Miguel Olivo lobbied to play Wednesday but the Mariners were taking no chances after he'd played for the first time in a week the previous night.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Miguel Olivo lobbied for game action Wednesday, but the Mariners were taking no chances after he’d played for the first time in a week the previous night.
And though his timing was off at the plate, there was nothing wrong with Olivo’s arm. He threw out three base-stealers, including Coco Crisp in the ninth inning when Crisp was the potential winning run.
Olivo suspected Crisp might go on the first pitch, which he did. Crisp had previously stolen 13 bases off the Mariners while being caught three times.
“I saw him with a big lead at first base,” Olivo said. “In that situation, I know that he’s a good runner and he’ll try to make something happen. He was fast, but I made a perfect throw.”
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Olivo said he felt a little anxious at the plate after the long layoff and was jumping out in front on too many pitches. He tried to stay sharp in the batting cage while he nursed a sore hamstring, but “there’s a big difference between the cage and being out there for real.”
Mariners manager Eric Wedge was still raving Wednesday about Olivo’s throw to get Crisp.
“That throw he made on Coco, I don’t think he can do any better,” Wedge said. “If you’re looking like, to do the grading system — two through eight, the way they do it in baseball — that was an eight right there. The way he (Crisp) runs, got a good jump, a base-stealer. He (Olivo) has to get it, get rid of it, get something on it and be accurate. That was a big, big save for us right there. You’ve got to have a chance to keep playing.”
Olivo is apparently recovered enough that the team felt secure in designating third catcher Jose Yepez for assignment after the game. Third baseman Kyle Seager was called up from Class AAA in his place.
• Wedge was asked before the game about what he’s seen in left fielder Carlos Peguero, who keeps getting starts in left field despite entering the day with a .198 batting average and a growing strikeout total.
“I love his aggressiveness,” Wedge said. “But obviously, it’s a little bit over the top, too. He gets a little jumpy up there at times.”
Peguero struck out three times Wednesday, lowering his average to .194 and bringing his strikeout total to 48 in just 134 at-bats. He’s now 5 for 40 (.125) his past 13 games.
Wedge added that Peguero has looked really good the way he stays tall and uses his hands to drive the ball during batting practice. “I watch his BP, which yesterday was as good as I’ve seen it. It was impressive. And … I just believe it’s going to leak into his game. We’ve seen bits and pieces of it.”
When a media member asked whether Peguero could learn more by playing every day in Class AAA, Wedge shook his head.
“There’s no other way you can get what you need to get unless you’re up here, with regards to major-league pitching,” Wedge said. “There’s just such a difference between here and AAA. Think about your fifth starter, or your long guy in the pen, and they’re all better than the ace down there.
“Then you’ve got four other guys pitching down there, too. So, you can do that math. It’s considerable.”
• Jason Vargas pitched his fourth complete game of the season.
• Dustin Ackley had a second-inning single and has hit safely in eight of his past nine games.
• Ichiro went 0 for 4 and had his hitting streak in Oakland snapped at 10 games.
For the record: W-L: 43-44 W PCT: .494
AL West: 11-10
vs. L.A.: 3-2
vs. Oakland: 6-4
vs. Texas: 2-4
AL East: 11-8
AL Cent: 12-17
vs. NL: 9-9
vs. LHP: 8-14
vs. RHP: 35-30
Extra inngs.: 5-3
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read his daily blog at www.seattletimes.com/Mariners