SEATTLE -- As the Mariners opened the second half of their season against American League West-rival Texas and hoping to escape a five-game tailspin, manager Eric Wedge said there's plenty of time and plenty fight left in his club.The Mariners came out of the All-Star break with a 43-48 record and were 7 1/2 games back of the first-place Rangers, their biggest deficit of the season, as their losing streak came right when Texas was ripping off seven straight wins. But with 32 of their remaining 71 games against AL West foes, the Mariners will be able to set their own course for how the finish plays out. "We've got a lot of baseball still to be played," Wedge said. "We're going to be playing the teams we need to play, and that's all you can ask for." The first-year Mariners manager said he's encouraged by how his team has battled this season, learning how to compete in so many close games with a quality pitching staff. "I think we saw a little bit of everything in the first half," he said. "But one thing these guys proved is they can find a way to win ballgames late, and that's a strong attribute. Obviously we need to make it a little easier on ourselves by being a little more consistent offensively and coming out here and just being a more well-rounded baseball club where everybody is doing their part." Wedge said his goal for the remainder of the season is to "be a more consistent ballclub" than the one that opened the year 5-12 and closed the first half on a 6-13 stretch. In between, the team went 32-23 and inserted itself in the AL West chase even while undergoing a midseason makeover with the arrival of a number of rookies. "You've got an interesting group of players here," Wedge said. "You talk about some of the younger players we have and some of the veterans and guys at different points in their career, but collectively they've been real good. They've been there for each other and pulling for each other. "But individually we've got to keep making sure everybody is getting better, and if we do that, we'll be a more consistent ballclub. It's a process. It takes time."
League ready to go after daughter's birth
SEATTLE -- Mariners reliever Brandon League and his wife, Sasha, welcomed their third daughter into the world on Wednesday, then the All-Star closer was back with the team Thursday and ready for work again.League and his wife flew back to Seattle from the All-Star Game in Phoenix on a private plane and then had labor induced Wednesday, with Cali Sol League arriving at seven pounds, 15 ounces and 21 inches. "It all went smoothly," League said Thursday. "We got back about 1 o'clock, went to the doctor around 8, induced, baby, released today. Everything was perfect." Cali Sol joins older sisters Skyler, 5, and Lexi, 4. And proud papa said the birth put everything at the All-Star Game into perspective. "That wasn't too hectic," League said of the All-Star whirlwind. "That was that, then the baby came and it put everything else into check. "It's always like the best experience. You think you'd get used to it or wouldn't react the same, but it's the same every time. It's a miracle." League missed an early workout Thursday prior to batting practice as manager Eric Wedge gathered his team for a light workout to knock the rust off after the three-day break, but League arrived shortly after and was available to pitch in Thursday night's game.
Pineda joins rare rookie company
SEATTLE -- When Michael Pineda struck out two in his perfect inning at the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Phoenix, he treaded some rare ground for a rookie.The 22-year-old became the first American League pitcher to record a pair of strikeouts in the All-Star Game as a rookie since Boston's Don Schwall in 1961. Seeing the youngster perform so well on the big stage was just another affirmation for manager Eric Wedge of the poise of his prize prospect, who'll next pitch Tuesday when Seattle opens a nine-game road trip in Toronto. "He's done a fantastic job, both on and off the field," said Wedge. "He's handled himself very well and experienced so much here in a short period of time and really been a professional about it. "It says a lot about how his teammates have taken care of him, a lot about [pitching coach] Carl Willis and [bullpen coach] Jaime Navarro and how they're handling him. But most importantly, it says a lot about him. I was proud to see him go out there and do what he did. It's just another step for him." If you're wondering, the 6-foot-6 Schwall went on to go 15-7 with a 3.22 ERA his rookie season, but never won more than nine games the rest of his seven-year Major League career.