CHICAGO – Turns out it wasn’t the play of their younger players that finally prompted the Mariners to call up Mike Carp.
The player previously deemed most likely to go once Carp was called up from Triple-A, left-handed-hitting outfielder Carlos Peguero, collected two more singles Tuesday night in a 5-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Instead, little-used right-handed-hitter Mike Wilson was sent to Tacoma after a dispiriting defeat in which manager Eric Wedge appeared to reach his boiling point with some struggling veteran hitters.
“We’ve got some of these veteran offensive players that we need to be doing better,” Wedge said. “People that we’re counting on, that we need to be doing better. It’s as simple as that.
“We’ve got a lot of kids up here, too, but it’s a whole different situation. But the veterans, we’re damned near 2 1/2 months into the season and we’ve got guys that need to be doing better.”
Moments after Wedge’s comments – and after the media had cleared the clubhouse for the night – the Mariners announced the promotion of Carp. The 24-year-old outfielder, the Pacific Coast League’s most recent Player of the Week, hit .348 with 18 home runs for Tacoma with a 22-game hitting streak that ended Tuesday. He flied out in his only at-bat for the Rainiers at Tucson before being removed in mid-game.
It’s not clear where the left-handed hitter will play immediately, though there are ample choices. Left field has been a problem much of the season, though Peguero has started hitting.
Another possibility is at designated hitter, where Jack Cust has tailed off lately. Carp also plays first base, Justin Smoak’s position. Smoak has struggled at times since being moved up to the No. 3 spot in the order after the release of Milton Bradley.
Smoak came up short a couple of times as the Mariners’ streak of six consecutive series wins was snapped in front of 21,337 at U.S. Cellular Field. Felix Hernandez gave up a solo homer to Paul Konerko in the second inning, then a two-run triple to Omar Vizquel and a two-run homer to Carlos Quentin in the third to fall in a 5-0 hole.
The Mariners mustered a lone run in the fourth, when Adam Kennedy scored on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Olivo.
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