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Originally published August 2, 2011 at 9:45 PM | Page modified August 3, 2011 at 1:01 AM

New-look Mariners welcome back Tom Wilhelmsen

It's tough to blame pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen for not recognizing many faces in the Mariners' clubhouse.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Next five

Wednesday vs. Oakland, 12:40 p.m., ROOT | Furbush (1-3, 3.78) vs. Gonzalez (9-8, 2.84)

Friday @ L.A. Angels, 7:05 p.m., ROOT | Pineda (9-7, 3.53) vs. Haren (11-6, 2.89)

Saturday @ L.A. Angels, 7:05 p.m., ROOT | Vargas (6-10, 4.19) vs. Weaver (14-5, 1.88)

Sunday @ L.A. Angels, 12:35 p.m., ROOT | Beavan (2-2, 3.24) vs. Santana (7-8, 3.32)

Monday @ Texas, 5:05 p.m., ROOT | Hernandez (10-9, 3.36) vs. Harrison (9-7, 2.94)

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It's tough to blame pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen for not recognizing many faces in the Mariners' clubhouse.

The Mariners recalled Wilhelmsen from Class AA on Tuesday to provide relief help, with newcomer Charlie Furbush set to start Wednesday and not provide a ton of innings. Seattle is going with Furbush partly because he is already on the 40-man roster and the team has one open spot that it is keeping vacant in hopes of soon adding outfielder Wily Mo Pena.

But the Mariners roster that Wilhelmsen joined Tuesday after a flight from Memphis has turned over quite a bit since he last was here in mid-May.

"Yeah, I've got to go up to everyone again and go 'Hello, I'm Tom Wilhelmsen,' " the pitcher joked before Tuesday night's game against Oakland at Safeco Field.

Wilhelmsen pitched in eight games with a 5.59 earned-run average after breaking camp with the team. He was sent to AA Jackson, Tenn., to get in work as a starter, going 4-5 with a 5.49 ERA in 14 games, 12 as a starter.

"I felt more in place as far as the routine goes," he said. "I knew I needed to work on a third pitch, a changeup, in part. I also needed to be more consistent with my fastball around the zone."

Manager Eric Wedge said the plan, for now, is to use Wilhelmsen strictly in relief.

Notes

• Another new face joined the club just before game time when third baseman Kyle Seager was recalled from AAA Tacoma to take the place of injured Chone Figgins. The Mariners placed Figgins on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hip flexor he injured on Monday night.

• An Ichiro impersonator seated along the first-base line was moved from his seat after interfering with a triple by Dustin Ackley. The impersonator had spent the past few days at the park dressed up as the Mariners' right fielder and signing autographs in the stands.

In the third inning, he reached out and grabbed a ball Ackley hit off the first baseman's glove, which bounced toward the stands. Ackley was already on his way to third base when the ball was touched by the fan, so he was awarded the bag and not sent back to second.

The Mariners did not eject the impersonator, but issued a warning and moved him to a different location at the ballpark.

For the record: W-L: 47-62; W PCT: .431; Streak: W2 Home: 28-29 Road: 19-33 vs. AL West: 13-18 vs. L.A.: 3-6 vs. Oakland: 8-4 vs. Texas: 2-8 vs. AL East: 13-18 vs. AL Cent: 12-17 vs. NL: 9-9 vs. LHP: 8-20 vs. RHP: 39-42 Day: 13-20 Night: 34-42 One-run: 17-18 Extra inngs: 5-4 Home attendance Tuesday's crowd: 22,576 Season total: 1,261,621 Biggest crowd: 45,727 (April 8) Smallest crowd: 11,692 (May 31) Average (54 dates): 23,363 2010 average (54 dates): 27,548

Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or gbaker@seattletimes.com

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