Bard has made case to stay in lineup

Bard has made case to stay in lineup

SEATTLE -- The overall work of catcher Josh Bard since he was promoted from Triple-A Tacoma last week is keeping him in the Mariners lineup.

The switch-hitter was behind the plate for the Mariners' Interleague game against the Padres on Friday night, even though Rob Johnson was ready, willing and able to play.

"It's just the decision," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "He has played well, and we like what has gone on, as far as his energy and tempo back there and leadership. He's just playing well right now and you go with the guy who's playing well."

Bard went 2-for-2 in Thursday afternoon's victory over the Blue Jays. He also walked and contributed a game-tying sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, preceding Ken Griffey Jr.'s walk-off single.

"In Rob's defense, he had a great offensive day in Oakland, but for everything we're looking for right now, Josh is the guy who's showing us that," Wakamatsu said. "He's had great at-bats both left-handed and right-handed since he has been here. I just like the tempo he's setting with the pitching staff right now."