a little erratic with his stuff in the first inning and they were aggressive. He really did a good job settling down and getting deep into the ballgame.”
(On wanting Olivo to get the single…) “Everybody was rooting for him and Miggy had a great game. Giving Carp the night off brought him into that 4-hole with the left-hander on the mound and he really responded for us.”
(On Francoeur’s catch…) “He made a couple of great chances. The one on the home run was incredible. Ackley hit three balls right on the nose on his first three ABs with nothing to show for it. You can’t control that. All you can do is work to square up the baseball and that’s what he did.”
(On the home run hitting a fan’s glove…) “Yeah, we heard that. I didn’t see anything like that from our angle, but there was some talk of that in the dugout.”
(On putting in tough ABs…) “That’s what we’ve been doing a lot more of — being tough up there, making tough outs, making the pitcher work. It comes back to you. Even Ackley squaring those three balls up like he did, it helps the next guy. The next guy, guess what, was Olivo. Then you just keep moving it down the line. Everybody has an equal responsibility to go up there and be a tough out and put up good ABs. We’re better with that now. Not as consistent as we need to be but we’re moving in the right direction.”
(On Liddi’s getting his first hit…) “Yeah, good for him to get that first one and it was a good one. I was impressed with his hustle and getting into second base there. He really squared up and I’m happy for him to get that first one.”



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