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Friday, May 19, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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M's Notes: Beltre could sit more

Seattle Times staff reporter

OAKLAND, Calif. — Apparently, there was no need for Mariners manager Mike Hargrove to debate Adrian Beltre about playing with a sore left hamstring Thursday.

In fact, sitting out the series finale against Oakland could be the first of several games Beltre will not start.

"Logic would say he'd be out three or four days," Hargrove said. "But talking to Rick [trainer Rick Griffin] it could be one or two days."

Beltre missed five games in mid-June last year "and it doesn't look as if this is as serious," Hargrove said.

Beltre, who spent hours on a training table getting treatment for his problem left hamstring, was in no condition to play, or even argue that he should play.

"It's the same as last night," the third baseman said through Gillian Hagamen of the Mariners' media-relations department.

Having seen Beltre favor the leg at least twice during the 7-2 loss to the Athletics on Wednesday, Hargrove removed him for pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed in the eighth inning and replaced him at third with Willie Bloomquist, who made what he believed to be his first regular-season start at third Thursday.

"I was ready for a debate, but it wouldn't have been much of a debate," Hargrove said of Beltre, who insisted after the Wednesday game he could play. "There was no question."

Bloomquist at 3rd

Bloomquist, Seattle's lone infield backup, could not remember starting a game at third.

"I've done it in spring-exhibition games, but never in the regular season," he said.

Wherever he played, the utility man did not have to consider carrying his stolen-base streak into the game. He was picked off first base in the third inning Wednesday for a caught stealing. The pitcher who caught him, Oakland's Barry Zito, was the last man to do it, on May 1, 2005, after which Bloomquist stole 19 consecutive bases.

"Same pitcher with the same so-so move in the same park," Bloomquist groused. "I actually got myself picked off. I gambled. I was going to go on first move and I didn't think he was coming over. I was wrong."

Bloomquist tried to run inside the line as much as he could without being obvious.

"I was trying to get in the way so they'd hit me in the back with the throw. But they made the play and I was out."

Bloomquist said he has no thoughts on the streak ending.

"I never thought of it while I had it going," he said. "I'm certainly not going to think of it now. Every time I go I hope I'm going to make it."

Missed sign

Bloomquist had more thoughts about a mistake he made Wednesday in the fifth inning. With a runner on second and one out, he got ahead of Zito 3-0 and swung at the next pitch, popping out.

The problem is that third-base coach Carlos Garcia had tried to give him a take sign and Bloomquist missed it.

"I was trying to get something going, and because I've had some success against Zito I thought I could risk a swing at what I expected would be a hittable pitch," he said. "I should have known better. I was thinking too much. I accept full responsibility."

Note

Ichiro was 4 for 5 on Thursday and has 55 hits in 42 games. He is on a pace to reach 212 hits, which would match his third-highest season total (2003).

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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