9/21/2013 9:51 P.M. ET
Franklin fills in nicely at shortstop
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Nick Franklin filled in for the injured Brad Miller at shortstop for the first time Friday and made several excellent defensive plays as well as reviving his bat with a 3-for-5 game in the Mariners' 3-2 loss to the Angels in 11 innings.
Franklin came up through the Minors as a shortstop but was moved to second base by the Mariners. On Friday, Franklin fired a rocket from deep in the hole to get Kole Calhoun in the second inning and also looked sharp in handling several double plays with second baseman Dustin Ackley.
"It was fun for me. I enjoyed it," said Franklin, who put in a lot of work during batting practice the past few days to re-emphasize the longer throw from short.
"I was impressed," said manager Eric Wedge, who had Franklin back at short Saturday. "I thought he did a nice job yesterday. He had quite a bit of action and I liked the way he handled himself. He was really interactive with [infield coach] Robby [Thompson] on the bench, which is good. I thought he handled himself well."
It never hurts to contribute at the plate either, and Franklin put together his first three-hit day since July 28. After batting .296 in his first five weeks in the Majors, the 22-year-old has hit just .186 since July 1 as his average has plummeted to .222.
But he drove a double high off the wall in the seventh inning Friday and hit the ball hard three other times as well in by far his best-looking game at the plate in some time.
"We talked in BP just about going out and having fun," Franklin said. "Just see the ball, hit the ball. And that's what I tried to do."
Mixed emotions for LaFromboise in Anaheim debut
ANAHEIM -- For Bobby LaFromboise, the chance to pitch for the first time at Angel Stadium on Friday night was something of a mixed blessing.
The Mariners rookie reliever grew up 20 minutes away in Downey, Calif., attended numerous Angels games and even worked at the park doing security for a few games while he was attending Rio Hondo College.
So, yeah, it was a thrill when manager Eric Wedge beckoned him in the 10th inning Friday to face Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton with the game on the line, one out, two on in a 2-2 tie.
With about 50 friends and family looking on, LaFromboise broke Hamilton's bat with a fastball and induced a double-play ground ball to second to end the inning.
"That part," said LaFromboise, "was cool."
Not quite as cool was the next inning, when the 27-year-old lefty went back out with the score still tied at 2 and gave up a one-out single to Kole Calhoun and then a two-out, walk-off smash off the center-field wall by Chris Iannetta on a 2-2 slider.
"He'd seen five fastballs," LaFromboise said. "I threw it and it wasn't a great location and he made me pay for it."
So the 2008 eighth-round Draft pick endured his first big league loss in front of his home folks, but it was all a pretty good experience for a guy who was a late addition in September when the Mariners realized lefty Oliver Perez was wearing down and they needed another southpaw option.
LaFromboise has a 7.88 ERA in nine games with the Mariners over three separate stints this year. He admits his heart was pumping when he came in to face Hamilton with the game on the line, but he's loving this opportunity.
"I was a little excited, a little nervous," he said. "That was a big spot and situation. But I always want to get out there. I don't come here to sit on the bench. I just love to pitch. I want to go out there as much as possible."
Ramirez expected to make next start in Seattle
ANAHEIM -- Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez was removed from Friday night's start against the Angels in the seventh inning after feeling some tightness in his right groin muscle, but the 23-year-old was feeling better Saturday, and manager Eric Wedge expects him to make his next start this coming week in Seattle.
"He says he feels pretty good today," Wedge said prior to Saturday's game against the Angels. "We'll see how he does moving around and whatnot. We want him to take it easy today, but he should be OK."
Ramirez was breezing with a 2-0 lead but felt his groin tighten on a pitch to Mark Trumbo leading off the seventh. Trumbo wound up reaching on an error and Ramirez then walked the next batter before signaling that he was feeling some discomfort.
"He's just a little tight and felt like it was pulling a little bit, but he was smart enough to let us know about it to where nothing more than that happened," Wedge said.
The Mariners' rotation for their final two home series was up in the air even before Ramirez's situation arose. Felix Hernandez will start Sunday's road finale against the Angels and rookie Brandon Maurer is slated for the opener of a three-game set against the Royals on Monday at Safeco Field.
But the remaining five games could be shuffled several different ways, depending how Hernandez does Sunday and whether the club decides to throw Hisashi Iwakuma one more time now that he's hit a career-high 211 2/3 innings.
"We'll have to wait and let Felix throw tomorrow, then we'll decide what we're going to do," Wedge said.
• Shortstop Brad Miller wasn't in the lineup for a seventh straight game Saturday due to a strained hamstring, but the rookie ran the bases prior to the game against the Angels, and manager Eric Wedge said Miller could be available to come off the bench Saturday or start Sunday if everything went well.
• Saturday was the 12th game in a row that the Mariners faced a right-handed starting pitcher. That streak will be snapped Sunday when they go against Angels southpaw C.J. Wilson. The Mariners are 47-58 against right-handed starters entering Saturday and 20-29 against lefties.
• Sunday's radio broadcast will be moved to 770-AM (KTTH) due to a conflict with Seahawks football on 710 ESPN Seattle, but the 12:35 p.m. PT contest against the Angels will be televised as usual by ROOT Sports.
• The Mariners are 18-27 in one-run games this year, including 9-19 on the road, after losing 3-2 on Friday night. They've gone 6-14 in extra-inning games, the most extra-inning losses in franchise history.
• Friday's walk-off loss was Seattle's 49th over the past four seasons, the most in the Majors. The Cardinals and Reds are second with 37 in that span. Eight of those walk-off defeats have come in Anaheim.