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Thursday, March 11, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
TEMPE, Ariz. Young, old, it didn't matter who the Mariners threw at the Anaheim Angels in yesterday's 7-1 spring-training victory, starting with Terry Mulholland and ending with Julio Mateo.
In between, left-hander Bobby Madritsch and 23-year-old right-hander Cha Seung Baek pitched two six-up, six-down stretches each.
"Baek has been an eye-opener since camp opened," Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. "He has shown great poise and is sneaky quick."
The Mariners' offense was in high gear as well, Edgar Martinez driving in three runs with three hits, including a double. Bret Boone had two doubles in three at-bats, Rich Aurilia also doubled on a ball first ruled a home run but later determined to have bounced over the wall.
Another surprise this spring is 33-year-old outfielder Eric Owens, who played last season with the Angels, and yesterday pounded a home run off them.
Melvin indicated that Owens has a chance to make the team.
"That's why we signed him," said Melvin. "It is nice to have a right-handed hitter in the outfield."
It was a day for the geriatrics as the Mariners not only got a good pitching performance from 41-year-old Jamie Moyer in a B game in Peoria, but started a battery in Tempe of Mulholland, 41, and Pat Borders, 40.
Pitching against the heart of an Angels lineup that is predominately right-handed, Mulholland, a left-hander, gave up four hits and one run in three innings, the only runs or hits the Mariners' pitchers allowed.
"I'm out here to have fun," said Mulholland, who had a birthday Tuesday, "and to get myself ready to pitch in the big leagues.
"Ideally, I'd like it to work out with Seattle, but if not here then with somebody else."
It was only a morning B game, in which Moyer looked midseason ready with three one-hit innings, but Hiram (pronounced Hee-ram) Bocachica did nothing to detract from the good impression he is making in camp.
Bocachica singled home one run in the 5-1 win over the Padres and took second with a nifty delayed steal and stayed firmly in the battle for the bench.
After a week of games, there are six players vying for four places in backup slots not counting the second catcher and Quinton McCracken, Willie Bloomquist and Dave Hansen have three of them locked up.
The candidates for the fourth opening are Bocachica, Owens and infielder Ramon Santiago.
"Our bench may not look as strong as last year," Melvin said, "but it will be more functional."
Melvin said that with John Mabry and Greg Colbrunn, the 2003 bench appeared to have more offense, but Mabry hit better as a starter than off the bench and both wound up hurt.
"Last year showed we need guys who can run on the bench and McCracken, Willie and Santiago give us that," Melvin said.
So does Bocachica, who is hitting .330.
"No question we'll have better help at Tacoma, position players as well as pitchers," Melvin said. "Last year we had Pat Borders, who we love. But we kept bringing him up because that was all we had."
Injured Gonzalez may be cut
By what Melvin said, Wiki Gonzalez could be among the roster cuts. The non-roster catcher, who came from the Padres in the Jeff Cirillo deal, has been unable to play with a seemingly endless series of injuries.
"If you can't get on the field, you'll have a tough time making the team with cuts coming up," Melvin said, speaking of Gonzalez. "You can read into that what you want."
Yesterday's box score
Mariners 7, Angels 1
T: 2:27. Att: N/A
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