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Making season debut, Ramirez roughed up

Making season debut, Ramirez roughed up

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Making season debut, Ramirez roughed up

SEATTLE -- Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez gave up a career-high seven runs over 4 2/3 frames in his first start back with the Mariners on Thursday after being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma prior to the game.

The 23-year-old Nicaraguan made his season debut in the 8-7, 10-inning loss to the Red Sox, filling the spot created when the club designated veteran Jeremy Bonderman for assignment on Monday.

"I was very happy [to be back]," said Ramirez, who received a no-decision. "I started the season on the DL and nothing happened for me, but being able to pitch and feel good is the best feeling I can have right now. I try to do my best. I don't like to lose, but it's part of the game. I just need to work on my mistakes and try to be better the next time."

Right-handed reliever Carter Capps was optioned to Tacoma to make room on the 25-man roster.

Ramirez missed the first two months with a sore elbow that cropped up late in Spring Training, but he was 3-3 with a 3.09 ERA at Triple-A Tacoma in seven starts since returning on June 2.

Ramirez went 1-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 16 games with Seattle last year as a rookie. He began the year in the bullpen, then rejoined the team in midseason and was 1-3 with a 3.64 ERA in eight starts before going on the disabled list with a right elbow strain.

The youngster was competing for a starting job this spring when the elbow flared up again and he didn't throw at all for about six weeks while letting that issue heal.

"It was just setbacks with the arm and whatnot, and that's just derailed him time-wise," manager Eric Wedge said. "But for the most part, when he's been pitching, he's done a nice job. He's one of the guys we were counting on this year at some point in time, whether it be early -- which we thought it would be -- or where we are right now."

Ramirez signed with Seattle as an international free agent in 2007 and is one of only a handful of players from Nicaragua in the Major Leagues.

Capps, 22, is regarded as one of the Mariners' promising power arms in the bullpen, but he's struggled recently and is 2-2 with a 6.37 ERA in 35 1/3 innings over 33 appearances.

Capps has given up 14 runs in 7 1/3 innings (17.18 ERA) on 16 hits and five walks over his last seven appearances. Wedge noted that the youngster had only 69 innings of Minor League experience before getting called up last year and is still learning his craft.

"This guy got here so quick and I think he learned a great deal," Wedge said. "There are a couple things mechanically we want him to work on. It's tough to make adjustments and compete up here at the same time for a young player. Go down, get himself righted, catch his breath a little, pitch some down there.

"He's going to be part of this thing. He's just too big and has too much physical strength and arm speed and velocity [to not succeed]. He's still trying to put that slider or cutter where he wants and have enough confidence in his changeup. He just needs to go down and do that."

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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