PHOENIX -- After a rough start to the season, Mariners reliever Charlie Furbush is making waves in the Seattle bullpen, and is inching towards a new role as a setup man.
"From a setup standpoint, I feel you have to have at least two and from the left side, he's most definitely one of those guys," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "He's consistently gotten better all year."
The 26-year-old lefty posted a 7.50 ERA in six April innings, but in 21 1/3 innings since, he's allowed just two earned runs. The lefty currently is riding a scoreless streak of 14 1/3 innings, dating back to May 17.
"He's a strong competitor, he has a great focus out there and he's done a great job of making adjustments along the way," Wedge said. "I've always said he has a bit of an edge to him. It might be a quiet edge, but there's an edge, no doubt."
Tuesday night against the D-backs, Furbush earned the win after pitching perfect eighth and ninth innings, stymieing an Arizona offense that collected 14 hits in the game. Four of the six outs he recorded came via a strikeout.
"He was very impressive last night," Wedge said. "It wasn't just with his fastball, it was with his secondary stuff too."
Hultzen, Franklin promoted to Triple-A
PHOENIX -- Mariners prospects Danny Hultzen and Nick Franklin were promoted from Double-A Jackson to Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday, just a day after both played in the Southern League All-Star Game.
Hultzen, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft, was 8-3 with a 1.19 ERA in 13 starts with Jackson, and is scheduled to make his first Triple-A start on Saturday in Colorado Springs.
The 22-year-old entered the 2012 season ranked as the No. 16 prospect in baseball by MLB.com, and was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week in consecutive weeks, May 28-June 3 and June 4-10.
The lefty was the starting pitcher for the North Division in the Southern League All-Star game on Tuesday night, tossing a scoreless first inning with a walk and strikeout.
Franklin, the No. 27 overall pick in the 2009 draft, hit .322 with four home runs and 26 RBIs in 57 games with Jackson.
The 21-year-old was the starting shortstop in the Southern League All-Star game, going 0-for-3 with a walk. He was recently named the Topps Southern League Player of the Month for May after batting .394.
Franklin entered the 2012 season rated by MLB.com as the No. 52 overall prospect in baseball and the No. 6 shortstop.
Luetge's streak ends, but he hangs tough
PHOENIX -- It took 16 2/3 innings, but Mariners reliever Lucas Luetge finally allowed the first earned run of his season, and his career, on Tuesday against the D-backs.
Although the Rule 5 pick was disappointed to see the streak come to an end, he admitted he never thought it would last as long as it did.
"Coming into this, I never expected to last a week without giving up a run, it was the best 2 1/2 months of my life," Luetge said. "It's disappointing, nobody wants to give up runs any time you go out there, but I knew it was going to happen eventually though. Now it's over with and I can go out there and try to start another one."
Even though his scoreless run ended rather abruptly, it could've been much worse for the 25-year-old rookie. Luetge allowed the first three batters of the sixth inning to reach base before inducing a double play and a strikeout to get out of the frame, only allowing one run to score.
"That's what I was happy with, I gave up the run and I calmed myself down and tried to focus on making a pitch," he said. "I guess it turned out to help us win the game, if I give up two or three, we probably don't go into extras and win it."
And with a bullpen already depleted due to a brief outing from its starting pitcher, there likely wasn't any help coming for Luetge -- it was his mess to clean up.
"We were thin with our pitching, and then he came in and things happened to him," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "So for him to get through that inning was a big part of the win."
Three Mariners regulars sit out Wednesday
PHOENIX -- For Wednesday's afternoon series finale against the D-backs, Mariners manager Eric Wedge put together what he called a "makeshift lineup," giving multiple regulars a day off.
Neither Jesus Montero, Franklin Gutierrez nor Justin Smoak were in the lineup, although they were available to pinch-hit.
"I planned on giving Gutierrez and Montero a day, and Smoak's knee is still bothering him," Wedge said. "It was a long night last night."
Smoak fouled a ball off his right knee in Tuesday's 10-inning victory, but stayed in the game.
"It clipped him pretty good," Wedge said. "He's sore today."
Gutierrez, who came off the disabled list June 14, had played six straight games before Wednesday.
Wedge said the four-hour game on Tuesday affected Montero the most behind the plate.
"He was feeling it, a long night back there, his legs needed the day," Wedge said. "He got through the game and finished strong though."
The 22-year-old catcher batted 1-for-5 with four strikeouts Tuesday following a hitless game in four at-bats on Monday.
"After the game I told him he was going to get the day today," Wedge said. "He has a really good understanding of what he needs to do. Just needs a period of time to get there."
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.