ANAHEIM -- Rookie outfielder Trayvon Robinson made just one obvious mistake in his first two games in the big leagues, and it's one the Mariners can live with. The youngster momentarily stopped at second base after hitting his first home run Saturday night off of the Angels' Tyler Chatwood, causing considerable uproar among his teammates.
Robinson didn't think he'd cleared the fence in left-center with his seventh-inning line drive, and geared down at second base until umpire Jerry Meals circled him around the rest of the way.
"That was wild. I couldn't believe it," Robinson said. "When I got to second base I thought, good, I hit a double because I'd only hit nine in the Minors this year so I figured that got me to double digits. Then I saw the umpire wave his hand and I was like, 'OK, that's even sweeter.'
"With two strikes, I was just trying to put a good swing on it. I put a good pass on it, it jumped off the bat and thought I was in scoring position. When it went over the gate I was shocked."
Manager Eric Wedge, who started five rookies in Saturday's 5-1 win, figures all his youngsters are learning on the job. And, yeah, that kind of mistake he'll gladly live with from his promising new outfielder.
"He said he thought it might have bounced over," Wedge said with a chuckle. "He had his head down and running and that's good. Those are all good things. He'll know in time when he hits it out of the ballpark. We won't have to worry about that."
Robinson also made a highlight-reel catch to rob Torii Hunter of a home run on Friday night.
"He's been impressive here," said Wedge. "He's really made an immediate impact on our club. He has some weapons."
Beavan impressing in his early starts
ANAHEIM -- Blake Beavan is treading in some rare company as he opens his Mariners career, with another commanding performance in Saturday's 5-1 win over the Angels.
Beavan went a career-high eight innings in his sixth Major League start, becoming the first Mariners rookie since Felix Hernandez in 2005 to throw at least eight innings and allow one or fewer runs. Hernandez did that twice in '05, against Minnesota and Kansas City.
Beavan, 22, also is the first player in franchise history to open his career with six straight quality starts, breaking the mark of five set by Michael Pineda earlier this season. The last Major Leaguer with a longer stretch of quality starts to open his career was the Angels' Jered Weaver with nine in 2006.
The Mariners like what they're seeing from Beavan, a former first-round draft pick acquired from the Rangers last year in the Cliff Lee deal.
"Those big Texas guys, there's something about them when they get on the hill," said Mariners veteran Adam Kennedy. "They seem to enjoy getting the ball and pitching in big games.
"This is the second time the Angels had seen him, so that was a big test. It's always a test the second time. He did great."
Manager Eric Wedge has become increasingly impressed with the rookie's poise on the mound as well as his improving secondary pitches.
The first time Beavan faced Anaheim in July, he was just beginning to introduce a curveball that he'd started throwing this year in Tacoma. The Angels hit it hard a few times and forced the 6 foot 7 righty to stick more with his fastball.
But on Saturday, he came back with a better breaking ball and got some big outs with it, as he weaved his way around eight hits to limit the damage.
"It's a developing pitch," said the big rookie. "I didn't throw it much when I pitched against these guys last time, and when I did, they got singles off it. It's kind of hard to trust it when you give up hits, but you just have to keep telling yourself to throw it with conviction. That's what I did and it helped me a lot. A couple of curve balls were key ground balls and strikeouts for me."
Beavan understands his strengths and weaknesses and doesn't try to do more than he's capable of with a fastball in the 92-93 mph range. Locating that fastball is his strength, and he's complementing that now with the improving off-speed offerings.
"The biggest thing I do is just try to throw strikes and let the defense do the work," he said. "I'm not a strikeout guy, so I try to locate."
He's walked just six batters in 41 1/3 innings and he had no walks Saturday, a huge reason why he held the Angels to one run on eight hits over eight innings.
"He made some big pitches in key moments," Wedge said. "One thing you've seen with Blake is he's very composed for a young man. He pitches with a great deal of confidence, he has some presence out there."
Smoak, Ryan remain sidelined on Sunday
ANAHEIM -- First baseman Justin Smoak and shortstop Brendan Ryan were again out of the lineup with injuries on Sunday against the Angels, but manager Eric Wedge was optimistic both could be back at some point during the upcoming Texas series.
Smoak has missed four straight games now with a bruised left thumb, but was finally feeling some progress.
"He's actually considerably better today," Wedge said. "It's been somewhat marginal from day to day, but today was a good day for him. We'll be hopeful for [Monday] or the next day."
Ryan sat out for the third straight day, recovering from a sore left shoulder he initially hurt Tuesday in Seattle when colliding with teammate Adam Kennedy on a foul ball.
Ryan was scratched late Saturday night after testing the shoulder during batting practice, and Wedge took no chances Sunday, putting Jack Wilson back in the lineup at shortstop for a third straight game.
"Watching him try to go yesterday it was obvious I'd have to give him today too," Wedge said. "No surprise there. Hopefully he'll be back in there tomorrow."
Catcher Chris Gimenez, on the 60-day disabled list with a strained oblique muscle, has been working out with the team on this road trip and will report to Tacoma on Friday to begin a rehab assignment. Gimenez said he'll likely remain with the Rainiers through August, and then be eligible to return to the Mariners in September after his DL stint expires.
The Mariners will stick with their same pitching rotation after Thursday's off day, meaning Blake Beavan will start Friday's series opener against the Red Sox at Safeco Field, followed by Felix Hernandez on Saturday and Charlie Furbush on Sunday.
Rookie Michael Pineda, who'll end a nine-day break on Tuesday in Texas, then will come back Monday against the Blue Jays in Seattle, followed by Jason Vargas.
Ichiro Suzuki stole his 29th base of the season on Friday. With his next stolen base, he'll become the 16th player in Major League history with 30-plus steals in 10 or more seasons.