Utahns in baseball: John Buck plays first base for first time after bizarre incident; BYU alum Taylor Cole starts All-Star Game

BYU alum Taylor Cole starts All-Star Game

Published: Sunday, June 15 2014 11:20 p.m. MDT

Seattle Mariners' John Buck is congratulated after scoring against the Texas Rangers in a baseball game Saturday, June 14, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Elaine Thompson, AP

You see something new at the ballpark every day.

In Taylorsville native John Buck's case, he played first base for the first time in his major league career Sunday because his Mariners teammate, Logan Morrison, hit the wall of Seattle's dugout with his bat and a piece broke off and hit him in the head. He left the game with a laceration to his forehead.

Seattle Times beat writer Ryan Divish reported the injury was severe enough that Morrison received five stitches.

Buck played two innings in the field without any issues. He also singled in his lone at-bat before being lifted for a pinch runner in Seattle's 5-1 win over Texas.

Though Buck had not played first base in his 10-year career, he told Divish he played first base in the minors before and had been practicing with the Mariners coaching staff if the situation ever arose.

“I’ve been working with (infield coach Chris Woodward) quite a bit,” Buck told Divish after the game. “Just because all the backups I’ve ever had, that’s the guy they go to if you are ever in a bind. And we were in a bind. I put in the work with Woody and Skip has watched it and felt comfortable to go with me.”

Morrison was called up by the Mariners on Wednesday after the team's primary first baseman Justin Smoak was placed on the disabled list earlier in the week.

Buck, who entered the week with just 15 appearances in games this season, played in four games during the week for the Mariners. He's batting .271 on the season.

In other baseball news, former BYU pitcher Taylor Cole started the Florida State League (Single-A) All-Star Game Saturday for the North squad. Cole, representing the Dunedin Blue Jays, pitched a scoreless frame in one inning of work.

Cole led the FSL with 95 strikeouts in the first half of the year. The former Cougar is also 5-2 with a 2.19 ERA in 13 games this season.

Former Utah pitcher Tyler Wagner joined Cole on the North team, though representing the Brevard County Manatees. Wagner pitched a scoreless fifth inning, allowing one walk and striking out a batter. The North team went on to win the game 6-4.

Former BYU pitcher Jeremy Guthrie also snapped his 11-game winless streak on Friday. The righty allowed just two runs in 5 2/3 innings as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox 7-2.

Guthrie also struck out a season-best nine batters in the win. He entered the start without a win since April 9.

Finally, Utah resident Eddy Alvarez, a member of the U.S. Olympic speedskating team and a former Salt Lake Community College baseball member, signed with the White Sox organization over the week.

"Playing pro baseball has definitely been a goal of mine," Alvarez told People Magazine in February. "There were times when I thought of dropping skating completely and just focusing on baseball."

MLB

John Buck (Taylorsville H.S.), Seattle Mariners: Four hits, one RBI and two runs scored in 10 at-bats over the week. Buck started two games, pinch hit in another and came in as a defensive replacement briefly Sunday after Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison left with an injury.

Buck has seen more playing time in recent weeks. He appeared in four games this week, despite only playing in 15 games heading into the week. The catcher is batting .271, with one home run and five RBIs in 59 at-bats this year.

C.J. Cron (Utah), Los Angeles Angels: Zero hits in seven at-bats this week. Cron sat most of Los Angeles' series at Atlanta without the designated hitter available.

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