Different approach at DH

Different approach at DH

SEATTLE -- Most American League teams use the designated hitter position to stick a little more pop in their lineup. David Ortiz of the visiting Boston Red Sox would be a prime example.

But that's not the way the Seattle Mariners approach that part of their team.

"I'm just kind of using it just to try to have some contact in that spot, and maybe be able to move some runners and hit and run and that kind of stuff, get some at-bats for some guys," interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "It's not a classic DH spot where we're looking for our DH to give us 25 to 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, that's just not what we are. So I'm fine with it the way it is."

While the team sometimes puts an extra catcher in the lineup at DH, Jose Vidro has been the mainstay for much of the season -- Tuesday' s start was his 61st this year at the position.

Vidro is about as far away from Ortiz as you can get. He has just five homers this season and is hitting .223 with a .267 OBP and 41 RBIs. Even when Vidro hit .314 with a .381 OBP as Seattle's main designated hitter in 2007, he only had six homers and 59 RBIs.

"I'm astonished to tell you the truth when I look up and I see Vidro's average is what it is, because I feel like every time he goes up there I'm very confident that he's going to give us a good at-bat," Riggleman said. "And for the at-bats that he has, he's knocked in quite a few runs ... he's been fairly effective in the way we want to use him.

And for now, while many teams would prefer some additional pop in the lineup, the Mariners are content to stay with their different breed of designated hitter.

"It's not a classic DH situation, but I feel good every time he walks up to the plate," Riggleman said. "The numbers may say otherwise, but I think he's going to give us good at-bats."

Pitching matchup
SEA: RHP Felix Hernandez (7-6, 2.95 ERA)
The right-hander was sharp in his first post-All-Star start, holding the Indians to four hits and two runs over six innings, striking out nine along the way. It was his second-highest strikeout total of the season, one fewer than he fanned during a loss to the Athletics on April 27. Lack of run support had been a problem for Hernandez, who had to make due with an average of 3.47 runs in his first 17 starts. The Mariners scored eight runs in the first four innings against Cleveland. Perhaps the best game of Hernandez's career came against the Red Sox. That was more than a year ago, when he tossed a one-hit shutout at Fenway Park.

BOS: RHP Clay Buchholz (2-5, 5.88 ERA)
The wiry right-hander was pounded for eight hits and eight runs -- four earned -- in his last start, a loss to the Angels. Buchholz lasted 4 2/3 innings. What set the tone was a 37-pitch first inning in which Buchholz gave up three runs. For whatever reason, the righty has struggled in the first inning this season, posting a 9.00 ERA. One thing Buchholz has been unable to give the Red Sox this season is innings. He's thrown less than six innings in his last five starts. This is Buchholz's first career start against the Mariners.

Tidbits
Willie Bloomquist has hit in 20 of his last 25 games (28-for-82, .341 BA). He has also not been caught stealing in his past 10 attempts. ... Raul Ibanez is 7-for-18 (.389) on the current homestand and pushed his hitting streak to seven games. ... Jose Lopez extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game. ... Ichiro Suzuki walked twice in Tuesday's game -- the eighth multi-walk game for him this season. ... R.A. Dickey has gone at least six innings in five consecutive starts.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN-HD

On radio
• KOMO 1000

Up next
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Mariners (Miguel Batista, 4-11, 6.89) at Blue Jays (John Parrish, 1-0, 4.50), 4:07 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Mariners (Carlos Silva, 4-12, 5.62) at Blue Jays (Jesse Litsch, 8-7, 4.46), 10:07 a.m. PT

Jesse Baumgartner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.