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Notes: Aumont on display

Notes: Aumont on display

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- The first 10 pitches Phillippe Aumont threw to professional hitters in a game situation were in the mid-90s with good movement, the kind of stuff that makes hitters gulp and general managers show off their Cheshire-cat smiles.

With family and friends from Gatineau, Quebec, and club executives watching, the Mariners' first-round Draft choice last June unveiled his powerful right arm Wednesday morning during a "B" game against the Padres.

It was the first time Aumont has pitched in a "real" game since last November, when, playing for Team Canada, he faced the Cuban National Team in the World Cup in Taiwan.

"A long time ago," he said.

Two weeks after beginning his first big league Spring Training, Aumont said his first outing could not have gone any better.

"I was real smooth, felt good, could put my ball wherever I wanted and got ground balls," the 6-foot-7, 220-pounder said after retiring three of the four batters he faced -- one strikeout and two ground balls -- yielding an infield single. "That's my game. I'm not a big strikeout guy. I got one, and that's a plus, but I'm a ground-ball guy."

He originally was scheduled to pitch two innings, but the game lasted seven innings instead of nine and other pitchers also needed work against live hitters in a game situation.

"He threw the ball extremely well," manager John McLaren said.

Minor League catcher Adam Moore also was impressed.

"He threw 93 to 95 with sink," Moore said. "He has great stuff. His slider was really sharp, his sinker looked good and his four-seamer was really nice. But all he needed today was one pitch."

Aumont acknowledged that he was a little nervous at first, but settled down quickly and had a quick inning.

"I love playing catch with the catcher and making hitters look silly," he said.

Sad Sundays: The football season won't be quite the same in the Jarrod Washburn household from now on. Future Packers games will be played without quarterback Brett Favre.

When the Pack played, the Washburn clan would watch the games on TV at their LaCrosse, Wis., home.

"We have three kids, and all of them have No. 4 jerseys, including our daughter [Ava]," Washburn said, referring to the number Favre wore with the Packers. "Oh, they'll still wear them."

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Washburn said Favre was, "One of those guys you enjoyed watching because he played with such passion and had so much fun, and you didn't have to just be a Packers fan. I don't care if you are a Vikings fan, you loved watching him play."

Washburn said he's not sure if his kids, especially his sons, Jack and Owen, fully comprehend that Favre retired and what it means to retire.

"We might turn on a Packers game and they'll ask, 'Where's Favre?' " he said. "I'll explain to them what "retire" means, and they'll probably say, 'Dad, you can't retire. If means you won't play anymore.' "

No more than four: Erik Bedard answered more questions on Wednesday than the number of innings he pitched -- three -- against the Angels.

"All right guys, you got four questions," he told the media after his three-inning stint.

One: "Did you do anything different in this start than your last one?"

"Not really."

Two: "This is a team you are going to face a lot this year. Is there anything you can get from looking at them for the first time?"

"No, not really. They are in the same boat as us, just trying to get in shape."

Three: How helpful was it to have the kind of defense you got from Willie [Bloomquist] at third base today?"

"That helped me a lot. I wouldn't have got out of the second inning if he hadn't made those plays."

Four: "The pitch to [Chone] Figgins, did you miss your location a little bit on that one?"

"To start the game off? A curveball? He hit it. I was trying to get him out on less than four pitches."

Before a fifth question could be asked, the postgame interview was done, finished, kaput.

"Four questions, that's it," he said.

With that, he walked away.

Up next: Right-hander Felix Hernandez makes his second start of the spring on Thursday when the Mariners visit the Brewers in Phoenix. Hernandez pitched two scoreless innings in his first Cactus League appearance and is slated to throw in the neighborhood of 55 pitches against the Brew Crew. McLaren has two left-handers, Ryan Feierabend and Jake Woods, along with right-hander Roy Corcoran, scheduled to pitch. The designated hitter rule will be used although a National League team is playing at home. That doesn't help Seattle DH Jose Vidro, who remains on the sidelines with a sore right elbow.

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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