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Kinney reflects on nearly picking up first save

Kinney reflects on nearly picking up first save

Kinney reflects on nearly picking up first save
SEATTLE -- Josh Kinney has bounced around the Majors since 2006, a journeyman reliever who has pitched 67 games in parts of five different seasons with the Cardinals, White Sox and now Mariners.

At 33, he understands his situation and appreciates his opportunities. So you can imagine how the right-hander from Pennsylvania felt when he was lined up for the first save of his Major League career on Monday after getting the first two outs of the ninth in Seattle's 4-1 victory over Toronto ... only to have Eric Wedge take him out after he walked a batter.

Only on a night when Tom Wilhelmsen was absent for personal reasons and Brandon League and Steve Delabar were unavailable -- having been traded midgame to the Dodgers and Blue Jays, respectively -- would Kinney figure to have a chance for a save.

And then it slipped away with ball four to Kelly Johnson, with Wedge bringing in rookie Lucas Luetge to face left-handed pinch-hitter David Cooper and earn the save instead.

"My sinker was sinking pretty good. I really wasn't thinking if I walk this guy, I'm out of the game," said the affable Kinney. "I just figured I'd make him hit a sinker and he never swung. And I never threw a strike. And that was the end of my night. What can I say?

"In my mind, I really wanted that save. I really did. It's not like I'm disappointed, because we won the game. I understand the situation. And I'm actually pretty happy for Lucas because we talked about it before the game, with 'Leaguer' having thrown two days in a row, what are the chances of one of us getting a save down there?"

Turns out, it was Luetge getting his first save in his initial season in the bigs.

"Maybe I'll get another chance," Kinney said. "You never know. That's the way the game goes. This one just wasn't going to be my save. I'm really happy we won. We had a beer shower for Lucas and that was great. As long as we won the game and everybody did good. I'm just sorry to see a couple of our buddies go.

"And if I get another chance, next time I'll somehow, someway, nail it down. I had good stuff. I did. That's just the way it goes."

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