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Ramirez optioned after impressive start

SEATTLE -- Erasmo Ramirez was optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma to make room on the 25-man roster for Wednesday's starter Taijuan Walker, but the young right-hander left a positive impression with Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon.

Ramirez allowed just two runs on five hits with 10 strikeouts over seven innings in Tuesday's 3-1 loss to the Mets. So while Ramirez's record fell to 1-5 with a 4.35 ERA, his confidence was bolstered by an outing that reminded the Mariners more of the pitcher who opened the season as their No. 2 starter while Hisashi Iwakuma was sidelined.

"I'm sure that was a big boost," McClendon said. "He pitched a real good game last night. And really, you could argue that he probably should have shut them out [if not for a misplayed line drive by James Jones in center field]. He did very well."

With Walker back in the rotation, James Paxton nearing his return and Ramirez pitching better, the Mariners' depth is improving behind Felix Hernandez, Iwakuma, Chris Young and Roenis Elias.

"We're getting there," McClendon said. "I know it's an old cliché, but it's true. You just never have enough pitching. During the course of the year, you're going to need probably eight or nine starters. If you look at the track record of most teams, year in and year out, you do go to that seventh and eighth starter a lot. We're no different."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.
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