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Endy contributing when name is called

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ANAHEIM -- Endy Chavez has seen his playing time dip since Michael Saunders returned from the disabled list, but the veteran outfielder has still found ways to contribute.

Chavez, 35, went 3-for-10 in the first seven games of the current road trip, including a pinch-hit home run in the top of the ninth on Monday in Cleveland in a game the Mariners wound up losing in the 10th.

Chavez's home run was the first pinch-hit long ball to give the Mariners the lead in the ninth inning or later since Ken Griffey Jr. on Sept. 16, 1990, in Anaheim.

"I'm just trying to help the team get the winning run, so I was just trying to get on base," Chavez said. "But I got good contact on that one and I hit it out. Everything wasn't easy for the team after that, but I'm just trying to get on base and make it work for the team."

Chavez has started just four times since Saunders returned on April 29, but is still hitting .289 in 76 at-bats and has contributed as a defensive replacement in the outfield, as well.

"I just work and be ready physically, doing my exercises and work on the field," Chavez said. "I take BP like I'm playing and that's getting results. I feel good."

Manager Eric Wedge appreciates the veteran's readiness and approach.

"He's done a nice job for us," Wedge said. "Endy is a big leaguer. He's going to go up there and give himself a chance to hit, he's got a little bit of pop and he's a good player. He's been a great pickup for us."

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.

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