"That was a big hit down the left-field line," McLaren said. "I feel good about Jose. He's having fun. He came into camp with good enthusiasm, he's a wonderful person and he's maturing. I think last season was a step in the right direction. I like what I've seen out of Jose Lopez."Indeed, Lopez is having fun again. He was all smiles after the game and said he got more satisfaction from the infield single than the double because "We were behind 1-0 at the time." "We had runners on second with nobody out and the middle of our lineup coming up in Raul, Richie [Sexson] and Adrian." The heart of the batting order produced two runs, gave Seattle the lead and got Millwood out of the game. Ichiro called Lopez's infield single, "probably the biggest play of the game." Ichiro went hitless, but reached base twice and scored two runs. "When I got on base, things happened, so I have taken that and recognized that," he said through his interpreter. "I would like to apply that for the rest of the season." The envelope will be pushed often this season as the Mariners attempt to manufacture runs. "Our philosophy is to get a lead and add on to it," McLaren said. "And we want to add on to it by doing whatever it takes: stealing, bunting, and running." Or even watching. The Mariners are known as an aggressive-hitting team and had finished last in the American League last season in walks. On Opening Day this year, they had more walks (seven) than hits (six) -- something that happened just once in 2007. Bedard, meanwhile, pitched out of the stretch position most of the day. "We had the chance to score some runs on him when he was struggling, but that's why he's a quality pitcher," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We did a great job of working him but didn't cash in." The only run Bedard surrendered came on a first-inning solo home run by Young.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.