Mariners Notebook | McLaren insists Sexson will be "back out there"
Manager John McLaren said Richie Sexson is still Seattle's first baseman. He just wasn't in that position Sunday. Nor the four previous...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Today | vs. L.A. Angels, 7:10 p.m., FSN | M's LH Jarrod Washburn (2-6, 6.54) vs. RH Ervin Santana (7-2, 3.09).
Tuesday | vs. L.A. Angels, 7:10 p.m., FSN | M's LH Erik Bedard (4-3, 4.08) vs. LH Joe Saunders (8-2, 2.76).
Wednesday | vs. L.A. Angels, 1:40 p.m., FSN | M's RH Carlos Silva (3-5, 6.00) vs. RH Jered Weaver (4-6, 4.69).
Friday | @ Boston, 4:05 p.m., FSN | M's RH Felix Hernandez (3-5, 3.29) vs. RH Bartolo Colon (3-0, 3.50).
Saturday | @ Boston, 12:55 p.m., Ch. 13 | M's RH Miguel Batista (3-6, 5.90) vs. RH Tim Wakefield (3-4, 4.70).
Manager John McLaren said Richie Sexson is still Seattle's first baseman.
He just wasn't in that position Sunday. Nor the four previous games. Miguel Cairo has started at first base the past five games and counting, and McLaren didn't provide a timeline for when that would change.
"As long as we're running a little streak here, I'm going to go with the hot hand," McLaren said.
The Mariners are 3-2 since Cairo replaced Sexson at first base. Cairo had one hit in four at-bats Sunday. He is batting .294 in the past five games (5 for 17) with a slugging percentage of .353 and an on-base percentage of .333.
"We've put Cairo out there and to be honest, he's energized us," McLaren said before Sunday's game.
That doesn't mean that Sexson is out of the Mariners' plans. McLaren was very clear on that.
"We know he's going to be back out there," McLaren said of Sexson. "It's just a matter of when."
Before the game, Sexson declined to talk about the lineup change.
"I'm not going to go there," he said. "Thanks."
Coming up empty
In the eighth inning, the Mariners had a runner on second base with no outs but couldn't get Jeremy Reed home. They left 12 runners on base in a 7-5 defeat that felt a little familiar because of all those unconverted opportunities.
"If you look at us offensively, I think the one thing that works against us is getting runners in with less than two outs," McLaren said. "This is an ongoing process and something that we talk about all the time. You can talk about it all you want to, it's just something we need to do a better job."
M's in motion
The Mariners ran themselves into scoring situations on Sunday. Ichiro was running on a 3-1 pitch to Jose Lopez in the third inning and reached third when Lopez singled. Ichiro scored on a sacrifice fly from Jose Vidro.
In the fourth, Miguel Cairo took off with two outs and wound up on third after a single by Yuniesky Betancourt. Ichiro struck out to end that inning.
McLaren was asked before the game whether putting Cairo into the lineup at first base — thereby giving the Mariners more speed — was more conducive to his managing style.
"I like to put the game in motion," McLaren said. "I like guys running, putting pressure on the defense. And I like power, too. There's a mixture of it, and when you've got nothing — neither one of them going — we're watching paint dry."
Betancourt tried to go from first to third base in the sixth inning on a one-out single by Icihiro, but was thrown out by Detroit center fielder Curtis Granderson. McLaren said afterward he didn't mind that type of aggression.
"I didn't have a problem with it," McLaren said. "The guy made the play. He made an excellent throw and a good tag and made the play. We want to be aggressive."
• Brandon Morrow pitched the eighth and struck out two. In his past 10 appearances, he has pitched 8-2/3 innings and struck out 15.
• Seattle lost 20 of its 28 games in May, its worst record for that month in franchise history.
• The Mariners led 3-2 after five innings. This was the 15th time in 36 losses that Seattle led at some point in the game.
For the record
|M's W-L||W PCT|
vs. AL West: 10-11
vs. L.A.: 3-3
vs. Oakland: 3-2
vs. Texas: 4-6
vs. AL East: 5-14
vs. AL Cent.: 4-10
vs. NL: 2-1
vs. LHP: 4-11
vs. RHP: 17-25
Extra innings: 2-2
Sunday's crowd: 38,610
Season total: 853,567
Biggest crowd: 46,334 (March 31)
Smallest crowd: 15,818 (May 6)
Average (30 dates): 28,452
2007 average (30 dates): 29,234
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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