Power and speed? Sure. Judgment? Let’s pump the brakes.
Tyler O’Neill erased a one-run deficit Wednesday in the sixth inning by lining an RBI double to left and, after advancing to third on a grounder to short, scored the go-ahead run on Boog Powell’s bunt single.
It was part of a five-run inning that carried the Mariners to a 7-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark.
About breaking for third on a routine grounder to a Gold Glove shortstop (Francisco Lindor)…
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"Like I told him," manager Scott Servais said, "maybe not the greatest read. A good thing he was safe. It wasn’t the smartest baserunning play."
Before that, lefty Drew Smyly worked two brisk innings in his spring debut. After a one-two-three first inning, which he began by striking out Tyler Naquin, Smyly worked around a one-out walk in the second.
"It was fun to get back and get on the field and compete with some new teammates," Smyly said. "It was a great first start."
The Mariners managed four hits in three innings against Indians starter Trevor Bauer, including a single and a double by Leonys Martin, but couldn’t turn any of it into runs.
Cleveland then took a 1-0 lead on Michael Martinez’s two-out homer in the third inning against Evan Scribner.
The Mariners (4-1) struck back in the sixth against Ryan Merritt. After Mike Zunino’s leadoff double, O’Neill lined a one-out double past left fielder Yandy Diaz.
O’Neill then broke for third on Tyler Smith’s grounder to short and beat Lindor’s throw. Powell followed with a bunt single before Martin delivered an RBI double.
Two more runs scored on Zach Shank’s single.
The Mariners added another two runs in the seventh inning for a 7-1 lead. Guillermo Heredia delivered a two-out RBI double past third before scoring on James Ramsey’s single.
Cleveland (2-2-1) closed to within 7-4 by scoring three times later in the seventh against Peter Tago. Martinez had a two-run, two-out single before getting thrown out at second base.
PLAY(S) OF THE GAME: Heredia made a terrific catch on a ball over his head in center field while looking back into the bright sun…Zunino easily threw out Yan Gomes on an attempt steal of second base for the final out in the second inning.
PLUS: Martin went 3-for-4 with two doubles, and Powell had two hits in three at0bats…closer Edwin Diaz pitched a scoreless inning in his spring debut. He had one strikeout and pitched around a two-out single by Edwin Encarnacion…power righty Thyago Vieira and towering righty Max Povse also had scoreless one-inning outing in the spring debuts…Casey Fien closed out the victory by pitching around a one-out single in a ninth inning.
MINUS: A rough day for Tago…Shank got trapped between first and second after his two-run single in the sixth inning — a pet peeve of manager Scott Servais. But the gods smiled on Shank. Cleveland first baseman Nellie Rodriguez dropped the ball on the tag. Shank was safe.
STAT PACK: The run surrendered by Scribner (on Martinez’s homer) was the first run he’s allowed in a Mariners uniform. An injury sidelined Scribner last spring, and he worked 14 scoreless innings in 12 late-season outings…the Mariners had 21 opportunities with runners in scoring position. They produced six hits.
QUOTABLE: "I think there’s always a little bit of urgency," Smyly said, "especially with a new team. You want to impress everybody. Show the coaching staff and the players behind me what I’m capable of.
"I’ve faced and competed against most of them, but you still want to start off on a good note and show them it was a good trade for me to be over here. That I’m here to help the team, and that I want to everything we can to win."
SHORT HOPS: Utilityman Mike Freeman was in the original lineup at shortstop, but the Mariners scratched him prior to leaving their complex in Peoria. Servais said the club just wanted to look at other players. That need became more acute after the game when the Mariners announced Freeman had been designated for assignment…the Mariners entered the game with an MLB-leading .342 average. They then maintain that average by going 14 for 41.
UP NEXT: The Mariners return Thursday to Peoria Stadium for a 12:10 p.m. game against Milwaukee. Lefty Ariel Miranda will make his second spring start in a matchup against Brewers right-hander Matt Garza.
The Mariners also plan to use Cody Martin, Shae Simmons, Dean Kiekhefer, Nick Hagadone, Pat Venditte and Jonathan Aro.
The game can be heard on 710 ESPN and www.Mariners.com but will not be televised by Root Sports Northwest.
DAYS LEFT UNTIL OPENING DAY: 32
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners