SEATTLE -- While Justin Smoak has gone just 2-for-23 in the past seven games going into Tuesday's game with the Tigers, manager Eric Wedge continues expressing faith in the Mariners first baseman.Smoak was hitting .175 with three home runs and 10 RBIs through his first 27 games, and Wedge has dropped him to seventh in the batting order in the hope of easing some of the pressure. But Wedge said Tuesday there's no need for the switch-hitter to focus just on one side of the plate or the other at this point in his career. "It's double duty for switch-hitters," Wedge said. "And you talk about a guy like Smoaker that has some power, too, and you pile on some expectations early, that all comes with it. What he needs to understand is all he needs to do is go out and put up good at-bats, not try to get hits or hit the ball over the fence, just put up good at-bats like he had last night and eventually the results come. "But you try to do too much, you try to fast-forward it, and that's where you get in trouble. It's easy to do for young players because you want it to be there yesterday. That's the biggest mistake you can make. All I want him to do is slow down, just hit and put up good at-bats and let that define itself as it may. I trust enough in his ability and mindset that it'll work." As for focusing on just one side of the plate and abandoning his switch-hitting approach? "He's nowhere near that," said Wedge. "This guy is going to be a good switch-hitter."
Beavan's status uncertain after comebacker
SEATTLE -- Blake Beavan said he's still hopeful of making his next start, Sunday at Yankee Stadium, but that remains up in the air after the Mariners right-hander was knocked out of Monday's start when a line drive from the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera hit off his right elbow.Beavan didn't return after Cabrera's shot ricocheted off his arm and turned into an inning-ending double play in the third frame of Seattle's 3-2 victory. He said he was feeling better on Tuesday, but his availability will depend on how his elbow reacts in the coming days. "It's more tender than anything," said Beavan. "I have a lot more range of motion. I can get my arm up to my chest. Last night, I could just barely raise it, and it hasn't even been 24 hours yet. So hopefully with treatment we'll speed up the process." Manager Eric Wedge said it's "too early to tell" if Beavan will be ready for his turn Sunday and said long reliever Hisashi Iwakuma or one of the starters at Triple-A Tacoma would be options if Beavan can't go. Beavan, 1-3 with a 4.32 ERA in six starts, said he once took a 102-mph line drive off his ankle in a Minor League game but didn't miss a start. But he realizes this might be a different situation. "I'm going to do everything I can to try to get back," he said. "But I don't want to come back if I'm not 100 percent because that wouldn't be good for the team. It's something you don't want to rush if it's serious, but if I can go and it's 100 percent, then I'm going to go. We just have to go day by day." Beavan, 23, walked off the mound after taking the line drive without showing any pain, but said he started feeling it as soon as trainers began examining his elbow in the dugout. "I don't try to be like a tough guy or anything, but I guess you could say I have a high pain tolerance," he said. "You grow up playing football, and I've been hit a lot worse. So I can take some pain. But I really didn't feel the pain until I got underneath in the tunnel and they were feeling around asking if this hurt and did that hurt, and that's when it started hurting." Wedge said Iwakuma wouldn't throw for the next few days anyway after throwing three innings of relief on Monday, so he could be in line for the spot start if needed. Erasmo Ramirez, who was sent down to Tacoma last weekend, has started one game for the Rainiers and isn't scheduled to go again until Saturday. But he threw just three innings in his first start for the Rainiers after spending the first month of the season in the Mariners' bullpen.
Delabar making most of opportunities
SEATTLE -- After a rough start to his season, right-handed Mariners reliever Steve Delabar has gotten on a roll lately and capped that off with his second career victory in Monday's 3-2 comeback win over the Tigers.Both of Delabar's wins now have come on walk-offs, including a dramatic 12-inning victory over the Yankees on Sept. 14 at Safeco Field when Luis Rodriguez launched a game-winning home run. Monday's victory came when Seattle scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth. "Wins are always fun, and when it's a walk-off, it's the best," said the 28-year-old. "I guess with each of my wins now, I have a story." But Delabar's biggest story this season may be the way he righted himself after giving up four home runs in 4 2/3 innings in his first five appearances. Since then, he hasn't allowed any long balls and has given up just three runs over 11 1/3 innings in 11 outings. Manager Eric Wedge trusts Delabar enough that his 16 appearances were tied for the Major League lead going into Tuesday. "A lot of it is just getting comfortable in different situations," said Wedge. "He just had a couple appearances last year in a different role, of course. But this year, we've been using him in more vital roles -- him as well as [Tom] Wilhelmsen. "They've had some tough outings where they've learned from it, but they've had a lot of success in tough situations as well. I think it's just getting a feeling for himself and what works. A lot of times the league has to kind of tell you what's working and what's not. There's no practice for that. You just have to go out and do it." Delabar said he's working on adding a slider to his arsenal, but mostly he's just gotten into a rhythm in his first full season in the Majors. Last year, he was a September callup after beginning the season in Class A ball. "I feel good," he said. "But I think the whole thing is, we're a month in now and able to establish a consistent routine. Just getting in a groove that way and being consistent with that makes everything else a lot easier."
• Going into Tuesday's game, Dustin Ackley had hit .375 with 12 runs and eight RBIs in the Mariners' 14 wins. During the 16 losses in which he played, Ackley had hit .123 with three runs and one RBI.• Smoak had not committed an error in his last 57 games going into Tuesday night, the longest current streak by an American League first baseman. Mark Teixeira of the Yankees is second at 44 games. • When they head to Yankee Stadium this weekend, the Mariners will face right-hander Hiroki Kuroda on Friday, right-hander Phil Hughes on Saturday and left-hander Andy Pettitte on Sunday. It will be Pettitte's first start in the Majors since the 2010 American League Championship Series. Felix Hernandez, Hector Noesi and Blake Beavan are scheduled to start those three games for Seattle, though Beavan's situation is uncertain after he got hit in the elbow with a line drive on Monday. • Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo continues rehabbing his strained groin muscle and said he's feeling better than he'd originally hoped at this point. The veteran ran on a treadmill on Tuesday and has hit in the cage the past two days. He's eligible to come off the disabled list on May 16 but said he didn't know if he'd be ready that soon.