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Eric Thames' throw to second against Angels was a mistake, Wedge says
The Mariners' manager added that he wouldn't get on Thames for the error because it was a rare mistake from his fielders.
Seattle Times staff reporter
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The day after giving up two runs on the same sacrifice fly, the Mariners were licking their wounds and taking steps to ensure it didn't happen again.
Manager Eric Wedge said he spoke to outfielder Eric Thames about what he did wrong in throwing to second base rather than trying to hit cutoff man Dustin Ackley. Angels third-base coach Dino Ebel told reporters that he waved Erick Aybar around toward home the moment he saw Thames look to throw to second.
Thames had said he wanted to throw to second to prevent Chris Iannetta from moving up from first base into scoring position.
"You can't just throw the ball home, and then he goes to second," Thames said.
But Wedge reiterated on Saturday that the correct play was to throw to cutoff man Ackley so that the Mariners could "control the baseball" and prevent runners like Aybar from taking extra bases.
"Once you control the baseball, then nothing happens," Wedge said. "You've got first and third with one out, and we're in position for a double play.
"You're going to make mistakes like that. I'm not going to get on these guys for how they play because they've played good baseball pretty much all year."
Wedge said the reason he stuck with Josh Kinney in the ninth inning of Friday's loss instead of going to some of his young flamethrowers in the bullpen was that he was saving Stephen Pryor for a potential save situation in the absence of Tom Wilhelmsen. Wedge also didn't want to use Carter Capps — promoted from Class AAA two weeks ago — because he wants more time to ease him into higher-leverage situations.
"I want to keep Capps away from those situations at this point in time," Wedge said. "He's not too far away from it. I just want to let him pitch a bit and give him a few more opportunities."
• Wilhelmsen rejoined the team right before Saturday's game, having returned from Seattle where his wife, Cassie, gave birth to a baby girl. Wilhelmsen left the team during Thursday's off day and flew back home.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or email@example.com