PEORIA, Ariz. -- It's been a long comeback road for Erik Bedard, but the veteran left-hander said he's feeling as good as he did before his shoulder problems began several years ago after throwing his third strong start in a row Thursday.
Bedard, 31, gave up one run on three hits with a pair of strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings as the Mariners beat an Angels split squad, 10-5, at Peoria Stadium.
Bedard said his command wasn't as sharp as his first two scoreless outings, but he was pleased his arm continues feeling strong and healthy after missing the past 18 months.
"It's encouraging," Bedard said. "The more starts I have under my belt where I feel healthy, it's real good."
Bedard has made just 30 starts over the past three years, but said he feels as good as he did back in 2006-07, when he was one of the top lefties in the American League.
"We'll see during season, but right now, health-wise and stuff-wise, I feel the same way I was before," he said. "Today wasn't as good as the other [starts]. A little command inconsistencies. But that's what Spring Training is for."
Manager Eric Wedge continues to be impressed.
"He threw the ball well again today," Wedge said. "It was the same story -- very consistent. His delivery was clean and he's making the baseball do what he wants it to do, and you love to see that."
Liddi making an impact at Mariners' camp
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Alex Liddi doesn't consider himself a home run hitter, but at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, he's a big third-base prospect for the Mariners. And the 22-year-old from Italy certainly powered his way into prominence at Spring Training on Thursday with his second grand slam in as many days in Seattle's 10-5 victory over the Angels.
Liddi, who hit 15 home runs and led the Double-A Southern League with 92 RBIs last year in 134 games for West Tenn, cleared the bases in the fifth inning with a home run to left field off Angels reliever Ryan Chaffee.
A day earlier, he pulled the same trick in the seventh inning against Jon Huber of the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch.
"I never thought that could happen," said Liddi, who has been getting more and more playing time this spring as the backup third baseman behind Chone Figgins.
2010 Spring Training - Seattle Mariners
News & Features
- Mariners cut Wells, keep Bay to set roster
- Mariners set club spring record with 58 homers
- Final roster decisions coming Sunday
- Worth noting
- Safeco hosting Opening Day viewing party
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
Liddi remains a long shot to make the Mariners' roster, but he certainly has opened some eyes with his compact swing and rangy frame.
"It's nice to see him swinging the bat the way he's swinging it," said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. "He's standing up there with a lot of confidence and moving around well defensively. He's a good-looking young player."
Liddi said he's hit two grand slams his entire five years in pro ball, both coming in 2009 for High Desert in the Class A California League when he hit 23 home runs with a .345 average.
The rising prospect said he doesn't know if he's helping his chances of making the Major League roster, but that he's starting to feel like that is a possibility now that he's in his first big league camp.
"The first time I signed as an 18-year-old in '05, I thought that was so far away it was just a chance for me to come here and have a good experience in the States, learning the baseball and the culture and everything," he said. "After every year passed, I feel like I have more of a chance. I still have to work on some stuff, but every year I feel like I can get there."
Gutierrez flies to Florida to be with father-in-law
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez flew to Florida on Thursday with his wife, Vivian, to visit her father in the hospital after he was struck in the face by a line drive while coaching for the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.
Gutierrez's father-in-law is Luis Salazar, a former Major League infielder who suffered multiple facial fractures when a ball hit by Brian McCann caught him flush in the face while standing on the top step in the first-base dugout.
Salazar, 54, was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center. He is a Minor League coach for the Braves in his first year with the organization.
Gutierrez will miss the next two Mariners games but is expected to rejoin the club Friday night. The Gold Glove outfielder missed several days of camp earlier when he flew to Seattle to have a lingering stomach issue checked out, but he has been playing regularly ever since and has hit .308 in 13 at-bats.
"He did the right thing to go home and support his wife and her family," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "It's a tough situation. You see it every night with baseballs rocketing into the dugout or stands. You can't do anything about the dugout, but I've always been a proponent of putting nets further down the lines just to protect the fans that are closest."
Paxton set for first bullpen session
PEORIA, Ariz. -- James Paxton, the fourth-round Draft pick who signed last week, will throw his first bullpen session on Friday morning as the Mariners begin taking a look at the highly regarded left-hander from Ladner, British Columbia.
"I've just been playing catch, doing the workouts and running," Paxton said. "They've broke me in a little bit and I'm feeling good. It'll be good to start throwing bullpens and stuff like that.
"I'm excited to get back on the mound, throwing a bit. I'll take it easy the first couple times, but it'll be fun."
The 22-year-old says he feels a little bit like the kid who moves to a new school in mid-year, just trying to meet new teammates and learn the routine. He'd been largely out of baseball for nearly two seasons, declining to sign with the Blue Jays after being a supplemental first-round pick in '09 and then not signing for eight months after the Mariners plucked him with a fourth-round choice last June.
"Everything is starting to settle in," he said. "I'm starting to talk to more guys, getting more comfortable in the locker room and on the field. It's been good."
According to Baseball America, Paxton received a $942,500 signing bonus, which would be more in line with a first-round pick than a fourth-round selection, so his year-long holdout didn't wind up hurting him financially.
Though he never played hockey, Paxton grew up as a Vancouver Canucks fan in B.C. and happily went to a game Tuesday when they played the Phoenix Coyotes. Otherwise, he's soaking up his long-awaited return to the sport he took up at age 5.
The 6-foot-4 youngster is happy now just being back in a uniform, with his first official throw day upcoming.
"Every day is a good day on the baseball field," he said. "So I'm looking forward to it."