By Bob Dutton The News Tribune
OAKLAND, Calif. — Outfielder James Jones rejoined the Seattle Mariners prior to Monday’s game against the Oakland A’s at O.co Coliseum and, unlike his brief previous stay, this time he’ll get a chance to prove he belongs.
“Very talented young man,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He’s been touted for his defense, and his ability to steal bases. I think he should hit at this level. We’ll find out. He’s got an opportunity.”
The Mariners recalled Jones from Class AAA Tacoma to replace struggling Abraham Almonte, who was batting .197 when optioned to the Rainiers after Sunday’s 8-7 victory in Houston.
Jones, 25, was batting .313 in 20 games at Tacoma, including .316 in nine games since returning to the Rainiers after a three-day summons in mid-April to provide roster flexibility for a series at Miami.
“When I went back,” he said, “I just stayed with the same approach: Go out there, play hard, find energy for the team … just keep sticking with the approach.”
McClendon chose not to start Jones, a left-handed hitter, in Monday’s game against Oakland lefty Scott Kazmir but is promising regular duty in center field.
That means Michael Saunders, who is batting .306 in his last 20 games, will now likely split time in right field with Stefen Romero and play center on those occasions when Jones sits.
Look for lefty reliever Charlie Furbush, who has allowed eight runs in 91/3 innings, to pitch in lower-leverage situations until he regains his previous form.
Furbush failed to retire any of six batters over his last two outings.
“Am I disappointed?” McClendon said. “Yeah. Have I lost confidence? No … I need to keep pitching him. He’s got to continue to get better. Eventually, he’ll get back into those high-end situations.”
McClendon reiterated the Mariners need an effective Furbush to be successful.
“If we’re going to make a difference in this division,” McClendon said, “Furbush is going to have to pitch well for us. If he doesn’t, then we’re not going to make it. It’s just that simple. Because he’s that good.”
Donna Person-Smith of Graham will serve as the Mariners’ honorary bat girl for Sunday’s game against Kansas City at Safeco Field in recognition of her recovery from breast cancer.
Major League Baseball started the Honorary Bat Girl program in 2009 in an effort to raise awareness regarding breast cancer. It centers its activities on Mother’s Day.
Person-Smith submitted this resume in seeking to be the Mariners’ honorary bat girl:
“Three years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 43. I had mammograms and they never detected the tumors. I went in for a breast reduction and when they tested the tissue removed, they found my cancer — it was nothing short of a miracle that my cancer was found and at stage 1.
“I had to undergo a double mastectomy and I take tamoxifen daily, but I am very, very lucky. I want to also share my mother’s story — after I was diagnosed, my mother was diagnosed just a few months later with a very aggressive form of breast cancer.
“She had surgeries, two types of chemo, and infusions for a year. But she, too, is healthy. We are both so lucky to have had our cancer diagnosed at an early stage. I was blessed with a phenomenal team of doctors at Virginia Mason in Seattle.”
Logan Morrison continues to make slow progress in his recovery from a strained right hamstring after three weeks of treatment. He hasn’t played since April 13 … Danny Farquhar’s six-out save Sunday at Houston was the longest by a Mariner since Josh Kinney went 21/3 innings on Aug. 19, 2012 in a 5-1 victory vs. Minnesota at Safeco Field … This from the Elias Sports Bureau, the Mariners had never won consecutive one-run games when giving up at least seven runs each time before Saturday (9-8) and Sunday (8-7) in Houston.
Outfielder Austin Wilson and left-handed pitcher Cam Hobson were recognized as weekly award winners in their leagues for the period of April 29 to May 4.
Hobson, 25, is the pitcher of the week in the Class AA Southern League after working 13 scoreless innings in two starts for Jackson.
He was the Mariners’ 11th-round pick in 2011 and is 3-1 overall for the Generals in six starts with a 2.52 ERA.
Wilson, 22, is the player of the week in the Class Lo-A Midwest League after going 9-for-24 in seven games for Clinton with two homers and 11 RBI.
He was a second-round pick in 2013 and is batting .303 overall for the LumberKings with three homers and 24 RBI in 28 games.
It was 32 years ago Tuesday — May 6, 1982 — that Gaylord Perry became the 15th pitcher in history to win 300 games when he pitched a complete game in a 7-3 victory over the Yankees at the Kingdome.
The Mariners staked Perry to an early lead by scoring five runs in the third inning in front of a crowd of 27,369.
Perry remained with the Mariners until a June 27, 1983 release. He completed that season with Kansas City before retiring with a 314-265 record in 22 seasons with eight clubs.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991.
The Mariners continue their four-game series against Oakland at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at the O.co Coliseum. Lefty Roenis Elias (2-2, 3.09 ERA) is scheduled to pitch against A’s right-hander Jesse Chavez (2-0, 1.89).
Root Sports will carry the game.
The series, and the road trip, concludes with a doubleheader that begins at 12:35 p.m. Wednesday. The second game will start approximately 30 minutes after the first game concludes.