Mariners vs. Padres, in the longest running - this spring, at least - series in baseball. They're playing the third of four consecutive games against one another, and Seattle had a tenuous 1-0 lead in the second inning.
They got it when the hitter no one seems to want, Mike Sweeney, singled and worked his way around the bases to score on a wild pitch. The designated hitter is now 3-for-4 this spring.
They lost that lead in the second inning, when Ian Snell ran into trouble, in part due to a wild throw from center fielder Ezequiel Carrera.
In the third, San Diego leads, 2-1.
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- Sight you hate to see in spring: Scott Hairston had to leave the game after being hit by a Sean White fastball on the left hand.
- Sight you might want to get used to: on a ground ball to second base, rookie Dustin Ackley fielded clean, fed shortstop Josh Wilson and the Mariners pulled off a double play. Still 2-1 after three.
- Sweeney came up again in the fourth inning and - boom- led off with his first home run. Tha's 4-for-5 this spring, should any team need a great clubhouse guy who happens to be able to hit. Tie game, 2-2.
- Another rookie of interest, right-hander Danny Cortes, just worked a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. Cortes came to Seattle from Kansas City in exchange for ... Yuniesky Betancourt.
- OK, you're not going to believe this: Sweeney just doubled home two runs with two out, giving Seattle a 4-2 lead. Sweeney spent the off-season working out, may be in he best shape he can be in - and 29 teams declined to offer him a contract this winter. The numbers are against him with the Mariners, unless of course he hits like this all spring. Then that minor-league deal he's in camp with could become something else.
- Cortes struggled in the fifth, Carrera lost a routine fly ball in the sun - ruled a double - and Yusmeiro Petit had to pitch the Mariners out of the inning. He did, but the game is tied again, 4-4.
- Michael Saunders, pinch-hitting to open the sixth inning, tripled down the right field line - a ball that would have been a double for most Mariners. Rooke Adam Moore singled him home through a drawn-in infield. Mariners 5, Padres 4.
- Alex Liddi, a third baseman who tied for the California League batting title last season - he he .345 - doubled to open the seventh. With one out, Mr. Sweeney singled Liddi to third base and came out for 280-pound pinch-runner Tommy Everidge. Greg Halman tripled, nearly catching up to Everidge, who scored from first base. Mariners 7, Padres 4.
- It's a final, Mariners win, 7-4. One last Sweeney note: today is son Michael's sixth birthday, and the two played catch this morning. That's the kind of guy Sweeney is.