Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager is hitting .217 this season, but eight of his 13 hits have been doubles, including one Thursday in the Mariners' victory over Detroit.
Kyle Seager is still trying to find his stroke this season, and his critical go-ahead double as a pinch-hitter on Thursday lifted his average to a mere .217.
But Seager is hitting two-baggers at a breakneck pace. Of his 13 hits, eight have gone for two bases, giving him the major-league lead. At his current pace, he would hit 76 doubles for the season.
That’s not going to happen, of course, considering that Earl Webb’s major-league record of 67 doubles has stood since 1931. But Seager, who has hit in seven straight games with a .308 average (8 for 26, including five doubles), likes the doubles trend.
“That’s a good thing, that’s exciting,” he said. “I’ve always tried to be that type of hitter, not necessarily hitting home runs, but keeping the ball lower, a gap-to-gap hitter. That’s definitely a positive for me going forward.”
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First win for Capps
Mariners reliever Carter Capps, who was called up to the majors for the first time in August, worked two scoreless innings to earn his first major-league win in his 26th outing. That, in turn, earned him the traditional beer shower bestowed for such major-league milestones.
“I was really excited,” he said. “At the same time, you come in here and see the cart (a laundry cart used to wheel him into the shower room), so you know you’ve got to go get in the shower. It was great. I really enjoyed it.”
Capps is also enjoying his new late-inning role in the wake of Stephen Pryor’s lat injury that landed him on the disabled list.
“I love it,” Capps said. “Obviously, those are innings I’d like to pitch. I’ll take any inning, but it’s great to pitch those. Now they have more confidence in me, and it builds more confidence in myself.”
Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma had a low enough pitch count (70) after six innings to keep going. But he continues to be bothered by a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. It’s not enough to keep him from making his starts, but it hampers him increasingly as the game goes on.
“We feel like if we sent him back out there one more inning, it would affect his next start, so we’re hoping we can continue to manage it,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
With the Mariners needing fresh bullpen arms after their 14-inning game Wednesday, right-hander Hector Noesi was recalled from Tacoma, and lefty Bobby LaFromboise was optioned to Class AAA Tacoma before Thursday’s game.
It’s been a whirlwind week for Noesi, who was named the Southern League pitcher of the week on Monday, and promoted from Class AA Jackson to Tacoma the same day. He was 1-0 with a 0.00 earned-run average in two starts with Jackson, allowing just five hits in 11 innings with 12 strikeouts and three walks.
Noesi never got in a game for Tacoma, and was awakened Thursday morning at about 1:45 to be informed he was coming up to the majors. He went back to sleep, then drove to the ballpark in the morning.
Noesi will be working out of the bullpen, a role he had with the Yankees in 2011. Noesi appeared in 30 games with the Yankees in ’11, all but two in relief, and had a 4.01 ERA pitching in relief. But last year, as a starter for the Mariners after coming over with Jesus Montero in a trade, he was 2-12, 5.82 in 22 games (18 starts), and 2-6, 5.74 in 11 starts with Tacoma. He also was hit around in spring training this year, but believes he has found himself in the minors.
“I’m trying to put everything together to come here again,” he said.
Of his success in Jackson, Noesi said, “I think I know that league already. I was getting comfortable in my stuff, and trusting my stuff. That’s it.”
Noesi added that “last year, I was thinking too much,” and said of relieving, “that role doesn’t bother me. When I was with the Yankees, I was relieving the whole year.”
Larry Stone: 206-464-3146 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @StoneLarry