By Bob Dutton The News Tribune
SEATTLE — Veteran Seattle Mariners utilityman Willie Bloomquist, one day after undergoing season-ending knee surgery, is on crutches — and will be for several weeks — but he is already feeling better.
“I’m actually in less pain than I was prior to going in,” he said. “They must have done something right. Obviously, it’s swollen and sore.”
The timing, though, couldn’t be worse.
“It’s been a tough pill to swallow,” Bloomquist admitted. “This is the situation where I wanted to be here for in Seattle for a long time — being in a playoff race. For me, that stings a little bit. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t.”
Bloomquist was initially diagnosed with a bruised right knee when he came up limping July 23 after running out a ground ball in a 3-2 loss to the New York Mets.
Subsequent examinations revealed the need for surgery.
“My plan is to be ready, full go, before spring,” Bloomquist said. “I’m not going to push anything. The only way I won’t be (ready for spring training) is if I do something stupid.”
The Mariners are still marveling at the three-run homer that Mike Zunino hit Friday night to right field — the opposite field — in a 4-1 victory over the White Sox.
“It’s in there,” first baseman Logan Morrison said. “He’s got the second-most pop I’ve ever seen behind (Giancarlo) Stanton.”
Morrison spent the four previous years in Miami playing alongside Stanton.
Zunino entered Saturday as the Mariners’ leader with 18 home runs, which left him just one shy of Miguel Olivo’s 2011 club record by a catcher.
“He’s as strong as most guys in the league,” McClendon said. “He’s a well-developed young man, and he’s probably going to get stronger.”
The White Sox recalled outfielder Jordan Danks from Triple-A Charlotte to replace outfielder Adam Eaton, who suffered a strained right oblique Friday on a swing in the first inning. … The Mariners, prior to Saturday, were 6-2 since July 31 with five comeback victories. … White Sox lefty John Danks, who starts Sunday, leads the American League with 23 homers allowed. … The Mariners, through Friday, were 40-16 in games when they hit at least one homer.
Double-A Jackson third baseman D.J. Peterson, generally viewed as the organization’s top non-pitching prospect, is 17-for-77 (.221) in 21 games since returning from a bruised left wrist.
Peterson, 22, has four homers and 13 RBI in that span — along with 10 walks, which helps boost his on-base percentage to .315.
Overall, he is batting .252 with seven homers and 20 RBI in 36 games since his late June promotion from Hi-A High Desert, where he batted .326 with 18 homers and 73 RBI in 65 games
Peterson was the Mariners’ first-round pick in 2013 and played this season in the All-Star Futures Game.
It was a year ago Sunday — Aug. 10, 2013 — that the Mariners inducted outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. as the seventh member of their Hall of Fame in from of a sellout crowd of 46,027.
Griffey missed Saturday’s ceremony that inducted Lou Piniella, his former manager, because he was being inducted into the Cincinnati Reds’ Hall of Fame.
The Mariners and White Sox conclude their four-game weekend series at 1:10 p.m. Sunday at Safeco Field.
Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (1-5 with a 4.35 ERA) will be recalled, officially, from Triple-A Tacoma and start against Chicago lefty John Danks (9-7, 4.93). Root Sports will telecast the game.
The Mariners open a three-game series Monday against Toronto.