Chick Dominant In Tacoma Win

Tacoma won a fourth straight game in Portland behind the arm of Travis Chick, while the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx are hitting their stride again as they prepare for their playoff series. Meanwhile, the High Desert Mavs are close to rock bottom but the Pulaski M's are division champs. Read on for the details of Sunday in the minors, as well as Mariner news and notes.

Travis Chick struck out seven in seven scoreless innings on Sunday afternoon as Tacoma won the final four games of a five-game set with the Portland Beavers. Chick was in command from the start, racking up six strikeouts in the first four innings. He scattered just four hits in his seven innings, throwing 109 pitches. Chick now has a 1.73 ERA in four starts since his promotion from AA West Tenn. Craig Wilson got the Rainiers off to a an early 2-0 lead when he crushed a ball clear out of Portland's PGE Park and across 18th Avenue. It was Wilson's ninth home run in 38 games with the Rainiers. Prentice Redman and Oswaldo Navarro each had two-run singles. The Rainiers built a 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, but Jared Wells helped the Beavers make things interesting. Brett Dowdy's grand slam with one out in the ninth cut the lead to 7-4, forcing Daren Brown to bring in Justin Thomas to get the save. With the tying run on deck, Thomas struck out Brian Myrow to end the game.

West Tenn came back from a couple of early deficits to beat Montgomery 8-5 on Sunday. Mike Wilson's two-run double in the bottom of the seventh broke a 4-4 tie and gave the Jaxx the lead for good. Marshall Hubbard followed with a sac fly to make it 7-4, and then a controversial balk call with the bases loaded scored Wilson. Montgomery manager Billy Gardner was ejected for arguing the call. Shawn Kelley shook off a couple of bad outings to pitch a scoreless ninth inning and earn his ninth save. Tracy Thorpe gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings as the starter. Thorpe walked just one and struck out six. His conversion to starter has been mostly positive, though he has battled during his last two starts.

Runs have been hard to come by for the High Desert Mavs, but on a day where they finally get the bats going a little bit, the pitching and defense blew up yet again. The Mavs let an 8-2 lead slip away in San Jose on Sunday as the Giants rallied for an 11-8 win. It was the Mavs' 17th loss in their last 19 games. In the previous 16 losses the Mavs had scored only 42 runs. On Sunday, they used a big double by Travis Scott, a couple of sac flies, and RBI singles from Ronnie Prettyman and Kevin Reynolds to score eight runs in the first four innings. But the Mavs would get no more, and in fact were held hitless over the last five innings. Meanwhile, Travis Mortimore was touched up for six earned in 3 2/3 innings as the Giants pulled within 8-6 in the fourth. Then, Michael Wagner was victimized by an Ogui Diaz error that resulted in five unearned runs in the fifth. Austin Bibens-Dirkx came on in relief of Wagner and gave up a bases-clearing triple with two outs that put the Giants ahead to stay.

Juan Ramirez had a strong outing on Sunday, striking out nine in seven innings, as Wisconsin beat Quad Cities 5-3. Ramirez allowed just two runs on five hits to move to 6-9 on the season. He's been somewhat inconsistent all season, but has put together a nice August, posting a 3.54 ERA in five starts. Ramirez has been a bit unlucky as his key numbers (hits, walks, and strikeouts) indicate he should have a better than 4.30 ERA. The Rattlers got a pair of two-run singles in the bottom of the seventh from Denny Almonte and Joe Dunigan to put the game away. Juan Diaz' third home run accounted for the other run. The Rattlers have eight games remaining, and kick off their final home series of the year tonight against Cedar Rapids.

Travis Howell doubled in two runs in the first inning as Everett jumped to an early 3-0 lead in Vancouver, but the C's came back and cruised to an 8-3 victory. Aaron Brown was haunted by six walks in 3 1/3 innings, as he dropped to 2-4 on the season.

Pulaski split a doubleheader in Bristol on Sunday. The M's won 3-2 in game one behind a three-run home run by Kris Sanchez. Kyle Haas allowed two runs on four hits in six innings to pick up the win. Bristol won game two 2-1 in 10 innings. Bristol's Drew Garcia hit for the cycle in the game, capped off by a game-winning homer in the bottom of the 10th off of Kenn Kasparek. It was the first cycle in the Appalachian League in the last four seasons. The Mariners clinched the Appalachian League's Eastern Division title on Sunday. They have a five game lead with five games remaining, and will play in the league's championship series next week.

The following Seattle Mariners notes are compiled by and are not written by the publisher of this site


The Mariners have been forced to mix and match at first base since Richie Sexson was released.

One of the options is Jeremy Reed, who spent a year and half playing first base in college.

He hadn't played the position, however, since his sophomore season at Long Beach State when he was 19 -- until this month, when he started taking grounders to give the club another option at first. He got into his first game on Thursday and was charged with a throwing error.

With Sexson gone and rookie Bryan LaHair unproven, could Reed be an option at first beyond this season?

"I would put every effort into it," he said. "My mentality as a baseball player is, whatever you ask me, I'll do it. It's like the same thing when I got injured from diving (suffering a season-ending broken thumb in 2006). They said, 'Would you dive again?' I'd probably say I would have done it on the first play.

"If you put me in (at first) in the ninth in a one-run game, I'd do it again. That's the kind of player that I feel like I need to be."

MARINERS 8, A'S 4: Kenji Johjima broke a 3-all tie with a solo homer in the fifth and Jose Lopez added a three-run bomb an inning later to give Seattle a split of a four-game series with Oakland.

Felix Hernandez, battling a case of strep throat, threw six innings, giving up three runs, all on solo homers, two of those by Oakland third baseman Jack Hannahan.

With Adrian Beltre relegated to DH duty because of a sore shoulder, Miguel Cairo played third and tripled home two runs in the third, then later doubled. He also scored two runs.


--2B Jose Lopez hit his 11th home run Sunday, a three-run shot. The 11 homers match his career high, set last year, and leave him with 72 RBIs, just seven short of his all-time best of 79, set in 2006, his All-Star season.

--RHP Felix Hernandez, pitching just after having had strep throat, gave the Mariners six innings Sunday. The three solo homers Hernandez allowed to the Oakland A's matched his career high for one game. Hernandez is 7-3 lifetime against Oakland and has won six of his last seven decisions against them.

--RHP Mark Lowe took a line drive off his left foot Saturday night and was on crutches Sunday morning. Lowe, whose foot is still swollen, is expected to be out three or four days.

--C Jeff Clement has a minor knee injury that is keeping him from catching for a few days, at a minimum. Clement is available to pinch-hit or serve as the DH, however.

--RHP R.A. Dickey is back in the bullpen, again, but manager Jim Riggleman can't say that he won't start again this year. "Every time we move him to the bullpen, it seems like something happens where we need him to start," Riggleman said. "There's a likelihood that it could happen again."

--RHP Miguel Batista, who hasn't started a game since Aug. 4, returns to the rotation for Monday's game against Minnesota. The plan is that he will start a couple of times before the rosters expand on Sept. 1, and the club will see where it goes from there.

--3B Adrian Beltre served as DH both Saturday and Sunday. A sore shoulder limits him, but he could be back playing his regular position as soon as Monday or Tuesday.

--RHP Sean Green made little effort to hide his displeasure from coming out when he was removed by manager Jim Riggleman in the fifth inning Friday after hitting two batters and allowing two hits. Riggleman talked to the reliever Saturday. "I thought he was a little upset about being taken out of the game," Riggleman said. "I explained to him that this was not the time to be upset with me. You have to pitch better than that if you want to stay in the game. My comments to him were pretty mild, but I reminded him that I had a tough call there to make, and I needed to make it."

BY THE NUMBERS: 15 -- Consecutive games, through Aug. 24, in which Seattle pitchers had allowed at least one home run. That was the most by the Mariners staff since the 2004 season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I have great respect for umpires. The home run, that's the furthest thing away from the umpire. Everything else (they call) is close to them. But when it happens out there and it's bouncing off rails and poles, there's nothing wrong with getting technical help with that." -- Manager Jim Riggleman on why he supports the use of TV replay.

MEDICAL WATCH: C Jeff Clement (minor knee injury) was unable to catch as of Aug. 24, but he could pinch-hit or serve as the DH.

RHP Mark Lowe (swollen left foot) was injured Aug. 23 and was on crutches Aug. 24. He is expected to be out three or four days.

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 his throwing program was halted in late August when discomfort returned to his left shoulder. He started throwing again Aug. 22, but it's unlikely that he'll pitch again this season.

RHP Felix Hernandez (sore left foot) was hit by a line drive in his Aug. 19 start, but he's expected to be able to make his next start Aug. 24.

RHP Carlos Silva (right elbow tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 17. He threw off flat ground without pain Aug. 21 and appears on track to be activated when he's eligible. He was scheduled to throw off flat ground at least two more times, then have two sessions off the bullpen mound.

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

RF Mike Morse (dislocated left shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list April 14. He had surgery April 22 and won't play again this season. He was hitting and fielding in pregame drills in August, and he will go to the Mariners' fall Instructional League camp.

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