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Mariners 18, Dodgers 2

Mariners 18, Dodgers 2
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Adrian Beltre took a swing so mighty the resulting breeze almost caused a desert dust storm.

"Swing so hard I could feel it. Yeah, that was my mind-set," Seattle's third baseman said with a laugh following his first game since shoulder and thumb surgery in September.

Beltre popped up later in that first at-bat. Then he hit a ringing, two-run double in a three-run third inning off Shawn Estes to send the Mariners to an 18-2 exhibition victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

Erik Bedard also had a successful return from shoulder surgery. The left-hander allowed two singles in two scoreless innings in his first start since July 4.

"I don't even think about my arm. I feel normal," Bedard said after his 14-pitch day.

After Beltre scored on another double off Estes, by Bryan LaHair, he had a grin as huge as that first swing while he received congratulations in the dugout.

The designated hitter for a day passed his first test to determine if he is healthy enough to play for his native Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. The cautious Mariners want him to stay in camp. They feel he is not fully recovered from operations to repair a ligament in his left thumb and to remove bone spurs from his left, non-throwing shoulder.

His final test will come Saturday when he plays in the field against San Francisco. He would leave camp Sunday to join the Dominican team for training in Florida.

"I've got to wait until tomorrow to see how many body reacts," the Gold Glover said. "I'm still a little bit iffy about diving to my left (for ground balls)."

Beltre is on the final WBC roster, but he can be replaced before his nation's opener on March 7 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He said he was told by an executive for the Dominican team he and Alex Rodriguez would alternate roles between third base and DH during the tournament.

"But I have to confirm that. Because if I'm not going to be in the lineup, I want to stay here," Beltre said.

Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu would be OK with that.

"Him going from zero to 100 (mph) is the concern," Wakamatsu said of the intensity of the WBC in baseball-mad Latin America.

A few days ago Wakamatsu said: "He feels he's farther along that we've anticipated."

So does Bedard. He got double plays to end each of his two scoreless innings.

Last Sept. 26, after Bedard went 6-4 with a 3.67 ERA in 15 starts, doctors removed a cyst from his pitching shoulder and cut away some tissue. Recovery time from that procedure typically is six months. Bedard is one month ahead of that now.

"I guess I got lucky," he said.

Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley allowed three hits and one run, on an RBI single by Franklin Gutierrez, in two innings. He said his offspeed pitches weren't in synch, but he was happy.

"My main objective first time out was my fastball command, which was pretty good," Billingsley said.

Notes: Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, watching from a press box booth, said he talked to Scott Boras around noon but that nothing was new in negotiations with the agent for free-agent slugger Manny Ramirez. When asked if he'd still term it an impasse, Colletti shrugged and said, "Yeah, whatever (you want to call it)." ... Tony Abreu, a candidate to be a Dodgers backup infielder, injured his groin diving for a ball in the fifth inning. Manager Joe Torre said Abreu may miss four or five days. ... The 36-year-old Estes, a non-roster veteran who has pitched in just 10 major league games since 2005, allowed six hits and seven runs - five earned - in 1 1-3 innings.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: February 28, 2009

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