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Mariners' Beavan 'learning to limit the damage'

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By Larry LaRue
The News Tribune
SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners Blake Beavan is the No. 5 starting pitcher on a team that seems likely to finish fourth in the American League West, though his resume began looking better about the same time his team did.
Beavan came up from Tacoma five days after the All-Star break, and while the Mariners have gone 22-13 since that break, Beavan is 5-1 with a 3.74 earned run average.
"When he misses now, he misses in places that don't beat him," manager Eric Wedge said. "He's learning to limit the damage, like he did (Sunday).
"The Twins made him work, he threw 97 pitches in 5 1/3 innings, but he gave up one run."
On a decidedly young team, Beavan is the Seattle Mariners' youngest starting pitcher, a 23-year-old obtained in the Cliff Lee trade with Texas two years ago.
"When I make good pitches, get out of tough situations, I file those pitches away," Beavan said. "I can go back and remember what I did before that worked. The more experience you get, the more you have to go back for."
In 19 starts this season, Beavan has walked 14 batters – tied for the fewest in the majors for starting pitchers with 15 or more starts.
Good to be home
Seattle's 58th win of the season was it's 30th at home, and left the Mariners 30-30 at Safeco Field where they were once 18-29.
That's right, they've won 12 of their last 13 games at home.
"We're hitting well here," Michael Saunders said. "I think we pressed early when people said we couldn't, but we're getting more relaxed here."
The last time the Mariners had a winning home record for a season was 2009.
Saunders insists the team isn't focused on a .500 record.
"We're not stopping at .500," he said. "At the end of the year, we want to be a winning team."
Short hops
Research done by STATS, Inc. indicates when the Mariners retired 42 consecutive batters – with the heavy lifting done by Felix Hernandez, who got 27 of those – it was the longest such streak in major league baseball since 1947. ... The Mariners swept a series from the Twins in Seattle for the first time since 2001. ... Over their last 29 games, Seattle starting pitchers are 16-6 with a 2.62 ERA. ... Dustin Ackley has a mini-hitting streak of five consecutive games working, with five hits in the last two games of that stretch. Ackley has 10 hits and a .472 average in the past five games. ... Outfielder Eric Thames recorded his eighth career three-hit game, his second this season. The first was with Toronto – against Seattle. ... In his 21 appearances with the Mariners, lefty Oliver Perez has a 1.93 ERA ... A year ago, after 122 games, the Mariners were 53-69. Today, they're 58-64

Larry LaRue, The News Tribune
Story tags » Mariners

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