The imprint of a baseball’s stitches lingers on the right elbow of Mariners pitcher Blake Beavan.
It is a reminder – along with considerable tenderness – of a Miguel Cabrera line drive that hit Beaven’s elbow in the third inning and knocked him out of the game.
Still, Beavan sounded pleased with the improvement he had noticed by Tuesday, and he wasn’t yet ready to say he would miss his next scheduled start Sunday in New York.
“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 that you don’t want to rush if it’s serious. But if I can go and I feel 100 percent, I’m going to go.”
If Beavan isn’t ready, manager Eric Wedge said that Beavan’s turn in the rotation could be taken someone currently with the Tacoma Rainiers or by Hisashi Iwakuma, who relieved Beavan on Monday.
Iwakuma went three innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out five – and impressing his manager.
“I liked the way he came out and just used all of his pitches right away,” Wedge said. “He was aggressive, he pounded the (strike) zone, and he had good stuff.”
Iwakuma didn’t have to come in until the top of the fourth, because Cabrera’s shot hit Beavan’s elbow and continued on with enough speed to be turned into an inning-ending double play.
“That’s what I was telling the other guys: I sacrificed my body for the team,” Beavan said. “I think that was a big part of the game right there. If they would have scored a run, who knows, maybe another run after that. Thankfully, my elbow could get in the way to deflect a Miguel Cabrera single up the middle.”
Beavan admitted the ball reached him so fast that he didn’t really have any choice in the matter. However, he said it was a point of pride to walk directly to the dugout without pausing to even rub the elbow.
“I don’t try to be like a tough guy or anything, but I’ve got a high pain tolerance, I guess you’d say,” he said. “I grew up playing football. I’ve been hit a lot worse. I can take some pain. I dealt with it. I didn’t really feel the pain until I got in the tunnel and they started feeling around and saying ‘Does this hurt? Does that hurt?’ That’s when it started hurting.”
That 3-2 win over the Tigers on Monday ended with John Jaso’s first career walk-off RBI. It also was the Mariners’ first walk-off sacrifice fly since Jose Guillen’s on Sept. 14, 2007. … Tuesday was the Mariners’ 15th annual Education Day, when players are part of assemblies at five grade schools in the greater Seattle area. … Tuesday’s game was the 3,204th managed by Detroit’s Jim Leyland – 15th-most in major league history.
The Mariners conclude their homestand today with a 7:10 p.m. game against Detroit. Probable starting pitchers are left-handers Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.09) and Drew Smyly (1-0, 1.61).email@example.com 253-597-8808 Twitter: @donruiztnt