OAKLAND, Calif. — By all measures Chris Young’s first relief appearance was a success. The 6-foot-10 right-hander, who has made 159 major-league starts and 102 minor-league starts, had never once came into a regular-season game as a reliever.
On Sunday, he pitched two shutout innings, not allowing a hit and striking out two. He entered the game in the fifth inning with runners on first and third and no outs. He allowed a sacrifice fly that scored a run, but it was charged to Erasmo Ramirez. After that, he cruised through the A’s hitters.
“I was just tried to focus on the hitter I was facing,” Young said. “I wish I could have saved the run there.”
Still, this relief appearance went better than his last relief appearance.
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“It was in the All-Star Game and didn’t go well,” he said.
Mariners fans will remember the 2007 All-Star Game for Ichiro hitting a two-run inside-the-park home run to lead the American League to a 5-4 win. It earned him MVP honors.
But fans might not remember who served up that pitch. Young does.
“I gave up the inside-the-park home run to Ichiro,” he said.
Young was originally part of the Mariners’ starting rotation. But Friday’s postponed game and the upcoming off days have forced him to the bullpen as a long reliever.
With an off-day Monday, manager Lloyd McClendon gave Corey Hart Sunday off, hoping that two days off will help his sore right arm improve. Hart has been battling injury issues since spring training.
Hart has appeared in four games as the designated hitter and is hitting .167 (3 for 18) with a homer.
• With the call-up of Dominic Leone, the Mariners are the only team in MLB to have two players on their active roster from the 2012 draft class. Catcher Mike Zunino was the third overall pick of that draft, and Leone was selected in the 16th round out of Clemson.