"I tried not to overdo things, or to press," Blanton said. "I
tried to let things happen. I feel like my fastball control has
gotten better each outing."
Blanton will pitch in a minor league game on Sunday in Arizona
and then join the A's in time to make his start in Tampa Bay a week
"The other guys have pitched better than he has," Macha said
Blanton, who allowed eight hits and four runs, has a 4.74 ERA
and is beginning to feel comfortable with a changeup he developed
in the winter.
"I used it with all the lefties and some right-handers," he
said. "I started throwing it last season, but it was not a great
pitch. I used the offseason to throw it every day just to get
comfortable with it. Here I'm learning to work it into counts."
Seattle starter Aaron Sele gave up eight runs on seven hits in 4
2-3 innings. He likely earned a spot in the rotation with a strong
spring in which he allowed one earned run in his 14 previous
"My job was to come here and show them I'm healthy," Sele
said. "I did that. They can make a decision from there."
Swisher homered for the first time this spring. He also drew his
team-leading 12th walk and struck out for the 23rd time.
"We had just scored six runs and I wanted to treat it like a
real game," Blanton said. "I didn't want to nibble. He's a good
hitter and that's what hitters do. He hit it hard."
Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said left-hander Jamie Moyer will
start the opener against the Minnesota Twin on Monday.
Moyer also pitched Seattle's openers in 2000 and last season. He
won 21 games and was an All-Star in 2003, but he's trying to bounce
back from a 7-13 season.
The Mariners sent infielder Benji Gil to the New York Mets
Triple-A club in Norfolk for cash considerations and released
left-handed pitcher Nate Bland.