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Mariners’ Jaso learns first-base tricks

One of the newest Mariners, John Jaso, likes to see new sights.

An avid hiker, Jaso has begun making plans for a trip next offseason through some of the high country of Italy and Spain.

For now, the new terrain he’s checking out is first base. Jaso’s primary position is catcher. It was pretty much his only one until a month or so ago – the Mariners envisioned him platooning behind the plate this season with Miguel Olivo when they acquired him in November from Tampa Bay for pitcher Josh Lueke.

But a couple of months later, the Mariners made another trade to get catcher Jesus Montero from the Yankees. Shortly after, the team approached Jaso about trying first base.

“The trade happened and as far as I knew I was coming over as a catcher only,” said the 28-year-old left-handed hitter. “But they kind of just brought the idea to me just watching me run around, or maybe their ideas on what my role is here on the team kind of changed after different moves were made, and so it kind of made me progress into this.”

M’s split squads split

Felix Hernandez limited Milwaukee to one hit in six scoreless innings in his second-to-last outing before Seattle leaves for Japan, helping the Mariners beat the Brewers 6-1 in a split-squad game Friday in Tucson, Ariz.

In Phoenix, Josh Reddick hit a two-run double to key a four-run first and the Oakland Athletics beat a Mariners split-squad 6-1.

Hisashi Iwakuma, a Japanese League veteran fighting for the final spot in the Mariners’ rotation, gave up five runs – three earned – on seven hits and a walk.

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