Jesus Montero took two foul balls off the jaw, but manager Eric Wedge says he’s otherwise fine and was just taken out so he wouldn’t have to absorb any more of a beating.
“He’s OK, he got hit in the jaw a couple of times,” Wedge said of Montero. “I dont know if I’ve ever seen it happen two times in a row like that. The first one got him pretty good. Obviously, the second one right on top of that, so we got him out of there. But he should be fine.”
Montero hit a two-run homer today, as did Michael Saunders and Carlos Peguero, while Luis Rodriguez and Johermyn Chavez added solo blasts to pace the Mariners to an 8-5 win over the Oakland Athletics.
“The guys swung the bat well today,” Wedge said. “They’ve been working. They’ve been coming in here understanding what we’ve been lookingt for and know what they have to do.”
Wedge hadn’t commented since the news that Franklin Gutierrez won’t start the year with the club. Gutierrez is still not back in camp aftr flying to Seattle and learning he’ll begin the year on the DL with a torn pectoral muscle.
“We’ve got options with a number of different guys,” Wedge said. “Wells, Figgins Saunders and then some. But like I’ve talked about before, we plan on bouncing Figgins around and I know Casper (Wells) can play all three and Saunders can play all three…it’s an opportunity for somebody to step up.”
Today, it was Saunders stepping up with the two-run homer in the second inning that put Seattle ahead to stay.
“He’s been real good all spring. He’s up there ready to hit. He’s got a different look in his eye. He’s walking around with some confidence. We’ve talked about this before, this is a guy who’s worked hard on every aspect of his game. The hitting has been just a little bit tardy for him.”
Wedge said Saunders looks “much better than what we’ve seen in the past.”
Saunders was pleased with how some of what he’d done prior to today actually carried over in a Cactus League game. He’d missed a couple of high fastballs from A’s pitcher Graham Godfrey, who then threw a slider that Saunders admitted sped up his bat a little.
The ball shot over the right field wall and Seattle had the lead.
“I was very passive last year,” Saunders said. “I didn’t trust myself. I was a little lost. And I think it showed. I’ve learned a lot from that.”