NEW YORK -- When left fielder Mike Carp gunned down Alex Rodriguez at home plate in the fourth inning of Friday's 6-2 loss to the Yankees, it did more than prevent a run in what at the time was a 1-1 ballgame. The throw answered any remaining questions about Carp's right shoulder, which he'd sprained on Opening Day in Tokyo.
"A lot of hard work and frustration went into that throw," said Carp, who spent a month on the disabled list before returning 10 days ago. "I'd only had a handful of throws, and that was usually just hitting [shortstop Brendan] Ryan.
"It was nice to just let it go and not feel anything. I had another throw later in the game in the eighth that was even more strenuous because I had to throw on the run. It felt good and definitely helps me out mindset-wise, knowing it's not going to bother me."
Carp has made several nice running catches in left field in his time back as well and said he feels like an outfielder now, after coming up primarily as a first baseman with the Mets.
"I'm a left fielder by trade now," he said. "I've been there a year and a half, and all the hard work is starting to pay off. I'm getting better reads, getting to more balls and it's a lot of fun being out there. This is home for me now. It's second nature and I can just go out there and play."
Carp's throw was his first outfield assist of the season and just the fourth for any Mariners outfielder.
"You just wait for your turn," he said. "You hope you don't have that many throws at the plate because that means we're not doing so well. But you want to be ready when the time comes."