SEATTLE -- Eric Thames has largely taken over the role vacated by Ichiro Suzuki in right field for the Mariners and the 25-year-old seems to be thriving in his new situation.
Going into Tuesday's game, Thames had hit .417 (10-for-24) with two doubles, a triple and two home runs at Safeco Field since being acquired from the Blue Jays on July 30 for reliever Steve Delabar. Overall, he's hit .286 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 17 games since the trade.
His solo home run Monday tied the game with Cleveland and set up Michael Saunders' go-ahead two-run shot on a day Seattle clubbed three long balls in a 5-3 win.
"I was just happy to put us back in the game in that inning and then see Michael go up and hit a tater off [Tony] Sipp, a tough lefty, that was pretty impressive," Thames said. "We were all pretty fired up at the end. That's a great thing to see from a team. It's not just ho-hum, another win. We're all pretty fired up and trying to get to .500 and that AL Wild Card. We have a lot of goals."
Since Thames' arrival, the club has gone 11-7. He had a big walk-off hit in a 3-2 victory over the Twins and then made the game-opening catch on a ball in the gap in Felix Hernandez's perfect game.
"Being part of a perfect game was awesome, even though Felix did all the work," he said with a laugh. "I'm speaking for everybody, to be a part of that or a walk-off win is great. You watch the Little League World Series and how much fun those kids are having, that's what we feel like right now."
Robinson proving to be quite a catch
SEATTLE -- The Mariners are still finding out exactly what they have with Trayvon Robinson, but one thing they've learned in recent days is the youngster can go get the ball in left field.
Robinson made excellent diving catches in Friday's and Saturday's games against the Twins, then launched himself high over the rail down the line to pull back a deep foul ball by Michael Brantley during Monday's 5-3 victory over the Indians.
"That was an outstanding play," said veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood, the beneficiary of Monday's grab. "I wasn't even thinking he was going to try. It was one of those you're just not going to see every day. It was pretty special. Ever since he's been up here, he's done a great job at the plate and in left field. He's been a lot of fun to watch."
For Robinson, it's a pretty simple issue. He loves playing ball, he's relishing his opportunity and if a ball is hit his way, he's going for it. He said after Felix Hernandez's perfect game that he'd have run through a wall if needed to keep it going, then he nearly lived up to that Monday when he smacked hard into the rail pulling in Brantley's ball.
"I've got a glove on, so I've got to contribute," he said. "I'm not going to get a hit every at-bat. I'm not going to score a run every time. But whenever I get a chance to help the team win, I've got to take advantage."
His efforts have not gone unnoticed as manager Eric Wedge has used the switch-hitting Robinson extensively in left field recently against right-handed pitchers instead of Casper Wells.
"He's earned it," Wedge said. "Casper did a nice job for us for a while, but he's had his struggles of late. I'm still trying to get him in there against left-handers. But Trayvon has earned it. He's earned playing time and [Eric] Thames has earned playing time. And that's what we've been rolling with."
Halman T-shirts now in Mariners Team Store
SEATTLE -- When Mike Carp showed up at Spring Training in February, he brought orange Greg Halman T-shirts that he'd made and hung one in the locker of every player on the club to wear in memory of the fallen Mariners outfielder.
Those shirts are now available to the public for $25 at the Mariners Team Store at Safeco Field, with proceeds to benefit Dutch youth baseball programs, Carp said Tuesday.
"Maybe we can help get some more players from over there into the Major Leagues," Carp said.
Halman was stabbed to death on Nov. 21 in Rotterdam. Carp was one of four Mariners players who flew to Holland for his funeral and he's dedicated this season to his friend's memory.
Carp is currently on the disabled list recovering from a hip injury, but said he looked up in the stands Monday and saw a couple of Halman shirts already.
"It means a lot," he said. "It's like a little part of Greg is with us still."
• Franklin Gutierrez went 1-for-4 with an RBI while playing seven innings in center field on Monday for Triple-A Tacoma in his third rehab game as he returns from a concussion that has sidelined him since late June.
• Mike Carp swung the bat for the first time Tuesday since injuring his hip and going on the disabled list on Aug. 14. Carp said the tentative plan is for him to continue working out in Seattle when the team goes on its upcoming road trip to Chicago and Minnesota, then join Tacoma for a rehab stint as soon as he's able.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.