5/7/2013 10:39 P.M. ET
Bay returns to old home at PNC Park
By George Von Benko / Special to MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- Jason Bay, the face of the Pirates' franchise from 2004-08, returned to PNC Park on Tuesday. With the Pirates, Bay hit .284 in 368 games at PNC Park, with 78 doubles, 12 triples, 61 home runs and 241 RBIs.
He still ranks first in home runs and RBIs in the park's 13-year history.
"This was a great place," said Bay, who went 0-for-2 with two walks in Tuesday's 4-1 loss. "They gave me a chance, I wasn't a huge prospect. I got traded over and they gave an opportunity and I'm very grateful to the organization and the city. It's kind of fun to still come here and I still see a lot of the same faces in the hallway. A lot of things haven't changed, but I have very good memories here."
Bay signed a low-risk one-year contract with the Mariners in December and has gone from the fifth outfielder to a guy who has started to get consistent playing time.
"I had an opportunity to go to a couple of other teams that offered me a better chance at playing time right out of the gate," Bay said. "But this was one of places that I wanted to play and I knew going in that I had to make the team and I wasn't penciled in as a starter, so things had to happen, but all along it was the assumption that if I did what I knew I could do to my capability that I would play, and that was something that fell on me. At this point in my career it was something I kind of liked, it was all on me."
Bay had his season-high seven-game hitting streak snapped in Seattle's 10-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday. It was Bay's longest streak since he hit in seven consecutive games in April 2012 as a member of the Mets.
"He's made some adjustments that have put him in a better position to strike a baseball," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "It's still in there, the bat speed's still in there and the strength is still in there and he's in great shape. That's been the biggest difference that has allowed him to be more consistent and get big hits for us."
• The Pirates made a late starting pitching change when they scratched right-hander James McDonald with shoulder discomfort in his pitching shoulder and replaced him with right-hander Jeanmar Gomez in Game 1 of the two-game series with the Mariners.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said that won't force any changes in the Mariners' lineup.
"No were not going to change anything," Wedge said. "When you get something this late you just roll with it, so we got guys in there doing their work right now and we'll be ready."
Gomez pitched five scoreless innings with five strikeouts for the win.
• Wedge changed his pitching rotation for the upcoming weekend series with Oakland.
On Friday, right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma will start, and on Saturday, the Mariners will start rookie right-hander Brandon Mauer. Lefty Joe Saunders will be on the hill Sunday.
• The Mariners are playing in Pittsburgh for only the second time in club history, and are now 3-1 in the Steel City. This was the Mariners' first Interleague game of the year. They are 153-132 (.537) all-time against the National League.
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.