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Saturday, March 11, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Mariners

M's Notes: More injuries, but M's rally to beat Rockies

Seattle Times staff reporter

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Mariners lost Willie Bloomquist and Shin-Soo Choo to injuries Friday and had Fernando Vina's return from injury pushed back, and all in all it was still a good day.

The Mariners had some good offense to overcome leadoff walks and other mistakes by pitchers in an 8-7 win over Colorado. Seattle had 16 hits and scored three runs in the ninth.

The last-inning rally started with Matt Lawton's third double and was capped by a sacrifice fly by T.J. Bohn, who had a sweet day as a midgame replacement with two hits, a walk and his big run batted in.

More importantly to a team in need of capable pitching, Gil Meche did well in a bullpen session back in Peoria and has been scheduled to pitch two innings in a "B" game Monday.

Meche strained his left oblique muscle in the one inning he worked this spring more than a week ago. He was taped on the left side to throw 40 pitches without trouble and said later, "I liked the way the tape felt. It helped."

The Bloomquist and Choo troubles caused Seattle to tear up the first two versions of its lineup for the game against Colorado.

Choo was a late scratch when he reported his arm sore during pregame warmups.

Bloomquist was about 100 miles from the Mariners game Thursday and still got hurt. While his team was taking another lopsided loss to the White Sox, the utilityman cut the little finger of his right hand while lifting weights back at the team's Peoria complex.

"I'm told he was reracking weights and jammed his hand and wound up with three stitches in the finger," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. "Our strength-and-conditioning people are getting more people hurt than on the field."

In addition to Bloomquist, several pitchers have been hurt running, most notably Clint Nageotte.

Hargrove said he expected Bloomquist to be unable to hit for several days.

"But it's not that concerning right now," Hargrove said. "He was supposed to play the last two games here in Tucson, but he's had a lot of playing time and he's leading the team in at-bats [19]. So it's not that big a deal he misses a couple or three days."

Vina, who has been out more than a week with a strained hip flexor, originally was expected to play in Tucson, too.

"He's been pushed back a bit," Hargrove said. "I'd be surprised if he was ready on Monday, either. But we have time with him."

Actually, if Meche's return from his muscle strain goes smoothly, it would be significant enough to sooth the Mariners' other hurts. They need effective pitching that badly.

The pitch that got away

Starter Jarrod Washburn went three innings and felt he had pitched well, "except for one pitch."

That mistake was clubbed out to left by Jeff Baker for a grand slam in the third inning, a frame in which Washburn dug a hole for himself and almost climbed out of it.

The left-hander opened the trouble with a walk, then threw away a bunt. But with one out and in need of a double play, he got a ground ball from Jamey Carroll that snuck through the right side for a hit to load the bases.

"I'm not a ground-ball pitcher but I was looking for a grounder there, keeping the ball down," Washburn said. "It would have been nice."

Faced with tough Todd Helton, Washburn went back to work and struck out one of the premier hitters in the game.

"I made some good pitches to him," Washburn said.

Most of all, Washburn threw Helton good fastballs, which made Washburn think Baker would be looking for one.

"I threw him a changeup and it was up and down the middle," Washburn said. "I'd throw a changeup again, but I have to locate it better. That was terrible."

Washburn's leadoff walk was one of three by Seattle pitchers and all led to Colorado runs.

Mariners rally

Down 4-1, Seattle came back to tie against ex-Mariner Jose Mesa in the fifth when Bohn, Yuniesky Betancourt and Oswaldo Navarro opened the inning with singles. With one run in and two outs, Lawton came through with his second double of the game to make it 4-3. Mike Morse sliced a triple into the right-center gap to tie it.

The Mariners took a lead with a two-out run on Bohn's second single and Cody Ransom's double. But the Rockies tied it 5-5 on a run without a hit off Marcos Carvajal after he walked the first two batters in the seventh.

Bohn's big at-bat

Hargrove said outfielder Bohn "is a big kid who has lots of good tools."

Bohn actually started his key at-bat in the ninth inning with runners on first and third by squaring around to bunt.

"It showed he was thinking, trying to stay out of a double play," Hargrove said. "But we'd rather have him swing the bat, and when he did he did well."

Bohn drove a fly ball to left, where the Rockies outfielder had trouble with the wind, allowing pinch-runner Jose Morban to score from third.

Notes

• With the injuries and shuttling players back and forth for games in Tucson, Seattle wound up with a fairly unfamiliar lineup. The only big-league starter was Betancourt at short, with anticipated backups Lawton in right, Rene Rivera at catcher and Morse in left, plus Roberto Petagine at first base.

• Seattle had runners in scoring position in eight innings. After going 4 of 21 with runners in scoring position the previous two games, the Mariners were 6 of 22 Friday.

Friday's box score

Seattle Colorado
AB R H BI AB R H BI
Betancourt ss 3 1 2 0 Barmes ss 3 0 0 0
Ransom ss 3 0 1 1 Smith ss 1 0 1 1
Navarro 2b 4 1 2 0 Carroll 3b 3 1 1 0
Carvajal p 0 0 0 0 Koshansky 1b 2 0 0 0
Johnson ph 1 0 0 0 Helton 1b 3 0 0 0
Sherrill p 0 0 0 0 King p 0 0 0 0
Tuiasosopo 3b 5 0 0 0 Spilborghs rf 2 0 1 1
Lawton rf 5 2 3 2 Baker rf 3 1 1 4
Morse lf 4 0 1 1 Conway c 2 0 0 0
Petagine 1b 4 1 2 1 Marrero lf 3 1 1 0
Rivera c 4 0 1 0 Gaetti lf 1 0 0 0
Morban pr 0 1 0 0 Gonzalez 2b 3 0 1 0
Miller c 0 0 0 0 Nix 2b 0 0 0 0
Jones cf 2 0 0 0 Closser c 2 0 1 0
Cruceta p 0 0 0 0 Miller cf 1 0 0 0
Jojima ph 1 0 0 0 Freeman cf 2 1 0 0
Cabrera 2b 2 0 2 1 Sierra p 0 0 0 0
Washburn p 1 0 0 0 Hampson p 0 0 0 0
Bohn cf 2 2 2 1 Tulowitzki ph 1 1 1 1
Colyer p 0 0 0 0
Cook p 0 1 0 0
Torrealba ph 1 0 0 0
Mesa p 0 0 0 0
Stewart 3b 1 1 1 0
Totals 41 8 16 7 Totals 34 7 9 7
Seattle 100 031 003 8
Colorado 004 000 120 7
E — Washburn, Tuiasosopo, Morse, Miller. DP — Seattle 2, Colorado 1. LOB — Seattle 11, Colorado 7. 2B — Betancourt, Lawton 3, Ransom, Cabrera, Petagine, Gonzalez. 3B — Morse, Closser. HR — Baker. SB — Ransom, Bohn. S — Cook, Nix. SF — Bohn.
Mariners IP H R ER BB SO
Washburn 3 3 4 0 1 1
Cruceta 2 1 0 0 0 2
Carvajal 2 1 1 1 3 0
Sherrill, W 2 4 2 2 1 1
Rockies IP H R ER BB SO
Cook 4 4 1 1 1 3
Mesa 1 5 3 3 0 0
King 1 2 1 1 0 0
Sierra 1 1 0 0 0 0
Hampson 1 1 0 0 1 1
Colyer, BS, L 1 3 3 3 1 1
HBP — by Sierra (Morse). WP — Carvajal. T — 3:07.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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