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Olivo is behind the plate, even day after night

The Sports Xchange
Roster Report · Notes, Quotes · Olivo is behind the plate, even day after night

The drill doesn't vary much from team to team, on a day game after a night game, the regular catcher gets a day off.

Not so Thursday for the Mariners' Miguel Olivo. Manager Eric Wedge said he feels it's right to push Olivo a little more right now.

"With the off day Monday and another off day the following Monday and with what we are trying to do the lineup and everything, we thought it was a good time to push him through this series," manager Eric Wedge said.

"We'll probably give him a day off either Saturday or Sunday off in Boston. The off days allow that to happen. We are far enough into the season to be removed from the physical part of it."

The move was fine with Olivo, who responded with a single and a home run in five at-bats. During the series in Detroit, a Seattle sweep, Olivo went 7-for-14 with two home runs.

Curiously, while Wedge said it was Olivo's renewed offense that was a major factor in the decision, it wasn't the double and home run on Tuesday or the three singles on Wednesday that sold the manager the most.

It was a fifth-inning sacrifice fly on Wednesday that did the trick.

"Without a doubt, that sacrifice fly was the best at-bat he's had all year, arguably one of the best we had as a team all year," Wedge said. "You talk about sticking your nose in there in that situation and fighting through an at-bat against a very good pitcher (the Tigers' Justin Verlander).

"And not just hitting a sacrifice fly, but hitting it to deep right-center field. You hear me talk about the type of at-bats we want to have, that epitomizes that."

Although the manager didn't say so, the subtext of the move to have Olivo play might well have had something to do with Thursday's starting pitcher, Michael Pineda.

Wedge likes to have his most experienced catcher behind the plate when he has his least experienced starting pitcher going. Counting Thursday, Olivo has caught every one of Pineda's five big league appearances.

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