Morrow Hit Hard In Second Start

Brandon Morrow had a rough go of it in his 51-pitch start for Tacoma on Monday. It looks like Willie Bloomquist may have played his last game for the Mariners, and Jose Lopez was benched on Sunday for reasons still unclear. Read on for all the details of Monday's minor league action as well as Mariner news and notes.

AROUND THE MINORS

With Tug Hulett up with the big-league club, the Rainiers turned back to Prentice Redman to bat leadoff, and he drove in all four Tacoma runs with two doubles in a 9-4 loss to Tucson on Monday in the final game of a four game set that Tucson won 3-1. Brandon Morrow threw 51 pitches in his second AAA start as he works his way up the pitch-count ladder. Unfortunately, Morrow might not have been in the game much longer even if he wasn't on a pitch count. He allowed three runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings. Denny Stark came in to stop the bleeding a bit, but the Sidewinders got to Jorge Sosa for five runs in the seventh inning that turned the game into a blowout. Tacoma starts a four-game series with Las Vegas at Cheney Stadium tonight.

West Tenn had the day off yesterday. On Sunday, they were beaten 13-7 in the final game of a home series with Huntsville. Brodie Downs kept the Jaxx in the game despite two unearned runs given away by his defense. He left with the game tied 5-5 but Doug Fister continued his inexplicable descent into oblivion this season. Fister allowed five runs in 1 2/3 innings to take the loss. He's 0-10 with a 9.11 ERA in 53 1/3 innings since June 1st. Fister's walk rate is actually down over that time period and his strikeout rate is pretty flat. He's just getting hit very hard. John Limonta keeps swinging a hot bat for the Jaxx. He cooled off to .278 in July, but is hitting .389 so far in August. He's been very consistent with his production, as he still carries a .914 OPS in 81 games with the Jaxx. He doubled twice on Sunday to give him 28 with West Tenn and 39 on the full season.

High Desert lost a rare low-scoring affair at home on Monday night, 4-2 to Lake Elsinore. The Mavs kept the Storm off the scoreboard completely until the eighth inning, when they scored all four runs to take the lead for good. Alfredo Venegas threw five scoreless innings, allowing only two hits. All things considered, Venegas has pitched OK for the Mavs this season. His ERA is 4.90, which really isn't that bad in the Cal League. He has 80 strikeouts and only 26 walks in 90 innings. Venegas had a rough July, but otherwise has been solid.

Wisconsin fell behind 6-0 against Kane County but nearly rallied for a victory, coming up just short in a 6-5 loss to the Cougars. Trailing 6-2 in the ninth, Edilio Colina led off with a double and scored on Alex Liddi's single. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Alex Meneses grounded into a double play that scored a run. Israel Nunez' single scored the fifth run, but Maximo Mendez grounded out to end the comeback.

Everett saw a seven-game winning streak fall by the wayside on Monday in Yakima. The Sox got off to an early 3-0 lead, but saw it evaporate by the fourth inning as the Bears cruised to a 7-3 win. Everett committed five errors that led to four unearned runs --- the exact margin of defeat.

In AquaSox news, Dennis Raben has once again found himself sitting out for an extended period of time due to a sprained left ring finger. Raben has been bothered by the injury for months, dating back to his college season with Miami. The injury has been deemed to be just a sprain, so the Sox are taking it easy with him and letting him rest instead of aggravating the injury further. Pitcher Stephen Hensley, this year's fourth-round pick out Elon, has been shut down for the season with a partial tear of a ligament in his pitching elbow. The Mariners hope that a rehabilitation program will be enough for Hensley's injury to heal. If not, he's facing surgery and a long rehab period.

Nick Czyz gave up one hit in six shutout innings to help Pulaski to a win over Bluefield, 7-4. The Orioles were down 7-0 entering the ninth but got four runs off the Mariners' Stephen Penney. Blake Nation came in to get the final out and pick up his ninth save. Jose Rivero homered for the M's, and Deybis Benitez had two hits and two RBI to lead the way offensively.

The following Major League notes compiled by Scout.com

INSIDE PITCH

For the last few years, infielder/outfielder Willie Bloomquist has been the heart and soul of the Seattle bench.

There's a chance that he won't be anymore.

Bloomquist has a strained right hamstring, a serious injury suffered Saturday night while trying to beat a throw to first base. He's scheduled to have an MRI Tuesday, but the Mariners aren't optimistic about Bloomquist playing again this year.

"It's a very significant pull," manager Jim Riggleman said. "I don't know if we'll see Willie again the rest of this year."

Bloomquist said he wants to play before the end of the season, but "I'm not going to be foolish about it."

However, Bloomquist is a free agent at the end of the season, and there is a reasonable chance he may be elsewhere next year. He's never been given a chance to be a full-time player in Seattle, and he'd probably like that opportunity if it's out there.

NOTES, QUOTES

--2B Jose Lopez was removed from the game in the fourth inning Sunday after making an error, his 11th. Manager Jim Riggleman wouldn't say that the error was the reason for the benching, but Lopez was healthy and he'd homered in his only at-bat of the game against Tampa Bay. "When you take a regular out in the middle of a game, it's going to raise questions," Riggleman said. "I haven't talked to Jose yet. After I talk to him, I'll find words to explain it. But I want to get those words out to him first." Lopez is expected to be back in the lineup Tuesday in Anaheim.

--RF Ichiro Suzuki has hit in 16 consecutive games, the best streak of his season and the 36th time he's had a streak of 10 games or more. During the streak, he's hitting .403 (27-for-67 with 11 runs, nine RBI and three triples).

--C Jeff Clement was charged with three passed balls Sunday while catching RHP R.A. Dickey's knuckleball. That tied a club record originally set by C Jerry Narron on Oct. 4, 1980.

--INF/OF Willie Bloomquist, who went on the disabled list Sunday morning after suffering a right hamstring injury Saturday, might be finished for the season. Bloomquist, who was trying to beat a throw to first base, is scheduled to have an MRI Tuesday to determine the extent of the damage to his right leg.

--LHP Jarrod Washburn was called on as a pinch runner Saturday, the second time this year he's been asked to run. And for the second time this year, Washburn had to dash into the clubhouse to grab spikes, his jersey and a belt before he could go on the field. Asked if thought about watching the game fully dressed, Washburn just laughed. "It's more fun having to run up here to get dressed," Washburn said. "It helps me warm up to run the bases."

--LHP Erik Bedard threw back-to-back days on the side Saturday and Sunday as he tries to come back from the shoulder problems that have shut him down since July 4. He was scheduled to take Sunday off, then throw again Monday in Anaheim. He's not expected to pitch in a game until September.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Consecutive days with games played for the Mariners through Sunday. Seattle gets Monday off before starting a two-game series against the Angels in Anaheim.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I would like to get to 100 wins before I get to 100 losses. I know I'm getting closer to the wins being the same as losses, and when I got here, it wasn't anywhere close." -- LHP Jarrod Washburn, who comes into the week 98-97 after three consecutive losing seasons with the Mariners.

MEDICAL WATCH:

INF/OF Willie Bloomquist (strained right hamstring) was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 10.

LHP Erik Bedard (sore left shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 5. He was unable to throw July 21, but an MRI the next day showed the same impingement he has had. He started throwing again in early August, but he might not be back with the Mariners before September.

RF Mike Morse (dislocated left shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list April 14. He had surgery April 22 and probably won't play again this season.


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