BALTIMORE – Opportunity is something that hasn’t always come knocking for a pair of Seattle Mariners who decided to make the most of theirs Tuesday.
Throwing 7 2/3 innings of three-hit ball in a 4-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles isn’t something left-handed pitcher Luke French could have envisioned, especially a month ago when he was seemingly forgotten about in Triple-A.
And providing all of his team’s offense with a double in the fifth inning and a three-run homer in the ninth wasn’t even a possibility for Matt Tuiasosopo until he was added to the lineup just 20 minutes before game time.
Both stated their cases as to why they should be a part of this team going forward. They’ll have to keep on doing it the final six weeks to make the transition from spare parts to key pieces of Seattle’s future plan.
“Playing here and there only a few times a week, it’s tough,” said Tuiasosopo, hitting just .155 in limited action before being getting the left field start when Ryan Langerhans was sidelined by a severe pregame migraine. “Right now, that’s the challenge. Just trusting it.”
French looks at it much the same way. He went 11-3 with a 2.94 earned-run average in Triple-A, but seemed forgotten about just one year after being acquired in the Jarrod Washburn deal with Detroit.
He has had four starts since being recalled Aug. 1, yet, rare as those have been, he’s trying not to look at this as a do-or-die audition for the 2011 team.
“I’m not really going to worry about that,” said French, who’s gone at least six innings in each of his starts while allowing four runs or fewer each time.
“If that becomes the case, then great. All I can do is come out here and do my best. Any time you get to play up here, it’s a great big opportunity and fun. But you can’t really worry about that.”
French didn’t look worried for most of the night, silencing the crowd of 14,739 at Camden Yards by taking a no-hitter into the sixth. Josh Bell finally ended that bid one out into the frame, but French retired the next seven in a row.
He’d been spotted a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Adam Moore singled off Orioles starter Kevin Millwood and scored from first base on Tuiasosopo’s double to left.
Brandon League came on with two on and two out and got a Nick Markakis groundout to end the eighth, then finished off the ninth for his third save.
Bradley may be done
Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley could miss the rest of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee.
LOB—Seattle 9, Baltimore 5. 2B—Tuiasosopo (3), J.Bell (3). HR—Tuiasosopo (2), off Gabino. RBIs—Tuiasosopo 4 (6). SB—I.Suzuki (30). RLISP—Seattle 3 (Branyan, Jo.Lopez 2); Baltimore 2 (Wigginton, Markakis). RMU—B.Roberts. GIDP—Figgins, F.Gutierrez, Wigginton. DP—Seattle 1 (Jo.Wilson, Figgins, Kotchman); Baltimore 2 (C.Izturis, B.Roberts, Wigginton), (B.Roberts, C.Izturis, Wigginton).
|French W, 2-3||72/3||3||0||0||3||3||107||4.02|
|League S, 3-8||11/3||0||0||0||0||2||12||2.89|
|Millwood L, 2-13||8||6||1||1||3||4||112||5.49|
IR-S—League 2-0, Albers 1-0. T—2:41. A—14,739 (48,290).