09/15/10 6:30 PM ET
Figgins, Ichiro approaching steals milestone
By Jim Street / MLB.com
The only other time it happened was in 1987, when Harold Reynolds stole an American League-high 60 bases and Phil Bradley pilfered 40. Since 1994, Rays teammates Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton are the only ones to accomplish the 40-40 trick.
"Both of those guys are capable of that," interim manager Daren Brown said of his stolen-base tandem. "And [Franklin Gutierrez] has 20-something. That is three guys who can run, and I like the fact they are being aggressive about it."
The threesome went a combined 10-for-13 and stole four bases in Seattle's 9-6 loss to Boston on Tuesday.
"It was fun to watch them last night," Brown said, "but it was not fun at the end."
Saunders takes pride in throwing out runners
SEATTLE -- Except for coming through with a game-winning hit, Mariners left fielder Michael Saunders says he gets the most satisfaction when he throws out a baserunner.
"It doesn't happen nearly as often as getting a hit," he said, "and when you throw a guy out, you are preventing a run for your team and the pitcher."
Saunders prevented a run in the second inning of Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox, gunning down Adrian Beltre at the plate in the second inning. It was Saunders' eighth assist of the season, the third most among all American League left fielders.
That's even more impressive when you learn that Saunders has played in 68 games (65 starts) while Delmon Young of the Twins has 10 assists in 133 games and Brett Gardner of the Yankees had nine assists in 111 games.
The eight assists match the number Ichiro Suzuki had in right field during his rookie season in 2001 -- in 152 games.
"Ichiro has a bit better arm than me," Saunders smiled. "He has a cannon out there, and because I don't have the strongest arm, I rely on getting to the ball as fast as I can.
"I want the third-base coach to make a bad decision, whether that's holding up the runner or sending him home and we get him."
Saunders said most of his assists have come from runners misreading his ability to close on the ball quickly and get it back to the infielder.
The play he made Tuesday night to nail Beltre is about as good as it gets.
"It kept us one run ahead," Saunders said. "Getting a hit makes you happy, but I like throwing a guy out even more."
Mariners solve Safeco Field run famine
SEATTLE -- It had been more than a month since the Mariners scored more than three runs in one game at Safeco Field.
But a 16-game streak, dating to Aug. 6, ended on Tuesday night, when the Mariners scored six runs in a 9-6 loss to the Red Sox. Seattle hadn't scored that many runs at home since defeating the Royals, 7-1.
In between, the run-challenged offense scored three runs seven times, two runs four times, one run four times and it was shut out once.
It was the longest such streak in the Major Leagues since 1920 and the second-longest streak of all-time. The 1948-49 Reds played 17 straight home games scoring three or fewer runs.
Despite the low-scoring offense, the Mariners compiled a 7-9 record during the stretch thanks to their pitching staff.
The staff compiled a 2.62 ERA, including a 1.85 ERA by the relievers.
Right-handed reliever Sean White, sidelined for the past 12 days because of soreness in his forearm, was scheduled to be examined by the team doctor on Wednesday. Interim manager Daren Brown said he didn't think there is anything seriously wrong, but White continues to feel discomfort when playing catch. ... Second baseman Chone Figgins is finishing the season on a hot note. He went into Wednesday afternoon's game with a .373 average in September. He is batting .279 and has a .348 on-base percentage since June 1.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.