Luetge thrilled to pick up save in King's Court

Luetge thrilled to pick up save in King's Court

Luetge thrilled to pick up save in King's Court
SEATTLE -- When Lucas Luetge entered Tuesday night's game in the eighth inning, the roar of more than 39,000 fans greeted him. Of course, the Mariners fans at Safeco Field were cheering Felix Hernandez for a successful follow-up act to his perfect game.

Still, that didn't stop Luetge from feeling the electricity in the air.

"It was awesome running in while they were giving Felix a standing O, so I was trying to trick myself. I was like, 'Man, they're really excited for me to come in right here,'" Luetge joked.

Aided by a diving stop from second baseman Dustin Ackley, the left-handed reliever got out of a jam in the eighth to preserve the Mariners' 5-1 lead. The rookie then held the Indians in check in the ninth to close out the game for his second career save.

Luetge has been used mostly as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen this season. He's faced just one batter in 19 of his 51 games, and he's pitched two innings during an appearance just once. So for him to go 1 1/3 innings in front of a raucous crowd on Tuesday impressed manager Eric Wedge.

"He's been non-wavering with his heartbeat and how he's handled everything," Wedge said. "Following up Felix in that situation, especially everybody knowing that nobody wants me to take Felix out of the game. It was the right thing to do and it worked out."

"It's awesome," Luetge said. "Like I said, you can't really even explain it. Everybody's cheering for you, and it's a great feeling."