Big night for Morrow, Tui

The news coming out of Tacoma last night was good, to say the least. Right-hander Brandon Morrow finally won his first game of the season — at any level — and third baseman Matt Tuiasosopo continues to improve after missing most of the season because of elbow surgery.

In my opinion, these two guys are important to the future success of the Mariners.

Morrow has gone back-and-forth between starting and relieving so many times that it’s no wonder he has struggled and messed with the “belief system” manager Don Wakamatsu believes in so much. Perhaps last night’s game against Fresno will be the first big step in Morrow’s comeback.

Morrow held the Grizzlies to two runs over seven innings, struck out eight and walked one. He changed speeds and used his slider to complement his fastball. In a word, he “pitched”.

There is little doubt that Morrow has the arsenal to be a successful starter for the Mariners down the road, as long as the organization makes a decision to put him a starting role and keep him there. The Yankees’ Joba Chamberlain has developed into one of the team’s top starters this season after being moved from the ‘pen to a starting role last season. Just as Morrow, Chamberlain needed time to make the adjustment.

Morrow threw 89 pitches during the seven-inning stint and almost half of them were something other than his high-powered fastball.

Meanwnhile, Tuiasosopo has turned things around. After enduring a 1-for-27 skid from July 25 through August 1,the third baseman is 7-for-10 with two home runs and seven RBIs in his last three games.

He still has played only 26 games this season, which has stunted his growth into becoming a Major League third baseman.

In an unrelated matter, the Mariners open a three-game series against the Royals tonight and, among other things, it will be a chance to see shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt for the first time since being traded to Kaycee. He has struggled even more for the Royals than he did with the Mariners, showing virtually no patience at the plate. He is 8-for-57 with one walk as a Royall, giving him a .153 on-base percentage.

Betancourt is just one of several former Mariners on the K.C. team. Others are pitcher Gil Meche, currently on the 15-day disabled list but due back later this week, infielder Willie Bloomquis, batting .265 in a career-high 283 at-bats, outfielder Jose Guillen, also on the 15-day DL, and catcher Miguel Olivo, who is tied for the team lead with 14 home runs.

— Jim Street

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