Gipson Has Good Chance To Make M’S
While the top two contenders for the left-field job - Glenallen Hill and Rob Ducey - each hit home runs in Thursday’s slugfest against the Chicago Cubs, it was former 63rd-round draft choice Charles Gipson who most impressed Seattle Mariners manager Lou Piniella.
Not only did Gipson drive in the game-winning run with his second hit of the day - hustling to end up at second base with a double - he made a terrific catch in center.
“He’s battling for a spot,” Piniella said of Gipson, 25, a long shot to make the club after six minor-league seasons in the Seattle organization. “He’s opened some eyes around here.”
In 13 spring at-bats, Gipson has seven hits.
Rally brings victory
Gipson doubled home the go-ahead run off Rod Beck to cap a ninth-inning rally that gave the Mariners a 9-8 victory over the Cubs at Mesa, Ariz.
Chicago had scored six runs in the eighth off Felipe Lira, going ahead 8-7 on Tyler Houston’s two-run homer, the Cubs’ sixth hit of the inning.
Dan Rohrmeier reached on third baseman Jason Hardtke’s error leading off the ninth, advanced on a groundout and took third on John Marzano’s single. Jeff Huson’s single tied the game.
Winning pitcher Mike Timlin allowed one hit in 1-1/2 innings, stopping Chicago’s four-game winning streak and Seattle’s three-game losing streak.
Cubs starter Jeremi Gonzalez gave up three runs and five hits in four innings.
Mariners starter Jamie Moyer allowed one run and two hits in five innings.
Buhner flies home
Right fielder Jay Buhner returned to Seattle for the funeral of his friend Lissy Moore, a young cystic fibrosis victim.
Buhner, who is active with the Seattle chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, received the foundation’s Breath of Life Award last November for his efforts to combat the disease.
Quote of the day
From Jamie Moyer, whose best season as a major leaguer ended in anguish when a strained left elbow forced him out of Game 2 of last year’s division series against the Orioles: “Why look backward when you can look forward? It’s time to dwell on the future.”
The Mariners can’t wait to see catcher Francisco Santiesteban, who was signed Wednesday after defecting from Cuba last July. Santiesteban, who hit .332 with 54 RBI in 99 games with the Cuban National “B” team in 1996, figures to be assigned to Class AA Orlando… . Veteran lefty Jeff Fassero, whose sore elbow has prevented him from pitching since Feb. 26, will see action today against the Giants. So will reliever Tony Fossas, who also is recovering from a sore elbow.