ROYALS 5, MARINERS 1 (AT SURPRISE STADIUM)
THE FACTS: The Mariners got a look, and not much else, Friday night against right-hander Yordano Ventura, who will pitch the season opener for the Kansas City Royals.
Ventura pitched seven no-hit innings before the Mariners broke through with an RBI single by Tyler Smith, after two walks, in the eighth against Jason Frasor.
That was the Mariners’ only hit.
Mariners starter James Paxton struggled to find the strike zone in his 32/3 innings. He gave up five runs, although three were unearned, and threw just 36 of 68 pitches for strikes.
“My mechanics were affecting everything,” Paxton said. “I was spinning toward third base, and everything was going up and away or I was spiking it. I just need to get back on line and finishing my pitches. I’ll be just fine.”
PLAY OF THE GAME: Smith’s single helped atone for a costly error when, playing second base, he booted Lorenzo Cain’s leadoff grounder in the fourth inning. It led to three unearned runs.
Smith has four errors in seven games as a call-up from minor league camp.
PLUS: Some nice work by the bullpen. Lefty Charlie Furbush worked around a two-out double by former teammate Kendrys Morales in a scoreless fifth inning. ... Yoervis Medina pitched a one-two-three sixth, and Dominic Leone followed with a one-two-three seventh. Carson Smith began the eighth by allowing two singles but retired the next three hitters.
MINUS: Paxton wasn’t sharp, but he’s in line for one more spring turn Wednesday against the White Sox before his projected April 7 start against the Angels in the second game of the regular season. ... Morales had two hits in four at-bats for the Royals. ... The Mariners lost for the fifth time in six games and fell to 10-13-2 with seven games remaining.
QUOTABLE: “It may have to be a minor league game. I’m not sure yet.” — manager Lloyd McClendon when asked about the next start for Roenis Elias.
EXTRA INNINGS: Shortstop Brad Miller was sent home from camp as the latest victim of flu-like symptoms. ... The Mariners called up 14 players from minor league camp for their travel roster. Two of them started: Smith and shortstop Rayder Ascanio.
UP NEXT: The Mariners play their only game of the spring against San Francisco when the reigning World Series champs pay a 1:05 p.m. visit Saturday to Peoria Stadium.
Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma is scheduled to face Giants right-hander Jake Peavy.