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Farquhar emerging as key asset in Mariners' bullpen

Farquhar emerging as key asset in Mariners' bullpen

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Farquhar emerging as key asset in Mariners' bullpen

BOSTON -- Danny Farquhar isn't the biggest man in the Mariners' bullpen, but the rookie right-hander is starting to take on a larger role as his success grows in his first two months with the club.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Farquhar threw three perfect innings in Seattle's 5-4, 15-inning loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday with four strikeouts in the longest stint of his young career. He's not allowed a run in 9 1/3 innings over his last five appearances and he's averaging 13.64 strikeouts per nine innings (50 in 33 innings) to rank third among American League relievers.

For Farquhar, Wednesday's outing was welcome relief indeed as it helped erase a prior Boston memory from his Major League debut on Sept. 13, 2011, with the Blue Jays, when he gave up four hits and three runs in two-thirds of an inning in an 18-6 loss.

"That didn't go quite as well," he said. "It was nice for that little bit of redemption at Fenway."

Farquhar, 25, was obtained from the Yankees in the Ichiro Suzuki trade last year and is starting to develop into a quality relief candidate as he gains experience. Some of that, he said, has come from learning from veterans like 41-year-old catcher Henry Blanco, who suggested he needed to start throwing inside more.

"I have noticed that relievers tend to stay away in general," Farquhar said. "Away is a very safe part of the zone. But if you live away, they are going to hit you hard. They are just going to sit away. Me and Henry Blanco actually had a talk. I had a little rough spell a couple weeks ago. And he said, with your stuff you need to start pounding hitters in. And I really took it to heart and I started applying it. A lot of my success is due to Henry's talk with me."

Farquhar has also begun relying more on his curveball, which helps make his surprising mid-90s fastball all the more effective.

"He's small in stature out on the mound, but he has a big heart and doesn't back down from anybody," said acting manager Robby Thompson. "Along with that, he can touch 96 at times and pitches right around 93 with that curveball, so it's made him effective of late."

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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