PEORIA, Ariz. — Erik Bedard spent almost as much time with the media Friday as he did with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ hitters.
That’s not to say Bedard served up a gab-fest after his first spring training outing, but brevity also was his game on the mound.
Bedard, who had exploratory shoulder surgery last September, held the Dodgers to two hits in two scoreless innings and needed just 14 pitches to accomplish it. He threw just four pitches in the first inning and was aided in both the first and second by double plays.
“I was just trying to get the ball over the plate and get the feel for all my pitches early in spring and gradually get better at it,” he said.
As for the feel in his shoulder, that’s not an issue.
Bedard had a cyst removed and a general cleanup of the shoulder, but has progressed through the offseason without a hiccup.
“I don’t even think about my arm,” he said. “I feel normal and I just concentrate on what I have to do on the mound.”
The only thing out of the ordinary Friday was that he needed to throw 15 more pitches in the bullpen after he came out of the game in order to get a full workout.
“You want to see if he’s feeling for it and I didn’t see that. That bodes well,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “The reports all winter have been great. He threw a lot from a short distance. We wondered that when he got here, would there be any difference from short throws to long toss and stretching out a little. So far it has been good.”
By all indications in the boxscore, the Mariners had a great day in their 18-2 victory over the Dodgers. They had 20 hits, including home runs by Matt Tuiasosopo, Mike Wilson and Mike Carp, and held the Dodgers to four hits.
Wakamatsu, however, wasn’t tossing superlatives over everything he saw.
“We put a lot of damage on balls in the strike zone, but some of the counts we swung at were a little out of control,” he said.
Besides Bedard, Wakamatsu wasn’t overjoyed.
“I thought everyone was OK,” he said. “Our command was good, the tempo was fine but I thought we were up in the zone a little too much.”
Left-hander Jason Vargas and right-hander Chris Jakubauskas each pitched two scoreless innings, lefty Justin Thomas and Marwin Vega one scoreless inning each. Right-hander Jose Pena gave up a two-run homer in the ninth to Mitch Jones to break the shutout.
Carp continued to impress with his left-handed power, driving in five runs with the homer and a double. The homer, in the eighth inning, cleared a picnic tent well beyond the right-field fence.
Off the air
Dave Niehaus wasn’t bored. He was at a baseball game, after all.
But, the Mariners’ longtime play-by-play man said it felt weird not being behind the microphone Thursday for the Mariners’ exhibition against the Padres. ESPN 710 AM is carrying just 20 of the Mariners’ 39 exhibitions, and Thursday’s game was the first in more than 10 years that wasn’t carried on the radio.
“I felt like I was out of my routine,” Niehaus said.
He said it was the first time since the 2001 All-Star Game at Safeco Field that he’d been to a baseball game without doing play-by-play.
Rick Rizzs, Niehaus’ play-by-play partner, said that All-Star Game was the first time in 27 years that he sat in the grandstands as a spectator to watch baseball.
Left-hander Cesar Jimenez, who has been held back because of bicep tendinitis, threw off the bullpen mound Friday for the first time. … The Mariners have signed 36 of the players on their 40-man roster, most recently adding pitchers Mark Lowe, Jose Lugo, Garrett Olson and Jason Vargas; catcher Jeff Clement; first baseman Bryan LaHair; and outfielder Wladimir Balentien. Still unsigned, but under club control, are pitchers Brandon Morrow, David Aardsma and Cesar Jimenez, and outfielder Franklin Gutierrez. … Felix Hernandez became a father for the second time Friday with the birth of a 6-pound, 10-ounce boy named Abraham. … Mike Morse was scratched from his scheduled start at third base because of flu-like symptoms. … Balentien remained away from camp because of visa problems.
Today in camp
Mariners vs. Giants, 12:05 p.m. (PST) at Peoria (ESPN 710 AM radio). Right-hander Carlos Silva will start for the Mariners, followed by right-handers Miguel Batista, Gaby Hernandez, Randy Messenger and Stephen Kahn. Left-hander Barry Zito will start for the Giants.