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Mariners notebook

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Published:
NEXT SERIES
Opponent:
Oakland A’s
When: 7:07 p.m. today and Friday; 6:07 p.m. Saturday; 1:07 p.m. Sunday.
TV: FSN, all four games
Radio: 770 AM and 100.7 FM today; ESPN 710 AM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Probable starting pitchers:

Today — Seattle right-hander Ian Snell (3-1, 5.10 earned run average) vs. right-hander Brett Tomko (3-2, 3.62).
Friday — Left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith (2-2, 3.95) vs. right-hander Vin Mazzaro (4-9, 5.32).
Saturday — Left-hander Luke French (4-4, 4.62) vs. left-hander Brett Anderson (7-10, 4.42).
Sunday — Right-hander Doug Fister (2-1, 2.94) vs. left-hander Gio Gonzalez (0-1, 4.91).
A month to get some answers
If nothing else, this season has been a learning process for the Seattle Mariners. Young players have learned about big-league life and, most of all, the M’s braintrust has learned just who can play at this level and who can’t.
The final month of the season will be no different, and Wednesday’s lineup was the first of what may be several to see how well Bill Hall can play second base.
Manager Don Wakamatsu is hoping to learn if Hall, who also has played third base, left field and right field since coming to the Mariners on Aug. 19 from the Brewers, can play what he calls a “super utility” role.
Wakamatsu, who prefers to rotate his lineup, would like to use Hall next year much the way former manager Lou Piniella used Mark McLemore from 2000-2003. McLemore allowed Piniella to rest his regulars on a frequent basis.
For Hall to seize that role, he must hit.
He’s batting only .206 with 15 strikeouts in 39 at-bats with the Mariners, although he played a huge role in the Mariners’ eighth-inning rally to break a scoreless tie. He hit an RBI double to score the Mariners’ first run, then stole third and scored himself on catcher Mike Napoli’s throwing error.
“I don’t mind where I play, I just feel like Bill Hall the ballplayer,” he said. “Just put me out there and I feel like I’ll do something to help the team defensively, offensively or both.”
Jose Lopez started at first base for the second time this season, although Wakamatsu did it more to get another right-handed bat in the lineup against left-handed starter Scott Kazmir than to see more of Lopez at first. Wakamatsu said he also may play Josh Wilson some at second with Lopez at first against lefties.
Getting healthy
In tonight’s game at Oakland, Wakamatsu may have the closest thing he’ll get to a roster of fully healthy players since mid-August,
Ken Griffey Jr., laid up since last Thursday because of a sore left knee, probably will start tonight, Wakamatsu said. A magnetic resonance imaging exam Tuesday showed nothing more than inflammation.
“He’s feeling a lot better,” Wakamatsu said. “I foresee that he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow, no problems.”
Since mid-August, Wakamatsu has needed to get creative with his lineup because of injuries to third baseman Adrian Beltre (bruised testicle), Griffey and right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (tight left calf) and first baseman Russell Branyan (herniated disc). Branyan remains on the 15-day disabled list and may not play again this season.
Suzuki played his second game Wednesday since missing a week, and Wakamatsu said he came through it fine. On Tuesday, Wakamatsu and the trainers checked on Suzuki after every at bat — or at least until Suzuki grew tired of it.
“He kind of said, ‘Stop asking,’” Wakamatsu said.
Still, the Mariners will be careful with Suzuki and he’ll probably get a day off soon to make sure he doesn’t suffer a relapse, Wakamatsu said.
Around the horn
Rehabbing pitcher Carlos Silva will get one or two innings tonight with the Tacoma Rainiers against Salt Lake. He gave up three hits and one earned run, and struck out the final three hitters he faced, in one inning Tuesday night for the Everett AquaSox against Vancouver. … Brandon Morrow, pulled from his start Saturday after five innings because of forearm tightness, will throw a bullpen today or Thursday and is scheduled to start for Tacoma on Sunday. … Tonight’s game will be carried on 770 AM and 100.7 FM because of the Seahawks’ preseason game that will air on the Mariners’ main station, ESPN 710 AM.
Kirby Arnold, Herald writer
Story tags » Mariners

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