Another day without power-hitter Russell Branyan, whose back continues to bother him enough to keep him out of Seattle's lineup.
That means Mike Sweeney will play first base – and the Mariners will likely have to continue to manufacture runs. Some day soon, the home runs may come, from Ken Griffey Jr. or Adrian Beltre, but in cool weather that's less likely.
That's why the Mariners took bunting practice about 3 p.m., with everyone from Ichiro Suzuki to Endy Chavez dropping balls for hits and for sacrifices. Don Wakamatsu watched the whole affair, which was taken seriously.
And then, before the team stretched, there was one of those 2009 impromtu Mariners moments. From the first base line, using fungos, a handful of players tried to hit a baseball off the left field foul pole.
None hit it, but there was a lot of yelling and laughter.
Asked what his team was doing, Wakamatsu never cracked a smile and deadpanned: "They're working on shortening their swings."
Another day at Safeco.
Here's your Mariners lineup:
Endy Chavez LF
Ken Griffey Jr. DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Mike Sweeney 1B
Jose Lopez 2B
Rob Johnson C
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Chris Jakubauskas RHP