Signs point to Ramirez as Tuesday’s starter for Mariners

  • By Bob Dutton The News Tribune
  • Sunday, July 20, 2014 8:55pm
  • Sports

SEATTLE — Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon still isn’t ready to identify his starting pitcher for Tuesday’s game against the New York Mets, although signs point to right-hander Erasmo Ramirez being recalled from Class AAA Tacoma.

“I’m not sure what we’re going to do,” McClendon insisted. “I would probably say in all likelihood, we’ll probably call up somebody from Triple-A. I’m not ready to release the name yet.”

The Mariners are also considering pushing Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez back one day in their rotation. That would position them to start Thursday and Friday against Baltimore.

But doing so would also require the Mariners to find a starter for Wednesday’s series finale against the Mets.

Ramirez pitched last Thursday for the Rainiers, which puts him in line to start Tuesday on regular rest. The Mariners have already confirmed rehabbing lefty James Paxton will start Tuesday for Tacoma.

Ramirez opened the season in the big-league rotation and was 1-4 with a 4.58 ERA in 11 starts. He is currently 2-4 and 4.12 in nine starts at Tacoma.

Working overtime

The Mariners played successive extra-inning games Friday and Saturday for the 42nd time in franchise history. But it was the first time in nearly 19 years that both games went at least 12 innings.

The Angels won 3-2 in 16 innings on Friday, before the Mariners answered Saturday with a 3-2 victory in 12 innings.

The last time the Mariners played at least 12 innings on back-to-back games was July 19-20, 1995 at Milwaukee. They also split those games, losing 7-6 in 12 innings before winning 4-2 in 13 innings.

Short hops

It was the Mariners’ sixth walk-off loss of the season and second in three days at Angel Stadium. The Mariners have 12 walk-off losses at Anaheim since 2009. … Fernando Rodney had converted 16 straight save situations prior to Sunday. His last blown save was May 13 against Tampa Bay. … Kyle Seager’s homer in the first inning with his first of the season against a left-handed pitcher (Tyler Skaggs). … Grant Green’s game-winning single as the first walk-off hit of his career. … The Mariners hold a 7-5 edge in the season series with seven games remaining. They have not won the season series from the Angels since going 11-8 in 2003.

Looking back

It was 26 years ago Monday — July 21, 1988 — that the Mariners acquired outfielder Jay Buhner and pitchers Rick Balabon and Troy Evers from the New York Yankees in exchange for first baseman Ken Phelps.

Balabon and Evers never played in the majors, but Buhner spent 14 years with the Mariners before retiring in 2001.

Buhner remains among the franchise all-time leaders in several categories. He ranks third in homers (307), RBIs (951) and extra-base hits (557); and fourth in games (1,440), at-bats (4,992), hits (1,255), doubles (231).

On tap

The Mariners open a seven-game homestand at 7:10 p.m. Monday with the first of three games against the New York Mets at Safeco Field.

Lefty Roenis Elias (8-8 with a 3.15 ERA) is expected to face lefty Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.96). Niese is currently on the disabled list because of a strained left shoulder but is expected to be activated prior to the game.

The series continues Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon before the Baltimore Orioles arrive Thursday for a four-game weekend series.

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