Mike Hargrove was managing with less than a full deck Sunday, playing without second baseman Jose Lopez and relief pitcher Rafael Soriano.
Lopez still hadn’t returned to the Mariners after returning home to Venezuela last week to handle a family situation. The Mariners had expected Lopez to be with the team Sunday.
“I don’t know when he’ll be back,” Hargrove said after Sunday’s game.
Soriano suffered a relapse of the shoulder tightness that forced the Mariners to shut him down for five days about a month ago. He hasn’t pitched since Wednesday at New York.
Rookie Mark Lowe, who started the season at the Class A level, slid into Soriano’s role and pitched a scoreless eighth inning, giving him 72/3 innings without allowing a run since he was called up. He did issue a walk, his first with the Mariners, but got out of the inning with a double play.
Hargrove said Soriano should be available tonight when the Mariners begin a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Trade talk: The Red Sox have inquired about obtaining Mariners right-hander Joel Pineiro, but no trade seems likely because Boston isn’t offering anything the M’s deem acceptable in return.
Pineiro, who is making $6.3 million in the final year of his contract, also has been the subject of trade speculation involving the New York Yankees. The Yankees were said to be interested in Pineiro in exchange for right-hander Shawn Chacon, who makes $3.6 million.
First-timer: Adam Jones isn’t the only person getting an education in how to play center field at ballparks around the American League. Every stadium is just as unfamiliar to the coach responsible for Jones’ lessons, Mike Goff.
“The first thing I do when I get to a ballpark is check out center field,” Goff said. “I talk to the other outfielders and see how the ball is going to bounce. Ichiro (Suzuki) and Raul (Ibanez) have been to the parks a number of times and they know.
“It’s an education for me, but you learn pretty quick. Even before I go into a town, I’m thinking about the angles and how the ball is going to react.”
Goff then transfers that knowledge into his daily work with Jones.
“If he’s not prepared for it, a triple is going to turn into an inside-the-park homer,” Goff said. “It’s very important to know how the ball is going to react out there.”
Of note: Soccer has been banned at Safeco Field, at least for the Mariners pitchers who have augmented their conditioning work by kicking a soccer ball around the outfield. Reliever George Sherrill rolled an ankle last week, and while he’s OK, the soccer ball has been put away. … Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt’s seventh-inning single pushed his hitting streak to 12 games, tying his career high. … Sunday’s crowd of 45,975 comprised the sixth sellout this season at Safeco Field, including all three games of the Red Sox series.
Kirby Arnold, Herald Writer