3-6-07 -- Horacio Ramirez got Sammy Sosa again.
"You trying to get me killed, or what?" Ramirez said after striking out Sosa during three hitless innings Tuesday in the Seattle Mariners' first win of spring training, 10-3 over the Texas Rangers.
Sosa, who hasn't appeared in regular season game since Aug. 25, 2005, later flied out against Arthur Rhodes and singled off Eric O'Flaherty. In the seventh inning, first-year Texas manager Ron Washington pinch-hit for Sosa as scheduled -- even though there were two on and two out in a 4-3 game.
Sosa, in camp on a minor league contract, is 3-for-9 with a solo home run and three strikeouts in three spring games.
He is 2-for-5 with four strikeouts in his career against Ramirez in games that count. But one of those hits is a home run. That is what Ramirez, a former Atlanta Braves pitcher, remembers.
"In 2003. Wrigley Field. Cutter in. Game right before the All-Star break," Ramirez said -- not that he recalls much about it.
Ramirez, one of three new Mariners starters, has been their best one so far in camp. He has allowed just one hit and no runs in five innings this spring -- including last week's charity exhibition game that doesn't count in spring training statistics.
Ramirez, who's had injuries derail two of his last three seasons, also showed his athleticism in the first inning. He ran to the third-base line, grabbed Frank Catalanotto's slow roller and made an accurate, off-balance throw off a turned ankle for an out. Then he reached back across his body while still on the mound to snare Michael Young's hard one-hopper for another out, before he struck out Sosa.
"I love fielding ground balls and stuff like that -- as long as they're not line drives at my head," Ramirez said, chuckling.
He had one of those last June 11, a drive by Houston's Lance Berkman off the left side of his skull. He missed one start because of that.
Jamey Wright, a non-roster invitee competing for the last spot in the rotation, showed the aggressiveness the Rangers are demanding in his spring debut. He allowed one hit, one walk and two, unearned runs in two innings. The runs scored when second baseman Ramon Vasquez threw a potential inning-ending double play grounder by Brian LaHair into left field in the second inning.
The 32-year-old Wright has been in six different organizations since 2000 and was 6-10 last season for San Francisco. He said he is eagerly taking the advice of Rangers pitch coach Mark Connor to be more aggressive, menacing even.
"In the past I'd go out there and think, 'Don't walk guys. Don't get behind guys.' And what happens? You end up walking guys and giving up runs," Wright said.
Connor said his directive to Wright is simple.
"Put some fear into hitters," Connor said. "I mean, the guy's 6-6 (listed as 6-5) and 245 pounds, with great stuff. Let's go."