The Mariners closer, rehabbing his surgically repaired hip, said he felt good after pitching one inning for the Tacoma Rainiers Tuesday night.
Reliever David Aardsma was back in the Mariners’ clubhouse Wednesday after making his first rehab outing Tuesday night for Class AAA Tacoma. On a frigid night at Cheney Stadium, Aardsma worked one inning, giving up two runs and walking two.
“Twenty-two pitches, 10 strikes, which is a pretty good average. It’s right where you want it, right?” he joked. “Gotta get those hitters off the plate a little bit.”
Aardsma was most pleased that his arm and surgically repaired hip felt great.
“It went well. I felt good. And that’s the most important thing,” he said. “I actually felt like I had some good stuff on the ball. I was trying a little too hard — OK, a lot too hard a couple times.
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“I’m more frustrated by the walks. But that’s definitely things you iron out in spring training and games like that.
Aardsma thought he was squeezed a bit by the umpire.
“There were a couple of those that I thought were really good pitches that were called for balls and got me behind in counts,” he said. “So I thought I would have been ahead in counts and kind of had them where I wanted them. A lot of those, I was jumping out and trying to throw it and trying to get there instead of sitting back and making a good, solid pitch.”
Health-wise, Aardsma said, “I felt great. I felt good. My hip felt awesome. I didn’t think about it once. Not pregame, not during the game or after the game. It felt wonderful. I felt good today. I just got done doing a bunch of leg exercises. And I’m definitely happy with it.”
Asked for his timetable to return to a major-league game, Aardsma said: “As soon as I feel like I’m making good, solid pitches every time. You can’t afford to have two or three pitches in a row that you are making mistakes. You have to make one pitch and step off and make a good pitch on the next one. When I do that, I know I’m ready.”
Aardsma will return to Tacoma to pitch again on Friday night.
Peguero makes first start in majors
Carlos Peguero, who made his first major-league start Wednesday, said he called his mom and sister in the Dominican Republic, “and they’re going to tell everybody.”
Family and friends were to watch the game on cable, he said. The 24-year-old went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts against Detroit in his first at-bats in the majors. He was a late-inning replacement for Ichiro in right field Tuesday night in his major-league debut.
Peguero has taken batting practice at Safeco Field twice — Tuesday night, and before the Tacoma Rainiers’ first game, when they had a workout at Safeco. He confirmed he hit one over the batters eye in center field and into the bleachers — something no one can remember any major-leaguer doing in BP or a game. Coach Alonzo Powell was doing the pitching.
Peguero is with the Mariners because Justin Smoak was placed on the bereavement list. Smoak’s father, Keith, died Tuesday night at age 54 of cancer.
“It’s just a powerfully sad thing to have to go through,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “But I know Justin has a lot of support at home, and he’ll have a lot of support here. We do what we do. We keep going.”
He added, “You have to remember this is a game. It’s not real life. I tell the guys, it’s not your wife and it’s not your life, it’s just a game. You’ve got to keep it in perspective. When you talk about family, there’s nothing more important. We all have mothers and fathers, or have had mothers and fathers. More times than not, they’re the most important people in your life, outside your wife and kids.”
• Reliever Shawn Kelley, who has been rehabbing from partial Tommy John elbow surgery last September, will join the Mariners in Seattle Thursday or Friday and will likely travel with the team.”That’s a step, get him back here with the guys,” Wedge said. “It’s always a shot in the arm for you to get out of there (Arizona) and get with the ballclub.”
For the record
W-L: 6-13 W PCT: .316
vs. AL West: 2-4
vs. L.A.: 0-0
vs. Oakland: 2-1
vs. Texas: 0-3
vs. AL East: 2-1
vs. AL Cent: 2-8
vs. NL: 0-0
vs. LHP: 4-4
vs. RHP: 2-9
Extra inngs.: 0-0
Wednesday’s crowd: 13,339
Season total: 176,651
Biggest crowd: 45,727 (April 8)
Smallest crowd: 12,407 (April 13)
Average (9 dates): 19,628
2010 average (9 dates): 25,658