After determining all the pitchers unable to start Tuesday's game, the Mariners decided to give lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith his first major league start – and told the rest of the Seattle bullpen to be ready.
"I've never pitched nine innings in my life," the pitcher. "In my dreams, I can go five, six innings. Realistically, they'll probably hold me to 50 pitches or so."
Manager Jim Riggleman said Rowland-Smith would pitch as long as he got out5s, but admitted he didn't know how long that might be.
"We'd like to get four, five innings, but if he throws a lot of pitches, or Toronto is right on the pitches he does throw, it might be two innings," Riggleman said. "We figure we'll use three or four pitchers, then see how we set up for Wednesday.
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The dilemma came when Felix Hernandez sprained an ankle, and he's still not ready to pitch. R.A. Dickey pitches tonight, Erik Bedard went Sunday and Miguel Batista isn't available.
"It's not a big deal, really, except to me," Rowland-Smith said. "To me, getting a start is special, a chance to show what I can do in that role. Who knows, if I do well I might get another shot."
In the meantime, tonight's lineup: