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Moore optioned, but move likely short term

Mariners rookie delivered strong debut to finish sweep of Tigers
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Andrew Moore was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Friday to open a spot on the 25-man roster for Felix Hernandez's return off the disabled list, but the move figures to be short term for the 23-year-old rookie right-hander.

Moore won his Major League debut on Thursday night, allowing three runs in seven innings in a 9-6 win over the Tigers. The Mariners were extremely pleased with the initial outing of their No. 4 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com rankings, but won't need him again in the short term as the club has two off days next week.

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SEATTLE -- Andrew Moore was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Friday to open a spot on the 25-man roster for Felix Hernandez's return off the disabled list, but the move figures to be short term for the 23-year-old rookie right-hander.

Moore won his Major League debut on Thursday night, allowing three runs in seven innings in a 9-6 win over the Tigers. The Mariners were extremely pleased with the initial outing of their No. 4 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com rankings, but won't need him again in the short term as the club has two off days next week.

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By returning to Tacoma, Moore will be able to make his normal start next week and then be eligible to rejoin the rotation after the start of the next homestand on July 3.

"Obviously Andrew Moore did a great job last night for us," manager Scott Servais said prior to Friday's series opener with Houston. "It was a tremendous debut. He's certainly earned the right to come back, but we'll keep him pitching and probably have a lower pitch count his next time out [in Tacoma]. We'll probably back that off a little and then hopefully get him back here. But we'll see."

Video: DET@SEA: Moore breaks down his Major League debut

With Monday and Thursday off next week, the Mariners still will have extra days of rest for their four remaining starters -- James Paxton, Sam Gaviglio, Ariel Miranda and Hernandez.

Cishek steps up in save situation

With Edwin Diaz unavailable after pitching in four straight games, Servais called on former closer Steve Cishek in the save situation in Thursday's game against Detroit and he delivered a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save since last July 30.

"It's fun to have that adrenaline rush again, especially now that I'm starting to feel better," said Cishek, who underwent microfracture hip surgery last offseason. "Any way to help the team win."

Cishek has a 1.69 ERA over his last 10 2/3 innings and says he's feeling stronger and using his lower body more after missing Spring Training and not joining the Mariners until mid-May.

"He's been throwing the ball great," Servais said. "He's starting to get a feel and the life on his fastball has certainly come back. He's driving and using his lower half to get down the mound. I think he's put the injury behind him and starting to look like the Steve Cishek we saw early last year."

The 31-year-old was 2-1 with a 0.98 ERA and 11 saves in his first 12 chances in his first 16 games last year before the hip started to bother him. He eventually lost his closing role to Diaz and now is working primarily as a right-handed set-up man.

Worth noting

• Servais said rookie Max Povse's future is definitely projected to be in the bullpen and he'll continue to be used as a multiple-inning reliever despite getting roughed up for three runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning in his debut Thursday.

"You have to get that first one out of the way," Servais said. "I thought his stuff was fine, he just had a tough time getting the last out. He realizes the value now of having to get the secondary pitch over the plate. When you don't and you're just locked in on the fastball, eventually they're going to hit it. Good experience for him. I have no reservation about putting him out there. He'll be a little better each time he goes out."

Hisashi Iwakuma had another throwing session with pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. on Friday, but there still is no timetable on when he might pitch his next rehab outing as he continues trying to get his shoulder stronger while working on his mechanics.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners