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Wedge discusses Noesi's control issues

SEATTLE -- The Mariners have seen two sides of young starter Hector Noesi in his brief time in Seattle -- and Friday definitely was the downside, as the White Sox knocked the right-hander out quickly en route to a 7-3 victory at Safeco Field.

Noesi, acquired from the Yankees in the Michael Pineda-Jesus Montero trade in January, lasted just 1 1/3 innings while giving up six runs on six hits with two walks. It was a far cry from the eight shutout innings he hurled in his first Mariners victory six days earlier against the A's.

"He was completely different today," said manager Eric Wedge. "He wasn't able to locate his fastball, and his secondary stuff never really came into play. He just didn't have it today."

On the plus side, rookies Erasmo Ramirez and Hishashi Iwakuma stemmed the runaway with 7 2/3 innings of relief with just two hits and one run, with Iwakuma making his Major League debut after sitting for the season's first 14 games.

"That's a long time to pitch finally, but I'm prepared whenever I get called," the former Japanse standout said after throwing four innings of one-run ball. "I'm glad to debut here at Safeco Field."

Ramirez was first out of the bullpen and the 21-year-old threw 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief with just one single marring his line. The rookie had uncharacteristically walked two in two-thirds of an inning in his last outing Tuesday against the Indians, but said he's beginning to learn more about pitching out of the bullpen.

"I used to be a strike thrower, so I was working with the coaches on how to warm up quickly, because it was taking me a while," Ramirez said. "And in those situations, I need to be quick, get in the game and throw my strikes.

"It didn't happen the last time. That's not me. I was walking guys, my mechanics were off. But now everything came back and my confidence was all right and everything was coming true."

Then came Iwakuma, the 30-year-old from Japan, who became the last player on an Opening Day roster to debut this season. Other than Adam Dunn's second bomb of the game in the eighth, Iwakuma was spotless.

"He was very impressive today and Ramirez was a lot better as well after a tough couple of outings," Wedge said. "You have to use all your guys and on a day like today, that's why you need some length down there."

But Chicago's own young hurler, 23-year-old Chris Sale, tightroped out of trouble much of the evening and wound up throwing 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball with 11 strikeouts.

Seattle chipped away at Chicago's lead, with rookie catcher Jesus Montero hitting his second home run of the season -- both to straightaway center field at Safeco -- with a solo shot in the sixth that made it 6-2.

Ichiro Suzuki drove in the other two runs in a 2-for-4 night, as he increased his team RBI lead to nine.

But the early deficit was too much to overcome as Seattle dropped the opening game of the series and fell to 7-8 on the year.

Noesi found himself in hot water quickly against a White Sox club that had lost four of its previous five games. The 25-year-old Dominican gave up two runs in a 38-pitch first frame, then was KO'd with four more runs in the second.

Dunn applied the final straw with a three-run home run to right field for the 6-0 lead.

"We were trying to get to him early and we were able to do it," said Dunn, who finished with five RBIs.

Noesi also had an abbreviated start in his first outing of the season in Texas. Thus, despite his outstanding start against the A's last week, he finds himself with a 1-2 record and 9.49 ERA.

"I was missing my pitches, like in the first game," said Noesi. "I'm trying to combat that, but it was too late. Something was wrong with my mechanics. I think I was open a little bit [with his front shoulder]. It is frustrating, but not every time are you going to do good."

The Mariners had their own chances against Sale, but couldn't cash in until Dustin Ackley scored from first on Ichiro's double in the third. Ichiro also singled in Brendan Ryan in the seventh.

Seattle was 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, which negated a nine-hit night as they stranded eight runners.

Left fielder Casper Wells, who had two doubles in a 2-for-3 effort in just his third start of the season, said the offense tried to chip away at the lead but just couldn't quite pull it off.

"It's tough when that happens early, but the pitchers have picked us up a lot of nights," Wells said. "We haven't been so hot with the bats, but that's how baseball rolls sometimes. I'm confident when it all comes together, it'll be something good." Comments