Minor's Effectiveness Major Boost For Bullpen

Reliever Blas Minor, if he retires the next batter he faces, will have the equivalent of a no-hitter.

That's how effective the Mariner right-hander has been since he was acquired June 9 in a trade. His 4 1/3 innings yesterday gave Minor a string of 8 2/3 no-hit relief innings.

"Minor did an outstanding job," Manager Lou Piniella said. "He kept us in the game. Thank God. He actually saved our bullpen. If he had not done the job, we really would have had to scramble."

Minor retired all 13 batters he faced, eight on ground balls.

"I just let our defense do the job and tried to keep the ball in the park," Minor said. "That's the way I pitch.

"My opportunity is limited as a long reliever, but it's up to me and (Rafael) Carmona to keep games as close as we can."

Minor's earned-run average dropped from 4.76 to 3.45.


-- Left-hander Lee Guetterman was designated for assignment to make room on the active roster for outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., who will start today.

The rotation for the Oakland series: tomorrow, Wolcott (5-7) vs. Dave Telgheder (starting debut); Tuesday, Sterling Hitchcock (8-3) vs. Bob Chouinard (3-2); Wednesday, Matt Wagner (2-2) vs. John Wasdin (6-2).

-- Randy Johnson threw before the game and reported no discomfort in his back. He will begin a rehabilitation assignment later this week with Lancaster.


Class AAA: Phoenix 5, Tacoma (7-16) 0. Class AA: Birmingham 3, Port City (11-11) 2. Class A: San Bernardino 6, Lancaster (13-11) 4. Class A: W. Michigan 12, Wisconsin (8-14) 3 . Class A: Everett (14-11) 16, Portland 5. Rookie: Peoria M's (10-6) not scheduled.