Notes: Morse up, Bohn down

Notes: Morse up, Bohn down

SEATTLE -- Two young Mariners, Mike Morse and T.J. Bohn, were given distinct but abrupt awakenings this weekend.

Bohn, who had been with the Mariners for five games, was sent back to Triple-A Tacoma one day after his first Major League hit.

"I was a little surprised, but I'll do what I have to do," Bohn said. "I'll go to Tacoma and play every day. There's nothing wrong with that, either."

Morse was brought back for the third time this season to replace Bohn on the roster. He had been playing with the Rainiers in Tucson on Saturday.

"I got a wakeup call at 4 a.m. [on Sunday]. I left at 5:30 a.m.," Morse said. "I was scratched from the lineup [on Saturday], so I knew something was going on, especially since I'm not hurt."

Morse flew all morning to arrive at the Mariners clubhouse before 11 a.m.

"I feel great," he said with some weariness. "I'm ready to play."

The move is a bit unusual, since the rosters can be expanded in just five days. But manager Mike Hargrove said that bringing back Morse gives the club more options.

"He gives us more flexibility," Hargrove said. "He can play the corner outfield spots. He can play third, shortstop, second base, first. He gives us more versatility off the bench."

Morse, 24, has hit .409 in nine games with the Mariners this season. In a combined three stints in Tacoma, Morse hit .248 with 15 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 34 RBIs. He was on the disabled list from July 3-31 with a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Bohn struggled at the plate in his first couple of games. He finally earned his first hit on Saturday, a single off Red Sox veteran David Wells.

"I think it built up with each at-bat, just that pressure to get that first one out of the way," Bohn said. "I finally got that one, and it all went away. It felt really good.

"I broke my bat, and I knew it was going to drop in there. I had that real good feeling running to first base. I looked up and had a big smile standing on first base.

"It's an experience I'll never forget. It's good to get it out of the way. I figure the next time I come up, I won't be so nervous, uptight."

Hargrove said that Bohn "did well for his first shot. The two teams that we faced [New York and Boston] were not the easiest to face, obviously. I thought he acquitted himself well.

"He showed us what we saw in Spring Training -- an above-average defender, an above-average arm, a little-better-than-average runner. Right now his drawback is his bat. But we believe that he has a chance to come around. We were very encouraged with what we saw with T.J."

All is not lost: Despite the team's 0-11 road trip, which put a damper on the season, Hargrove said that it has been a good season in many ways.

"On the whole, it's been a good season because we've been able to establish some things, gain some experience that will be valuable down the road," he said. "We've shown that we can win. I think that's a real important thing to establish. Now comes the consistency."

Japan's little sluggers: Following in the country's grand baseball tradition, a team from Kawaguchi City, Japan, reached the finals of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. The Japanese team defeated Mexico, 3-0, and faces Columbus, Ga., on Sunday night for the title.

The news pleased catcher Kenji Johjima, though neither he nor teammate Ichiro Suzuki played Little League in their native country. They took different paths.

"Ichiro and I both played for our schools," Johjima said through an interpreter. "When you play for your school, you use a ball that's not like a regular ball, it's smaller. It's a different kind of ball. When you want to play Little League, you play outside your school.

"In Japan, Little League was not as big a deal as in the United States."

Mariners log: Hargrove said that the club has not formally talked about who will be brought up when rosters are expanded on Sept. 1. "Will we look at some starters? I'm sure we'll bring pitching in," he said. "I don't know how much it will be. If we feel there might be someone down there we want to look at, and there may be a couple, we look at that." ... Right-hander Felix Hernandez, who has thrown about 170 innings, including Spring Training, will skip one and perhaps two starts before the season ends. "We're not going to take him over 200 innings," Hargrove said. ... Jeremy Reed, on the disabled list with a fractured right thumb, is schedule to begin a rehab assignment on Thursday.

Up next: Hernandez (10-12, 5.81 ERA), coming off one of his worst starts, takes the Safeco Field mound on Monday night against the Angels' Kelvim Escobar (9-11, 3.87 ERA) in the opener of a three-game series against the division rivals.

Bob Sherwin is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.