Liddi atones for miscue in second start in left

Liddi atones for miscue in second start in left

Liddi atones for miscue in second start in left
SEATTLE -- Alex Liddi made his second start in left field Wednesday for the Mariners and committed a two-base error on the only ball hit his way, but the Italian rookie more than made up for that with a grand slam in Seattle's 5-3 win over the Rangers.

Liddi handled five routine fly balls without trouble in his initial outfield start last Thursday in Cleveland but didn't get his glove on a high shot to the corner by Texas catcher Yorvit Torrealba leading off the third on Wednesday.

Starting pitcher Kevin Millwood saved Liddi any grief by retiring the next three batters, and the youngster repaid him with his first career grand slam in the fifth.

"I couldn't tell how far the fence was from me, and when I looked up, the ball kind of went into the sun," Liddi said. "Of course [Milllwood] picked me up in that situation. That's what you're supposed to do for your teammates and it helped to relax me when they didn't score."

Manager Eric Wedge said prior to Wednesday's game that Liddi had handled everything fine in his outfield debut but added a disclaimer.

"He hasn't really had that tough one yet. Sure as I say it, it will probably happen today, it's just inevitable," Wedge said. "But I think that needs to be an option for us for him. If you're talking about a guy who can play first, third and left field, you've got a lot of value there -- with some thump in his bat. I want to try to get him in there more, so this is the way to do it."

Wedge ruefully noted his pregame chat afterward, but was happy with the final outcome.

"He was fighting the sun a little bit, and the glare," said the skipper. "It wasn't really a sunny day, but it was a bright day. That and the fact it looked like he was trying to find the fence out there. I think we talked about that before the game, so of course it played out that way. But you have to tip your cap to Kevin. Nobody out right there in that situation and he's able to leave him out there."

As for Liddi, the game-winning grand slam provided some salvation, but he wasn't about to forget the awkward error.

"Of course it helped," he said. "But at same time I have to work on it. It's a new position and I have to get better."