Figgins showing he's the man for leadoff spot

Figgins showing he's the man for leadoff spot

Figgins showing he's the man for leadoff spot
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Chone Figgins went 2-for-3 with a bunt single and a sharp base hit during the Mariners' third intrasquad game of the spring on Tuesday, showing again exactly what manager Eric Wedge is looking for from the leadoff position.

Figgins is now 3-for-5 with three walks and three runs scored in playing a little over half of the three contests since Wedge announced he'd get the first shot at filling the leadoff role formerly held by Ichiro Suzuki.

"Just getting back to playing my game is huge," said Figgins, who started off Tuesday's game with the bunt and advanced to second on a throwing error by pitcher Jason Vargas. "Most importantly, I feel good and healthy."

Wedge is encouraged by what he's seen from the 34-year-old, who hit just .188 last season in 81 games and finished the year on the disabled list with a hip injury.

"That is what we're hoping to see," Wedge said. "A base knock today, a bunt for a hit. He's seeing a lot of pitches. He's doing right now what we need him to do. That's what we want him to do. Get on base and score runs and get things started for us."

Figgins' team wound up winning the game, 6-3, thanks in part to a three-run home run by Michael Saunders off Shawn Kelley and a solo shot by third baseman Vinnie Catricala off Scott Patterson. It was Catricala's second long ball off Patterson in the three practice games.

The Mariners play their fourth and final intrasquad affair on Wednesday before beginning Cactus League play Friday against the A's in Phoenix.