OAKLAND -- Hector Noesi struggled as a Mariners starter this season, but the young right-hander turned in a third impressive relief outing in Friday's 8-2 loss to the A's.
Noesi mowed down five straight A's in the seventh and eighth innings -- including three strikeouts -- extending his scoreless relief work to 5 2/3 innings since his recall from Triple-A Tacoma in early September. But in his one start this month, Noesi continued his season-long trend of trouble by giving up eight hits and seven runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Orioles on Sept. 17.
Is Noesi proving his future should be in the bullpen, instead of his preferred starting role?
"I don't know, man, but I know this," manager Eric Wedge said on Saturday. "The presence and intensity and aggressiveness that I saw [on Friday], that's the way he has to pitch every time out. He has all the stuff to be a solid big league starter. But he has to have that mentality and approach to do it -- and that should be evident to him by now."
Noesi pitched primarily out of the bullpen last year as a rookie with the Yankees -- when he was 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA in his only two starts, but 2-1 with a 4.01 ERA in 28 appearances as a reliever.
After being acquired in the Michael Pineda-Jesus Montero trade, Noesi was given a good shot in the Mariners' rotation this season and wound up 2-12 with a 6.24 ERA in 18 outings.