The facts: It was 1-1 when Brandon Maurer, in his first start, retired the first two batters in the Royals’ third inning. He then yielded three straight singles. In came minor leaguer Stephen Shackleford, who gave up a two-run double to Alex Gordon, a walk, an RBI single and two more walks before ending the five-run inning. The Mariners never recovered. Play of the game: Royals starter James Shields picked off Robinson Cano at third in the fourth inning. It was a borderline move, but it completely fooled Cano.
Plus: Cano returned to the lineup in the afternoon game for the first time since undergoing a root canal on March 5. He went 3-for-3 and is 9-for-15 in six games ... Veteran reliever Ramon Ramirez bounced back from a rough outing by working a one-two-three inning.
Minus: The Mariners, not counting Cano, only got three hits. They also committed two errors and had two wild pitches (both by Stephen Kohlscheen) and a passed ball.
Quotable: “I know it’s spring training, but you don’t want to look bad like that. He got everybody. Even the third-base coach. Nobody said anything. But it’s good that he did it now and not during the season. ” — Robinson Cano on being picked off third base by Royals starter James Shields.
Extra innings: The Mariners split squad played the Diamondbacks to a 3-3 tie in the night cap at Salt River Fields. Brad Miller and Stefen Romero each had two hits. ... Right-hander Taijuan Walker continues to show encouraging progress in his recovery from shoulder bursitis. He is throwing at 120-150 feet. ... Righty Stephen Pryor threw live batting practice for the first time this spring. He is recovering from a torn back muscle. ... Minor league camp begins with full-squad workouts on Wednesday.
Up next: The Mariners make the first of two spring trips to Tempe to face the Angels. Right-hander Scott Baker will make his third spring start in his bid to win a spot in the rotation. The Angels plan to start lefty C.J. Wilson.firstname.lastname@example.org