Notebook | M's make room for Lowe
There were times over the past 11 months when Mark Lowe wondered whether he had pitched his final game. Not just in the major leagues, but...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Today | @ Texas, 5:35 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Miguel Batista (10-7, 4.32) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-7, 5.53).
Thursday | vs. Oakland, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Jeff Weaver (2-8, 6.19) vs. RHP Dan Haren (11-3, 2.41).
Friday | vs. Oakland, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Felix Hernandez (6-6, 4.02) vs. LHP Dallas Braden (1-5, 5.15).
Saturday | vs. Oakland, 1:05 p.m., no TV | M's LHP Horacio Ramirez (5-3, 6.75) vs. RHP Chad Gaudin (8-5, 3.66)
Sunday | vs. Oakland, 1:05 p.m., Ch. 11 | M's LHP Jarrod Washburn (8-7, 4.05) vs. LHP Lenny DiNardo (4-6, 2.41).
ARLINGTON, Texas — There were times over the past 11 months when Mark Lowe wondered whether he had pitched his final game.
Not just in the major leagues, but anywhere. And yet there was Lowe, his name written into the lineup card Tuesday night for the first time since a chronic elbow condition sidelined the rookie phenom last August.
Lowe's parents and girlfriend were in the stands as the 24-year-old waited for his turn to pitch, having been activated between games of Tuesday's doubleheader. But that turn never came, as the Mariners relied on their other late-inning relievers until dropping a 4-3 decision to the Texas Rangers.
To make room for Lowe on the 40-man roster, the team transferred Mercer Island product Sean White to the 60-day disabled list. The Mariners then cleared room on the 25-man roster by optioning pitcher Ryan Feierabend to Class AAA Tacoma after he started and took a 2-1 loss in Game 1 of the doubleheader.
Feierabend suspected this would be a one-shot deal, with Lowe waiting to be reactivated. But the left-hander gave the team five innings of two-run ball and declared it something he can build off down in the minors.
"I struggled with some control and command the last couple of outings," he said. "To go out there and pitch five innings and have a quality [outing] was huge."
Though this was much improved over the 16-1 and 17-3 losses Feierabend took within the previous five weeks, this wasn't a perfect outing. He did allow all six of his hits — four for extra bases — after getting the first two outs of an inning.
"It's very aggravating," Feierabend said of that aspect. "Especially if I get a guy that's 1-2, 0-2 and end up giving up a base hit, that ball's on me."
Hand it to Morrow
A little less hand movement during delivery is paying some big dividends for Brandon Morrow. The rookie reliever tossed three scoreless innings to finish off the first game of the doubleheader.
Morrow also struck out the side during his previous outing, a seventh-inning appearance against Toronto on Sunday. The control issues that have plagued him all season — which recently cost him his eighth-inning setup role — have more or less vanished.
"I think the last few outings have been a lot better," Morrow said. "My command was off before, but this time, I felt like I was throwing the ball where I wanted to. I felt good. I felt consistent."
One of the things he has worked on to improve his command is to limit the hand movement that can throw off his delivery. He would raise and lower his hands throughout his windup, where now he simply keeps them out in front of his chest.
Morrow walked the first batter after coming on to start the sixth, then issued a single. But he got out of trouble on a double-play grounder and a strikeout.
"He's done some fine work for us his past couple of times out," Mariners manager John McLaren said. "Those were some big innings he threw. It allowed us to keep our bullpen fresh, and that's always important when you're playing a doubleheader."
Painful exit for Bloomquist
Willie Bloomquist left the second game of the doubleheader in the eighth inning, suffering from leg cramps. Bloomquist, who was replaced at second base by Jose Lopez, had played in all but one inning of the first game in center field as well.
Talks with Guillen continue
The Mariners continue to talk with Jose Guillen about a multiyear contract extension. Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi met with Guillen's agent here in Texas on Monday.
Both sides are trying to get a deal in place by the end of the month.
Guillen underwent "Tommy John" ligament transplant surgery on his elbow last year and had a subsequent operation as well. He has dropped 17 pounds since reporting for spring training and has become a mainstay in the heart of Seattle's batting order.
• The Mariners donned their batting-practice jerseys for Game 2 of the doubleheader because the fabric is said to breathe better in the heat. The jerseys are sanctioned for use in games.
For the record
vs. AL West: 15-14
vs. L.A.: 2-7
vs. Oakland: 7-2
vs. Texas: 6-5
vs. AL East: 18-10
vs. AL Cent.: 12-11
vs. NL: 9-9
vs. LHP: 18-8
vs. RHP: 36-36
Extra innings: 3-1
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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