Montero shows no ill effects in return from flu
Mariners catcher collects two hits after missing two days
TEMPE, Ariz. -- After sitting out two days following a bout with the stomach flu, rookie catcher Jesus Montero returned to the lineup Wednesday and went 2-for-3 in the Mariners' 6-4 victory over the Angels.
Montero, 22, raised his Cactus League batting average to .444 (4-for-9) in three games and looked fine behind the plate in his second game catching this spring.
The club's top-rated prospect -- obtained in the Michael Pineda trade with the Yankees -- ripped a long drive off the top of the right-field wall in the sixth inning but was held to a single. He also reached base on an infield single up the middle in the second inning and flied out to right in the third, continuing to hit the ball extensively to the opposite field as he has all spring.
"He's strong," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "He can go that way as good as any young hitter that I've seen in a while. He can go that way with power. And that's what you're seeing."
Wedge had said Tuesday he thought Montero had suffered a case of food poisoning, but Montero said Wednesday it was simply a flu bug and he was back to feeling normal.
Beavan draws high praise after strong start
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Blake Beavan saw a lot of the Angels last year, making three starts against the American League West rivals and going 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA after his midseason callup to the Mariners. So the youngster had some comfort level going Wednesday as he rolled through four shutout innings in Seattle's 6-4 victory in Cactus League play.
"I've got a pretty good idea what a lot of those guys can do, and so do they on me," the 23-year-old right hander said. "I think you saw that early on in the first two innings. They were aggressive and hitting a lot of my fastballs. After the second inning I started mixing it up and it started playing a little better after that."
Manager Eric Wedge appreciated Beavan's ability to adjust and continues liking what he's seen from the youngster this spring.
"This is a guy who is not afraid," Wedge said. "He goes out there and pitches with confidence and trusts his fastball and gets people out in the zone. And he works off his fastball. He'll be aggressive when he needs to. He's a smart kid. He understands situations and is able to read swings, and I think that was evident today.
"A lot of these young kids pitch away from contact instead of to contact. That's what you have to do in the big leagues. Go right at 'em, work ahead and stay ahead."
The Angels made some solid contact on Beavan early, but they did little damage thanks to some nice defense behind him. And once the big right-hander settled in, he breezed through four innings on two hits, one walk and three strikeouts.
Beavan gave up a leadoff single to Erick Aybar, but he was doubled off first on a strong throw by left fielder Mike Carp when Howie Kendrick lined out on a hit-and-run effort.
In the second, Beavan benefited from a long running catch in right field by Michael Saunders and an excellent diving stop at third by Kyle Seager.
"That helped a lot," Beavan said. "It's nothing new. They did it last year all the time. Those guys are great at what they do in playing defense. There were a couple really good plays today that changed a little momentum. It's always nice to see your defense going out there for you like that because as a pitcher you're trying to give everything you've got, too."
Beavan threw 61 pitches in his second Cactus League outing and said he still felt strong. He's in line for one of the Mariners' back-end rotation openings behind Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas and has done nothing to hurt his case this spring.
Bumps, bruises not slowing Moore at plate
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners catcher Adam Moore has been hitting the cover off the ball in early Cactus League action, but the 27-year-old has been taking his lumps in almost equal fashion.
Typical of the life of a catcher, Moore was in the training room on Wednesday dealing with a sore right wrist as well as a bruised left hand. And when he wasn't taking abuse behind the plate, Moore got hit by a pitch while batting Tuesday.
"Two days in a row," he said with a shake of the head. "I got hit with a backswing on my hand, then a foul tip off the wrist. And I got beaned right in the butt."
Then there was the slide into third base on Tuesday that brought trainer Rick Griffin and manager Eric Wedge running from the dugout when Moore came up limping on the same right leg he hurt the first week of last season that required knee surgery.
"I just slid a little late and jammed my foot and leg into the bag," Moore said. "So it scared me more than anything. But I just walked it off and it was fine and I was good to go."
Moore isn't eager to come out of any games these days, as he's swinging a hot bat and fighting for playing time in a catching rotation that added Jesus Montero, the Mariners' top prospect, and John Jaso behind starter Miguel Olivo over the offseason.
He's gone 4-for-6 with a home run, double, three RBIs and four runs scored in his first three games before getting the day off Wednesday.
"I did a lot of work this winter and right now I'm staying through the ball, getting my hands extended and just seeing the ball well," Moore said. "I feel great and hope to continue to keep this going throughout the spring.
"This is fun. I didn't play at all last year and played a little in the winter, but not too much. Now every opportunity I get, I'm going to take full advantage and continue to hang in there, no matter what, and just see what happens."
Left-hander Charlie Furbush threw two scoreless innings in relief of Blake Beavan on Wednesday. Manager Eric Wedge said he's still being prepared as either a starter or reliever, depending on how things play out.
Rookie third baseman Vinnie Catricala hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning. It was his first Cactus League long ball, but he hit two during the Mariners' intrasquad games and continues to impress with his bat.
Kevin Millwood makes his first Cactus League start on Thursday in Mesa against the Cubs at 12:05 p.m. PT, while Hector Noesi takes the hill first in a morning "B" game against the Rockies in Scottsdale.
Saturday is a split-squad day for the Mariners, and they'll use the 6:10 p.m. PT nightcap against the D-backs at Salt River Fields to throw their top four top pitching prospects. Erasmo Ramirez will get the start, followed by Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, all ranked among the Mariners' Top 20 prospects.
Hisashi Iwakuma, who lasted just one inning in his Cactus League debut, gets his second shot in Saturday's afternoon game (12:05 p.m. PT) against the Dodgers in Peoria Stadium.
Former catcher Dan Wilson was in camp Wednesday, joining the group of ex-Mariners working and talking with players this week. Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner and Edgar Martinez all arrived earlier, though Martinez had to leave after just one day when his father died Tuesday.
Stephen Pryor, the 22-year-old right-handed pitcher who left camp last week to attend to a personal matter, returned on Wednesday and was assigned to the Minor League camp that opened on Monday. The Mariners now have 65 players in Major League camp.