BOSTON -- For Mariners rookie shortstop Brad Miller, part of the thrill of his first tour around the Major Leagues is the chance to play in new ballparks. And competing in Fenway Park this week has been right at the top of his list.
Miller, 23, grew up in Orlando, Fla., but came to Fenway with family friends to watch a game in 2005 while he was in high school, then took batting practice at the historic park while playing with Team USA during his freshman year at Clemson in 2009.
So the chance to suit up and start Major League games at the 101-year-old facility has been a dream come true for the youngster.
"I was 18 or 19 when I came here with Team USA, so that was pretty cool to tour everything," Miller said. "We went into the Monster and all that stuff. All the history is so cool. All the guys on that team were saying, 'This is where we want to be one day.' So yeah, it's been sweet to come back here for the real thing."
Miller committed an error on the first ground ball hit to him in the series opener Tuesday, but says he hasn't been overwhelmed about playing at Fenway once he settled in.
"You're just focused on the game itself," he said. "That's all your worried about. Everything else kind of takes a back seat. I'm watching the hitter or pitcher. There's a lot going on out there, so you can't really get distracted or really take it all in. But it's a beautiful park and obviously a good crowd. It makes it a lot of fun."
But that doesn't mean he's taken the opportunity for granted. Miller and several teammates went out to the Green Monster to get the tour inside the wall prior to the opening game of the series and he's soaked in the atmosphere when he's had time to enjoy the ballpark's charm.
"It's got that old-school feel, with all the character," he said. "That's the neat thing about baseball. Each place has its own little personality. Everything is unique. Even in the Minor Leagues and college, just going to new parks and exploring everything, that's one of my favorite parts. Just seeing what each city and stadium is about, it's pretty cool."
Mariners excited about red-hot Seager's future
BOSTON -- Kyle Seager has been the model of consistency for the Mariners over the past two years, but the third baseman put together the best month yet of his young career in July.
Seager hit .396 (38-for-96) with 21 runs, five doubles, six home runs and 14 RBIs in 25 games as he raised his season average to .298. The batting average was the best of any player in the Majors in July.
Acting Mariners manager Robby Thompson said Seager is coming into his own as a player at 25.
"He works very hard and is very efficient at what he does at third base and also out here in the cage and on the field in batting practice," Thompson said. "He's really become a pro at his approach before and during games. He's going to be a solid veteran here real soon.
"He's got two-plus years or whatever, but he's going to be one of those quiet leaders," said Thompson. "And at times when he does say something, people are going to listen. We already see that coming from Kyle. He's taken big steps and he's very consistent. You pretty much know what you're going to get day in and day out, month after month and probably year after year. He's one of those players."
Thompson has worked with Seager since his arrival in Seattle as the Mariners' infield coach, but appreciates what he's been doing at the plate as well in recent weeks.
"I've been working with him on his hitting, too," Thompson said with a laugh.
Farquhar emerging as key asset in Mariners' bullpen
BOSTON -- Danny Farquhar isn't the biggest man in the Mariners' bullpen, but the rookie right-hander is starting to take on a larger role as his success grows in his first two months with the club.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Farquhar threw three perfect innings in Seattle's 5-4, 15-inning loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday with four strikeouts in the longest stint of his young career. He's not allowed a run in 9 1/3 innings over his last five appearances and he's averaging 13.64 strikeouts per nine innings (50 in 33 innings) to rank third among American League relievers.
For Farquhar, Wednesday's outing was welcome relief indeed as it helped erase a prior Boston memory from his Major League debut on Sept. 13, 2011, with the Blue Jays, when he gave up four hits and three runs in two-thirds of an inning in an 18-6 loss.
"That didn't go quite as well," he said. "It was nice for that little bit of redemption at Fenway."
Farquhar, 25, was obtained from the Yankees in the Ichiro Suzuki trade last year and is starting to develop into a quality relief candidate as he gains experience. Some of that, he said, has come from learning from veterans like 41-year-old catcher Henry Blanco, who suggested he needed to start throwing inside more.
"I have noticed that relievers tend to stay away in general," Farquhar said. "Away is a very safe part of the zone. But if you live away, they are going to hit you hard. They are just going to sit away. Me and Henry Blanco actually had a talk. I had a little rough spell a couple weeks ago. And he said, with your stuff you need to start pounding hitters in. And I really took it to heart and I started applying it. A lot of my success is due to Henry's talk with me."
Farquhar has also begun relying more on his curveball, which helps make his surprising mid-90s fastball all the more effective.
"He's small in stature out on the mound, but he has a big heart and doesn't back down from anybody," said acting manager Robby Thompson. "Along with that, he can touch 96 at times and pitches right around 93 with that curveball, so it's made him effective of late."
• After Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Red Sox in 15 innings, the Mariners are tied with the White Sox for the most extra-inning games in the Majors this season at 16. The Mariners have played five games longer than 12 innings, while no other AL team has more than three of 12 innings or more.
All the overtime hasn't paid off too well, as Seattle is 6-10 in extra innings, 1-4 in games of longer than 12.
• Right-handed reliever Stephen Pryor returned from a six-day layoff and gave up five runs on five hits without getting an out in Triple-A Tacoma's 8-0 loss to Omaha on Wednesday. Pryor was making his fourth rehab appearance as he returns from a torn muscle behind his right shoulder. The 23-year-old had not allowed a run in 23 innings over 19 previous games with Tacoma over several stints since his Triple-A debut on May 8, 2012.