Notes: Batista steps in for Morrow
Veteran makes Friday's start while rookie battles flu
LAS VEGAS -- It wasn't ideal, and it wasn't awful.And despite giving up seven hits and four runs -- three earned -- in the Mariners' 8-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs Friday, Miguel Batista seemed to be in fairly good spirits. Batista got the start after scheduled starter Brandon Morrow was sidelined with what the team called flu-like symptoms. Batista found out he'd be starting late on Thursday, three days after he pitched against the Texas Rangers. In that game, he was hit in the ribs by a line drive from the bat of Matt Kata. "We're supposed to do our job, whether it's pitching on two days, three days, whatever," Batista said. On Friday, Batista threw 65 pitches in three innings. "I thought it would be pretty well tattooed right now, but it's OK," Batista said of his ribs. "My main concern was to make sure I was healthy. I was a little inconsistent every now and then, but I hit my spots most of the time, threw some good pitches." He credited the Cubs offense, which had 14 hits in the game. "They hit some good pitches. They follow some great pitches some times," Batista said. "You have to tip your hat when a guy hits a good pitch." Manager Mike Hargrove was happy with Batista's performance, saying the final line didn't indicate the effort. "He gave up seven hits. A couple were hard, but a lot were off the end of the bat or somebody's hand, so it's typical Spring Training outing," Hargrove said. "I thought he threw the ball well. He felt good. I would have liked it if he threw some more strikes earlier in counts, but he's all right." Batista is still scheduled to start on Wednesday against Oakland. No more Putzin' around: Seattle reliever J.J. Putz pitched for the second time with the Major League club this spring, walking one and retiring two in the seventh inning. He's been recovering from a sore right elbow that has left him sidelined for most of the month. Putz pitched in a Minor League game on Tuesday before making his second -- and final -- tuneup.
"The pitches feel good coming out of my hand. My split had good action today. I got ground balls, which is good," he said.Putz started the seventh inning by walking Cesar Izturis on four pitches, but he pitched Alfonso Soriano and Jacque Jones into groundouts after Izturis was caught stealing. The coaching and training staffs are keeping tabs on how Putz feels, but Hargrove said he doesn't think Putz's regular-season status will change. "If he stiffens up tonight or tomorrow, we'll know what way we have to go. But I don't anticipate that being the case," Hargrove said. Thin desert air: Seattle's bats came back to life following the team's struggles in two split-squad games on Thursday. After combining for one run and nine hits in both losses, Seattle got eight hits and five runs, including two-run homers by Jose Guillen and Adrian Beltre on Friday. Hitting coach Jeff Pentland said the team is where he wants it to be at the plate. "We wanted them to be taking more pitches, getting into the count more, and we've accomplished that," he said. "Our situational hitting was far better than it has been. Our walk total is a little bit better, and our patience is a little bit better." Guillen rolls: Fans who watched Friday's game may have noticed Guillen pull up a little lame after catching a fly ball to end the Cubs' ninth inning. Hargrove said Guillen rolled his ankle earlier in the game and was fine. "We'll check," Hargrove said. "I don't think it's anything serious, but we'll see." Rise and shine: The Mariners' long road out of Spring Training continues at 1:05 p.m. PT on Saturday with another game against the Cubs. Horacio Ramirez is scheduled to start for Seattle, and Jason Marquis is expected to start for Chicago.
Nick Christensen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.