Day off gives slumping Mariners a break
At least the slumping Seattle Mariners didn't extend their losing streak.
Saturday's game between the Mariners and Cleveland Indians was postponed because of rain in the bottom of the first inning, leaving Seattle's six-game slide intact.
The Indians had runners on first and second with two outs against Seattle starter Erik Bedard when the rain began. After a two-hour delay, the game was called and all statistics were washed away.
No makeup date was immediately announced. The Mariners return to Cleveland on Aug. 22-24. Both clubs have an open date on Aug. 25.
The rainout came at a good time for the Mariners. Four of their recent losses have come in the opponent's last at-bat, including Friday night's 5-4 defeat to the Indians when closer Brandon League gave up a two-run homer to Travis Hafner in the ninth inning. Three other losses have been in extra innings.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge is trying to keep a positive approach.
''If you look at us as a ballclub, we were in position to win that extra-inning game at home (last Sunday against Chicago), we were in great position to win two out of three in Baltimore and we were in great position (Friday) night,'' Wedge said. ''We're sitting here on a six-game losing streak and we could easily have five series wins in a row and be 1-0 in this series. That's how fragile it is and that's how close we are.''
League's struggles have become a major topic of conversation for Wedge and his coaching staff. The right-hander is 0-4 with three blown saves, allowing 10 runs in three innings this week after converting his first nine save chances. For now, Wedge isn't planning on changing League's role.
''He's still our closer,'' Wedge said.
Jamey Wright would have been used as the closer Saturday if a save situation had arisen, but that decision was based on Wedge wanting to give League a day off.
''He needs it,'' Wedge said. ''Physically, I think it would be good for him and mentally, too. We'll see how he feels (Sunday) and go from there. We'll take it day-by-day.''
NOTES: Plate umpire Laz Diaz called Wedge and Indians manager Manny Acta out of the dugout for a conference just prior to the first pitch, relaying to them a radar report he had received. The report was accurate as a downpour began minutes later. ... Rookie RHP Michael Pineda will start Sunday against the Indians. ... Seattle optioned RHP David Cortes to Triple-A Tacoma to clear roster room for RHP Jeff Gray, who was claimed off waivers Friday from the Chicago White Sox. Wedge said Gray will be used in middle relief.