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Silva's new pitch needs seasoning

Silva's new pitch needs seasoning

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Right-hander Carlos Silva probably could have come up with another name for the pitch that spoiled his Monday afternoon at Peoria Stadium, but he stuck with "cutter."

"I'm working on a cutter right now," he said, "and I overused it in that one inning."

He used it and the visiting Brewers abused it.

"Good start, bad end," he said.

Seven consecutive hits with one out in the fifth inning fueled by a seven-run outburst snapped a 3-3 deadlock and saddled the Mariners with an eventual, 17-3, Cactus League setback, and a split of a split-squad doubleheader. The other Seattle team went to Surprise, Ariz., and notched a 5-2 victory over the Rangers.

Silva, who will make his regular-season debut on April 2 against the Rangers at Safeco Field, wants to add another pitch to his repertoire and has been working with pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre on a cutter, a pitch that is supposed to move away from right-handed hitters and in on lefties.

"When we were in the bullpen, he said, 'Don't fall in love with that pitch, and remember what your best pitch is.'" Silva said. "I want to use it to finish a hitter or show something else. I'm not going to use it to strike out people. The sinker is my best pitch."

Silva said he plans to keep working on the cutter.

"At this level, when you have years in the big leagues, they know you," he said of the AL hitters. "You want to make your pitches, or try to throw something else. If I can throw that pitch, it's going to help me a lot."

Silva said the biggest problem with the pitch on Monday was the movement. "The break was kind of big. You want a short cut."

"It's good to change the eye level," he added. "Today, they saw only one break."

But overall, he's happy with the progress he's making toward his first regular-season start.

"I feel very good, very strong. But at this level, the only thing that's important is results. I can say I feel good and my command is really good, but ..."

The cutter needs more work.

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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