SEATTLE – Yolmer Sanchez says there’s no great secret to his recent run of success at the plate. He’s simply keeping things simple.
“See the ball, hit the ball,’’ said Sanchez, who extended his hitting streak to nine games. “All year I’ve been doing that. When you think too much, like worrying about striking out or mechanics, it’s not good.’’
Sanchez has a slash line of .326/.351/.472. He batted second for the sixth consecutive time behind new leadoff man Leury Garcia. Both switch hitters are thriving on “trying to prove what we can do,” Sanchez said, and getting regular at-bats.
“It’s easier when you play every day, but when you don’t, you still have to be ready,’’ Sanchez said.
Tyler Saladino (.202/.279/.308), the Sox’ other utility infielder, has almost been forced out of the lineup by Sanchez’s hot streak, although manager Rick Renteria will continue to find ways to mix and match.
“I don’t think he’s forcing us into playing him every day,’’ Renteria said. “I think he’s doing well right now and taking advantage of every opportunity we give him.
“He’s having a lot of fun playing the game. I don’t think it’s a surprise to anybody Sanchez has performed up to this point.’’
Fun while it lasted
Right-hander Anthony Swarzak had his streaks of 19‰ innings and 15 games to start the season without a run snapped by Angels star Mike Trout’s three-run homer Wednesday. Swarzak (1.37 ERA) failed to get an out after retiring 29 of the previous 31 batters faced.
Because of his effectiveness and the losses of Nate Jones (elbow neuritis), Jake Petricka (lat strain) and Zach Putnam (elbow inflammation) to injury, Swarzak, 31, is pitching in high-leverage situations.
“I’ve put myself in a position to help the team when it matters, and that’s something I’ve wanted to do my whole career,’’ he said.
Putnam taking it slow
Putnam, who, like Jones, is with the team on this trip, said he’s throwing every other day off flat ground, and while it’s not at full speed, he said he’s encouraged.
“I don’t know that we have a timeline in place,’’ said Putnam, who gave up one run in seven appearances before going on the disabled list April 25.
“It’s a tough thing because I’m coming to find out a bone issue heals a lot slower than a muscle. I’m trying to be patient, fighting the urge to ramp it up.’’
Tom Paciorek, who played for the Mariners from 1978 to ’81, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch Friday at Safeco Field.
Paciorek, Ken Harrelson’s broadcast partner from 1991 to ’99, is working alongside “Hawk” in the Sox’ broadcast booth during the series, filling in for Steve Stone.
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