Mariners Lose Again, Hargrove Calls Meeting

Manager Mike Hargrove called a brief team meeting after Tuesday's 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh. It was the sixth consecutive loss for Seattle, matching the season worst. And all six came against lowly National League East teams -- the Cubs (two), the Astros (three) and the Pirates (one and counting).

Hargrove didn't talk to the media afterward. He did his talking with his players. Reportedly he talked about the need for renewed focus and concentration on the task at hand.

One thing the Mariners need to do better is to get out of the first inning without so much damage. The Pirates scored two unearned runs and the Mariners have now allowed 68 runs in the first innings of their 67 games.

It wouldn't hurt the Mariners to hit with men on base, either. They were 1-for-14 in that situation Tuesday.

PIRATES 5, MARINERS 3: It was another tough first inning for another Mariners starter. This time it was Miguel Batista, who gave up two unearned runs to Pittsburgh in the first.
The Pirates never trailed from that point, although Seattle brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth before losing for the sixth consecutive game.


--3B Adrian Beltre, who received a cortisone shot in his left thumb over the weekend, was back in the lineup Tuesday after getting five consecutive games off to rest the thumb. He had two hits in his first game back.

--LHP Horacio Ramirez threw a bullpen session Tuesday, his first since he went on the disabled list May 25. His left shoulder tendinitis is improved, and he could be back around the All-Star break.

--RHP Mark Lowe will throw a bullpen session Wednesday and then is scheduled to get a simulated game over the weekend. If all goes well, Lowe, who has had two elbow surgeries in the last nine months, would go out on an injury-rehabilitation assignment early next week and could be back in the bullpen by early July.

--CF Ichiro Suzuki had two hits, extending his current hitting streak to 14 games. He also stole his 20th base, giving him 20 or more steals in each of his first seven big league seasons.

--1B Richie Sexson's solo homer in the eighth inning, his 11th of the season, was his fourth of the month. That matches his total for May and is one more than his total for April. He also committed his first error of the season and his first in 541 chances dating back to Sept. 22, 2006.

--RHP J.J. Putz, who hadn't pitched in the past five games with the Mariners consistently trailing, threw the top of the ninth Tuesday with the Mariners down by two runs. He struck out all three Pirates he faced.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2.8 -- The average number of runs the Mariners had scored in five games, through June 17, after averaging 7.2 runs per game the previous 19 games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You still have to catch the ball and throw the ball -- it's not all that different, except the ball gets there quicker." -- Second baseman Jose Lopez, on playing third in third baseman Adrian Beltre's absence.



3B Adrian Beltre (sore left thumb) left the June 12 game. He sat out June 13-18 before returning June 19.

RHP Chris Reitsma (sore right elbow) went on the disabled list June 11.

RHP Jon Huber (elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 7.

LHP Horacio Ramirez (left shoulder tightness) went on the disabled list May 25. He threw his first bullpen session June 19.

LHP Arthur Rhodes (left elbow) went on the disabled list retroactive to April 1. He had Tommy John surgery on May 2, and he is out for the season.

RHP Mark Lowe (right elbow) had a second surgery on the elbow this spring, a move designed to remove scar tissue. He will throw a bullpen session June 20, and he soon could start a rehab assignment.

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