Mariners update

  • Sunday, July 25, 2004 9:00pm
  • Sports

Opponent: Oakland A’s

When: 7:05 p.m. today, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, 12:35 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Network Associates Coliseum in Oakland, Calif.

TV: Fox Sports Net today and Tuesday, no TV on Wednesday.

Radio: KOMO (1000 AM) all three games.

Pitchers: Today – Seattle left-hander Travis Blackley (1-2, 9.68 earned run average) vs. left-hander Barry Zito (5-7, 4.61). Tuesday – Right-hander Ryan Franklin (3-8, 5.20) vs. left-hander Mark Redman (6-8, 4.76). Wednesday – Left-hander Jamie Moyer (6-7, 4.46) vs. left-hander Mark Mulder (13-3, 3.51).

Utility man Hansen shines in rare start

On the rare day Dave Hansen started for the Mariners, he showed no rust Sunday on offense or defense.

He hit a two-run home run in the second inning and made a key diving catch of a line drive to save a run in the eighth, then revealed the secret to being successful in his rare opportunities to play.

“I’ve got to stay ready at all times,” he said. “I have to do it or I won’t be able to have a game plan. There’s a lot of years of failure involved, a lot of trial and error figuring what works for me and what doesn’t.”

Hansen, one of the best pinch hitters of all-time, has started just 13 of the Mariners’ 97 games. He gets most of his action hours before the games begin, taking extra swings during early batting practice and fielding ground balls at both first and third base during regular BP.

“Every day, he has a routine that keeps himself ready for games,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He hasn’t been out there for a while, and to be on top of things and to react the way he does is a testament to how hard he works.

“That’s a real professional there. I think there are a lot of teams that would like to have a Dave Hansen.”

One in particular wants him, apparently. With six days remaining before baseball’s trade deadline, Hansen’s name has been linked most with the San Diego Padres.

Hansen tried to brush off such talk Sunday.

“I’m wearing a Mariners uniform and that’s what I try to stay focused on,” he said. “I’ll be ready when my manager calls.”

Bucky takes flight: The Mariners left on their first road trip of the Bucky Jacobsen era, and their big bopper was looking forward to one thing in particular.

“I can’t wait to see this plane,” said Jacobsen, who spent 7 years in the minor leagues before the Mariners called him up July 15. The Mariners’ charter flight to Oakland left about two hours after Sunday’s game.

“This is definitely better than the 6 a.m. flights (at Class AAA Tacoma), with a middle seat in coach with a couple other big guys sitting next to me,” Jacobsen said.

Wild, wild, wild, wild thing: Angels relief pitcher Kevin Gregg tied a major league record with four wild pitches in the eighth inning Sunday. He joined Phil Niekro (Aug. 4, 1979) and Walter Johnson (Sept. 21, 1914) as the only pitchers to throw four in an inning.

Gregg, who has pitched half the innings of most starters, also jumped to the top of the American League wild-pitch list. He is tied with the Yankees’ Jose Contreras with 10 this season.

Cooling off: The temperature at Safeco Field for the start of Sunday’s game was 67 degrees, 25 degrees cooler than the start of Saturday night’s game.

Stoned: When Anaheim starter Ramon Ortiz gloved Ichiro Suzuki’s hard grounder and threw him out in the first inning, it was the first time in five games that Suzuki hadn’t led off with a hit. In all five games, Suzuki scored in the first inning.

What he didn’t start, though, he finished.

Suzuki’s single in the eighth inning not only drove home a big insurance run for the Mariners, it extended his hitting streak to 17 games.

Tui time? Former Woodinville High School star Matt Tuiasosopo continues to tear up the Arizona League, and he soon could be coming to a Northwest League team near you. With shortstop Yung-Chi Chen scheduled to leave soon to play for Korea in the Olympics, the Mariners are considering bringing Tuiasosopo to the Everett AquaSox.

Kirby Arnold, Herald Writer

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