Left-hander Erik Bedard got his work in – 3 1/3 innings, 66 pitches, two runs, six strike outs – and might have thrown a shutout were it not for run producing machine Rich Poythress.
Bedard was facing Seattle Mariners minor leaguers, and the lineup included Poythress, who had a remarkable 2010 season in Class A. As Bedard got his work in, Poythress went 2-for-2 against him, with two home runs.
“The first pitch was up, the second wound up around the middle of the plate,” Bedard said of the long balls. “But he hit them both a long way.”
That he did.
Poythress, 23, is a first baseman/designated hitter who is 6-foot-4 and listed at 235 pounds. Last season he played 123 games, batted .315 with 31 home runs and 130 RBI. That’s right, he had more than an RBI a game.
Jay Buhner, in camp for a few days working with minor league outfielders, watched both home runs. As Poythress rounded the bases after the second, Buhner yelled to Bedard: “Next time, walk him intentionally!”
Afterward, in the clubhouse, Bedard asked Buhner what he thought of his game.
“Two home runs,” Bedard said.
“You pitch around that one guy, you’ve got a hell of an outing,” Buhner said.
Yes, Bedard laughed.