07/24/10 8:00 PM ET
Mariners hope dugout incident lights fire
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
There sure didn't seem to be any lingering effects on Saturday in their 5-1 win over the Red Sox, which marked just their fifth win over their last 21 games. And they'll continue to try to move on from that incident on Sunday with right-hander Doug Fister on the mound, starting opposite Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Wakamatsu downplayed the scuffle -- which occurred after Figgins was removed from Friday's game for a lack of hustle and involved several players shoving and restraining each other in the dugout -- after holding a team meeting before Saturday's victory over the Red Sox at Safeco Field.
"No one wants to come out of a ballgame or be put in that situation," Wakamatsu said. "Whether it's Chone or anybody else, it's never an easy situation, but it shows you a little bit about how much we care down here. There are certain situations you handle during the season that aren't public. It happened to be public [Friday]."
Fister, who is 3-6 with a 3.56 ERA, will be looking for his first win since May 14, but he was effective in his last outing on Tuesday against the White Sox when he allowed three runs over six innings and struck out a career-high six batters.
"Keeping it down was a big key for me," Fister said. "That was the main focus, and I did that, except for a few pitches where I got up and they capitalized. I felt good. I made a few mistakes, and they capitalized on them, in a nutshell."
Matsuzaka, meanwhile, has earned the win in each of his last two outings and is 7-3 with a 4.29 ERA. He was especially impressive in his last start, in which he allowed just one run over 6 2/3 innings to pick up the win in a 2-1 victory over the A's on Monday.
"This is the type of pitching that I really want to continue to do as the season goes on," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter after that outing. "I've got guys behind me that are all very capable -- that we can trust with the ball."
Red Sox: Martinez close to return
Catcher Victor Martinez caught a side session from Clay Buchholz on Saturday and is scheduled to warm up pitchers in the bullpen on Sunday before being possibly reinstated from the disabled list on Monday after missing four weeks with fractured left thumb. "I felt great today," Martinez said. "It was a good test, catching Buchholz in the bullpen session. The only thing I can say is that I'm pretty close. So we'll see how it goes [Sunday]."
Mariners: Kelley encouraged after session
Injured Mariners reliever Shawn Kelley, who has been on the disabled with inflammation in his right elbow since June 16, threw a 40-pitch bullpen session Saturday and called his throwing session "phenomenal" but didn't say he was fully healthy just yet. "I won't go that far," Kelley said. "Just because I feel great in the bullpen doesn't mean I'm game-ready, but it's definitely right where I need to be to get there. I couldn't be happier with how I felt."
The Mariners didn't manage a hit until the sixth inning of Saturday's 5-1 win over the Red Sox, but it was a big one with Michael Saunders hitting a go-ahead two-run homer off left-hander Jon Lester. ... Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who has played just nine games for the Red Sox this season because of left rib fractures, is scheduled to start his Minor League rehab assignment on Monday in the Gulf Coast League. ... Red Sox infielder Mike Lowell, who continues to be monitored by teams who are looking for help at the corner infield spots, went 4-for-4 with three doubles for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday night in his second rehab start.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.