Pryor gives Mariners much needed bullpen durability

Pryor gives Mariners much needed bullpen durability

CHICAGO -- With their starting pitchers averaging just five innings over the last three starts, the Mariners have needed to get a little more length out of some of their relievers, and Stephen Pryor stepped up big with two perfect frames in Friday's 10-inning, 8-6 victory over the White Sox.

The 23-year-old pitched two innings just once in 26 appearances last year as a rookie.

"He's a young relief pitcher who is very strong," said manager Eric Wedge. "He needs to be able to do that, especially in games like yesterday's. You go through three games in a row where you get four, six and six innings from your starters, your bullpen has to really step up. And they have."

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Pryor is one of the young power arms in the bullpen, consistently throwing in the mid-90s with his fastball. But he started Paul Konerko out with a 77-mph curve on Friday, and he is gaining confidence in his secondary pitches.

"It's part of what he does," said Wedge. "He uses all his pitches and can do so at any time. He's more of a complete pitcher."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.