Not a banner defensive night for the Mariners’ infield.
What should have been an error on shortstop Jean Segura led to one run in the seventh inning, and errors by second baseman Robinson Cano and third baseman Kyle Seager led to three unearned runs in the eighth inning.
Those breakdowns caused the Mariners to blow a five-run lead in the late innings Friday night and settle for a 5-5 tie at Peoria Stadium.
"We let our edge down a little," manager Scott Servais said. "Our focus was, maybe, not there like it should be on the defensive side, especially later in the game. They guys know it. These are pros.
"These guys have been at it for a while."
It was the sort of game that suggests it’s time for spring training to end — which happens Saturday afternoon when the Mariners and Rockies play again at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.
The tying run scored on a wild pitch by Jack Anderson, a submarining right-hander selected last season in the 23rd of the MLB Draft. The Mariners (19-14-2) went quietly over the final two innings.
The costliest error was Seager’s wild throw to second on a potential double-play grounder that would have ended the eighth inning without any damage.
Lefty James Paxton worked three scoreless innings before handing a 4-0 lead to lefty Dillon Overton, who learned earlier in the day that he had made the 25-man roster.
While Paxton labored through a 30-pitch first inning, he permitted just one shift-beating infield single along with a walk. He then got through the next two innings on a combined 30 pitches.
The Mariners then grabbed a 2-0 lead after Segura opened the bottom of the first inning by squirting a triple past first base into he right-field corner.
Segura nearly got trapped off third on Mitch Haniger’s grounder to second, but Segura got back, which enabled Haniger to reach safely.
Cano’s ground out to third scored Segura and moved Haniger to second. Haniger scored when Nelson Cruz grounded a single into center.
The Mariners stretched their lead to 4-0 in the third on singles by Segura, Haniger, Cano and Seager.
Segura’s one-out double in the fifth inning led to another run before Trevor Story got Colorado on the board with a leadoff homer in the sixth against Overton.
When the Rockies then loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth against Overton, the Mariners summoned James Pazos, who struck out Brian Mundell on three pitches.
Pazos wasn’t as effective in the seventh when Charlie Blackmon and D.J. LeMahieu opened the inning with successive doubles. Pazos then steadied by striking out the next two hitters.
The Mariners carried that 5-2 lead into the eighth inning.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Overton reached out and speared Christhian Adames’ sharp hopper in the fourth inning and turned it into the third out.
PLUS: Segura had three hits and scored three runs in his first three at-bats. He walked in his fourth plate appearance and stole second, but the Mariners couldn’t bring him around…Pazos made short work of Mundell after replacing Overton with two outs and the bases loaded. Two sliders and a fastball. Three strikes. Inning over…Nick Vincent wasn’t nearly as good the next inning when he inherited a two-on, two-out jam and struck out Stephen Cardullo on four pitches…Haniger went 2-for-4 and raised his average to .395 (30-for-76).
MINUS: Segura dropped a throw at second base when Blackmon stretched a single into what was generously scored a leadoff double. Segura’s whiff turned into a run, an earned run for Pazos, when LeMahieu followed with a double past first…lefty specialist Marc Rzepczynski replaced Pazos with two outs in the seventh with a runner on second to face Gerardo Parra, a left-handed hitter. Rzepczynski issued a five-pitch walk…Cano booted a leadoff grounder for an error in the eighth inning.
QUOTABLE: "I like spring," Paxton said. "I feel like I need the time to zero in and get things right. It’s a good length for me. I’m feeling really good, and it’s definitely time to get going here."
SHORT HOPS: Haniger was picked by the Peoria Sports Complex as the Mariners’ Cactus League Rookie of the Year. He received his award prior to the game…the Mariners played the game with a designated hitter, while the Rockies had their pitchers bat.
UP NEXT: The Mariners close their Cactus League schedule with another game against Colorado at 12:10 p.m. Saturday at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.
Plans call for right-hander Yovani Gallardo to pitch two-to-three innings in a tapered start before lefty Ariel Miranda stretches out to five innings in his return to the big-league club.
The Rockies will start right-hander Antonio Senzatela. The game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest and heard on 710 ESPN and mariners.com.
Most of the lineup’s regulars are expected to join Gallardo in an early exit. The Mariners depart for Houston after the game and open the season Monday against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.
DAYS LEFT UNTIL OPENING DAY: Two.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners