April 1, 2005 in Sports

M’s closer Guardado works pain-free outing

From wire reports
The Spokesman-Review photo

(Full-size photo)


PEORIA, Ariz. – The Seattle Mariners headed for Las Vegas on Thursday and Eddie Guardado stayed behind – and surprisingly, both he and the team were pleased.

“The team is flying ahead. I’m staying to pitch another inning (today), then joining them in Las Vegas,” Guardado said. “I’m ready to go.”

Guardado pitched his second inning in three days Thursday morning in a minor league game, and even tested his right hamstring by covering first base on a ground ball to the right side.

“Just like a cat,” Guardado said. “Didn’t feel a thing.”

The Mariners were nearly as happy, seeing their veteran closer throw 18 pitches pain-free just four days before the opening-day game in Seattle.

Guardado reported to camp with questions about a left shoulder that sidelined him much of last summer. After passing early tests, Guardado strained his right hamstring running in the outfield 2 1/2 weeks ago.

Barring a setback, Guardado will be ready to pitch Monday. A reliever who loves work, he appears likely to go into the season without having pitched to a single major league hitter this spring.

“I’m thinking a 5-2 lead, a 3-0 lead and I’m in the game,” Guardado said.

Mariners make moves

The Mariners claimed outfielder Abraham Nunez on waivers from Kansas City, a move that would fortify the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers, if he remains with Seattle

“I’m not going to get into it too deeply, because he might not be with us by the Saturday roster deadline,” Bavasi said. “A lot depends on health and other issues.”

Nunez, 28, appeared in 117 major league games last season, splitting time with Florida and Kansas City, batting .209 with five home runs and 29 RBIs.

To make room for Nunez on the 40-man major league roster, Seattle placed infielder Bucky Jacobsen – who has not had an at-bat all spring – on the 60-day disabled list.

Meanwhile, left-hander George Sherrill and right-hander Dan Reichert, who formerly pitched for the Spokane Indians, were sent to the minor league camp.

The moves left the team with 36 players, five of whom – Travis Blackley, Scott Atchison, Rafael Soriano, Jacobsen and Chris Snelling – are injured and won’t start the season healthy.

Mariners topple Padres

Gil Meche allowed one run and four hits over six innings, striking out seven, as Seattle defeated San Diego 4-1 in exhibition play.

Willie Bloomquist’s two-run triple highlighted a four-run eighth. Julio Mateo earned the save by striking out the side in the ninth.


Seattle right fielder Ichiro Suzuki extended his club-record hitting streak to 19 games with a sixth-inning single. … Joel Pineiro pitched 4 1/3 innings in a minor league game and threw 60 pitches, and is probably two starts away from returning to the Seattle rotation. … Seattle shortstop Pokey Reese, out with a sore shoulder, played catch. … Mariners infielder Ramon Santiago, a non-roster player trying to make the team or leave an impression, has played the last four days with a throat infection. … In 15 home dates at Peoria, Seattle drew 123,427 fans, the fifth-best total in team history.

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