Jimenez gets first Major League start

Jimenez gets first Major League start

Jimenez gets first Major League start
SEATTLE -- After 13 seasons in the Minor Leagues, Luis Jimenez walked into the Mariners clubhouse on Friday and saw his name on a Major League lineup card for the first time.

Jimenez, 30, has played in six Major League farm systems and also spent a year in Japan and another playing strictly in his native Venezuela. But after being called up by the Mariners on Tuesday when rosters were expanded for September, the big man got his first start at designated hitter against the A's.

"It's a great feeling," he said after seeing his name in the No. 8 spot in manager Eric Wedge's lineup. "This is hopefully the beginning of a good future. I just need to focus on what we have to do and helping the team."

The 6-foot-3, 280-pounder put up some nice numbers for Triple-A Tacoma, batting .310 with 20 home runs and 81 RBIs in 125 games and Wedge wanted to see his left-handed bat against Oakland rookie A.J. Griffin, the only right-hander the A's will start in this three-game series.

Jimenez popped out in a ninth-inning pinch-hit appearance on Tuesday in his big league debut.

"We've got a couple left-handers coming up, so I felt like this was a good opportunity to get him in there," Wedge said. "He was very consistent in Tacoma this year. So we'll get him in there tonight and hopefully he can help us win a ballgame."

Jimenez has put on shows in batting practice in his first few days with the club, hitting some towering shots into the right-field upper deck.

"Obviously he's got a lot of raw power," said Wedge.