Saunders gets “national” recognition

Left-handed hitting Michael Saunders, who needed only one day on the job to record his first Major League hit — a single off left-hander Cliff Lee on July 26 at Safeco Field — will be among those saluted at The Canada National Teams Awards Banquet and Fundraiser at the Eaton Centre in Toronto on Jan. 16.

Saunders and John Axford of the Brewers will be honoured with Alumni and Special Recognition Awards, respectively, during the annual event.

Saunders, promoted from Triple-A Tacoma on July 25, after hitting .310 with 13 home runs and 32 RBIs.

the left-handed hitter became the fourth rookie in franchise history to have at least six bunt singles in a season.

Now Mariners teammates, I’m sure Lee will remind Saunders of his first hit — a bunt single — when they meet at Spring Training next month in Peoria.

Saunders ended up with a .221 batting average, no home runs and four RBIs with the Mariners, who selected him the 11th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.

— Jim Street 

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