By Bob Dutton The News Tribune
SEATTLE — One-time Seattle Mariner Adrian Beltre continued his eternal sparring match with friend and former teammate Felix Hernandez after learning the Mariners’ adjusted rotation means Hernandez won’t face the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
“Well, he chickened out,” Beltre said. “I was saving my hits for that game. But if he’s scared, well, OK. We still have them (next week) in Arlington. Maybe he will get his chance there.”
Beltre is 10-for-34 in his career against Hernandez with one homer and two RBI.
Right fielder Chris Denorfia was scratched from the lineup prior to batting practice because of a stiff neck. The revised order put Endy Chavez in right field against Texas right-hander Nick Martinez.
Denorfia is batting .244 (11-for-45) in 16 games since arriving in a July 31 trade that sent minor-league outfielder Abraham Almonte to San Diego.
Fall League invites
Third baseman D.J. Peterson, generally viewed as the Mariners’ top non-pitching prospect, heads a list of six players who will play for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League.
The AFL bills itself as a finishing school for top prospects. Each of its six clubs is stocked with players from five different organizations. The schedule begins Oct. 7 and runs through a Nov. 15 title game.
Also ticketed for the Saguaros: catcher John Hicks, infielder Patrick Kivlehan and three right-handed pitchers: Matt Anderson, Matt Brazis and Stephen Landazuri. The Mariners will send another pitcher at a later date.
¦ Peterson, 22, was the Mariners’ first-round pick in 2013 and is playing at Double-A Jackson after opening the season at Hi-A High Desert. He is batting a combined .296 with 28 homers and 104 RBI in 117 games.
¦ Hicks, who turns 25 on Sunday, was a fourth-round pick in 2011. He is currently at Triple-A Tacoma after opening the year at Jackson. He is batting .292 with five homers and 46 RBI in 77 games.
¦ Kivlehan, 24, was a fourth-round pick in 2012. He is currently at Jackson after opening the season at High Desert and is batting .296 with 20 homers and 10 RBIs in 132 games.
¦ Anderson, 22, was signed on Aug. 3, 2012 as a non-drafted free agent. He is a combined 6-7 with a 5.06 ERA in 25 games, including 20 starts, at Jackson and High Desert.
¦ Brazis, 24, was a 28th-round pick in 2012. He is 4-1 with a 2.50 ERA in 37 relief appearances at Jackson and High Desert.
¦ Landazuri, 22, was a 22nd-round pick in 2010. He is 6-5 with a 3.94 ERA in 18 starts at Jackson.
The Mariners are still debating their personnel additions in September, when the rules permit clubs to expand their rosters from 25 to 40 players. But McClendon said those additions will include a third catcher.
That means a space-clearing move because the club has only two catchers on its 40-man roster — and both, Mike Zunino and Jesus Sucre, are already on the big-league roster.
The likeliest addition is veteran Humberto Quintero, who is batting .298 at Tacoma with three homers and 26 RBI in 70 games. Quintero, 35, spent 22 games last season with the Mariners.
The Mariners, who lost Monday, entered Tuesday on a streak of not losing back-to-back games since a four-game skid from July 22-25. … First baseman Logan Morrison, prior to Tuesday, had hits in 22 of his last 23 games and was batting .352 in August. That was third among American League hitters behind Detroit DH Victor Martinez (.363) and Boston DH David Ortiz (.361.). … The Mariners, prior to Tuesday, have 20 of their 71 victories from rookie pitchers: Roenis Elias (nine), Dominic Leone (seven), James Paxton (three) and Taijuan Walker (one).
It was two years ago Wednesday — Aug. 27, 2012 — that Felix Hernandez recorded his fourth 1-0 complete-game victory of the season with a five-hitter at Minnesota.
All four of those 1-0 complete-game victories came in a two-month span. His previous gems: June 28 at Boston, Aug. 4 at New York and his Aug. 15 perfect game against Tampa Bay at Safeco Field.
Hernandez became the first pitcher to record four 1-0 complete-game victories in the same season since Bert Blyleven with the 1976 Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers.
Maybe it took a toll.
Hernandez was 0-4 in six September starts with a 6.62 ERA. He finished the 2012 season at 13-9 with a 3.06 ERA.
The Mariners and Rangers conclude their three-game series at 12:40 p.m. Wednesday at Safeco Field.
Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (1-5 with a 4.06 ERA) will be recalled officially from Tacoma prior to the game to make the start. Texas will start right-hander Colby Lewis (8-11, 5.54).
The Mariners have an open date Thursday before concluding their homestand with three weekend games against Washington.