M’s Notebook: Shoppach keeps faith in umpires

SEATTLE — It has been a long two days for Major League umpires.

Back-to-back botched calls on Wednesday and Thursday led to the rare step of Major League Baseball publicly disclosing a fine and suspension of umpires.

“Missed replay call is a tough one,” Mariners catcher Kelly Shoppach said. “We had that in place, so we could review it and that doesn’t happen. I’ve been in stadiums where the video is not very good and it can be tough to tell.”

Though, Shoppach said he didn’t think the latest errors undermined players’ faith in umpires.

“It’s a challenge for them,” Shoppach said. “The umpires are doing the best they can. They (make) human errors just like we make human errors.”

Mariners manager Eric Wedge preferred not to comment on the umpires, but did say he thought replay has been “healthy” for the game.

Gutierrez on the mend

After leaving the game April 22 with a strained left hamstring and being placed on the 15-day disabled list, Franklin Gutierrez is getting closer to returning.

Gutierrez said he feels “good.” He has been running and taking batting practice for a week, but has yet to go at full speed or navigate the bases after the latest in a long string of injuries for the center fielder.

Gutierrez sounded optimistic about his return coming soon, though Wedge was less upbeat about the timeline.

“He’s feeling pretty good, but we’re not to the point where we’re going to run him just yet,” Wedge said. “Still going to take some time for him to get back. He’s progressing. We just haven’t done anything 100 percent.”

Short hops

Coming into Friday night, the Mariners were 15-8 when a starter went at least six innings. … The Mariners are in the midst of playing 14 of 17 games on the road, with this weekend’s three-game series against Oakland the only break. It’s the only time the Mariners are home between May 1-24. … Right-handers are 0-for-25 this season against closer Tom Wilhelmsen.

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