Holdridge's Long Wait In Minors Ends

DETROIT - It took him 11 years, but David Holdridge finally is a major-league pitcher.

Holdridge, called up from Tacoma on Aug. 1, was summoned from the bullpen for the first time to replace Greg McCarthy with two outs in the eighth. He promptly struck out Geronimo Berroa.

"For so many years in the minors, I had hoped for this moment," said Holdridge, 29, whose pro career began in 1988 in Quad City as a first-round pick of the California Angels. "I finally got the first one under my belt."

Holdridge went back out in the ninth inning but ran into trouble. Manager Lou Piniella lifted him after an infield single and a walk when Holdridge went 2-0 on Deivi Cruz. Mike Timlin got Cruz to hit into a force and got two more quick outs to preserve Seattle's 9-3 victory over Detroit.

"I wish, of course, I had done better in the ninth," Holdridge said. "But the first one is over and I'll go from there. I was actually more locked in in the eighth than the ninth. In the ninth, I had more of an adrenaline rush."


With David Segui already ailing from a knee injury, the last thing the Mariners need is another injury to a key player. They got a scare in the third inning when Alex Rodriguez, attempting to bunt, took a pitch off his right hand.

Rodriguez's middle finger was sore after the game, but the Mariners say the injury isn't serious. In fact, when the play was ruled a foul ball, Rodriguez stepped back to the plate and on the next pitch drilled an RBI double to left center. He also doubled his next time up.

Rodriguez said he'll play today in the finale of the four-game series. He was upset after the game, not because of his sore hand but over a throwing error in the ninth inning.

"I should have made the play," he said.


-- The Mariners plan to bring back Jeff Fassero on three days' rest to start Tuesday's game against Toronto. Fassero's last start was pushed back a day because of Thursday's rainout, but he threw only 89 pitches Friday.

-- One of Jerry Springer's bouncers was a popular visitor to the clubhouse after the game.

-- Hanging around the clubhouse before the game was George Brett, in town as a commentator for Fox. Brett and Piniella reminisced about the fiercely competitive series between Brett's Royals and Piniella's Yankees in the 1970s. "Man, those were good series," Brett said. "I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it." Brett was so excited he rose and gave Piniella a high-five.

-- The Tigers went over the million mark in attendance for an American League record 34th consecutive year with a crowd of 37,495. It was their biggest since Opening Day, but it had little to do with the Tigers or Mariners. They gave away Beanie Babies.


Class AAA: Tacoma (59-56) 6, Nashville 0 Class AA: Jacksonville 7, Orlando (21-19) 3 Class A: Lancaster (23-27) 8, Rancho Cucamonga 0 Class A: Michigan 8, Wisconsin (21-20) 6 Class A: Boise 5, Everett (23-29) 0 Rookie: Peoria Mariners (17-20) 8, White Sox 2