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Chavez the early leader

Tue., April 21, 2009, midnight

 It usually takes a month or more before it’s safe to look at statistics and draw any conclusions, which means there’s plenty of time for the rest of the Mariners to catch up with Endy Chavez.

 The Mariners’ speedy outfielder is off to the best start on the team, ranking among the American League leaders in numerous offensive categories. His 10-game hitting streak is tied for second with Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria and behind American League leader Carlos Pena of the Rays, who begin a three-game series in Seattle tonight.

 Chavez also is in the top 10 with his .392 batting average (sixth), 20 hits (tied for fifth), four steals (tied for fifth), .446 on-base percentage (10th) and .409 home batting average (tied for seventh).

 Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez’s four sacrifice bunts lead the league, but so do the double plays he has grounded into.

Jarrod Washburn, who’ll pitch against the Rays tonight, has limited opposing hitters to a .180 average, fourth in the league. Erik Bedard’s 23 strikeouts rank second. The Mariners’ 3.01 staff earned run average is first in the American League.

 Monday was the Mariners’ first day off without having to travel since the third week of March in spring training. Manager Don Wakamatsu said it’s a good time for a rest. “We’ve got some guys who are banged up,” he said. “These guys have been playing hard and playing some good baseball.”

Everett Herald


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