The Mariners won their sixth straight Cactus League game, thanks to a pair of solo homers from Nick Franklin (above) and Franklin Gutierrez (below) and an RBI double from Justin Smoak. Seattle roughed up Giants ace Matt Cain, scoring three runs on four hits in his three innings of work. The three pitches vying for the rotation – Jon Garland, Blake Beavan and Erasmo Ramirez – combined to pitch six innings allowing two runs (both charged to Beavan) on six hits.
Play of the game
Carter Capps managed pitch himself into a jam and pitch himself right out of it. With the Mariners up 4-2, the hard-throwing Capps gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning, putting runners on first and third. They stayed there. Capps struck out the next three hitters in a row to end the inning and the threat.
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Who was hot
Justin Smoak again? Yes, Justin Smoak again. The big first baseman is still hitting. The big first baseman ripped an opposite field RBI to left-center in the third inning off of Cain to score Casper Wells, who led off the inning with a double. In his final at-bat of the day, Smoak – batting right-handed against lefty Dan Runzler – bounced a ball up the middle for an infield single. He’s now hitting .583 this spring.
Who was not
Reliever Yoervis Medina had an interesting ninth inning. Brought on to proect a 4-2 lead, Medina never could find location with his fastball. He was able to get the first two outs of the inning. But then, things got interesting. He gave up as ingle to Nick Noonan and then an RBI double to Cole Gillespie. But with the tying run on second, Medina got Gary Brown to fly out to end the game.
“Felix threw the ball great. In regard to what we were hoping to see, and what he looked like, it was fantastic. A lot of life, good arm action, good command, it was strong.” – Mariners manager Eric Wedge on Felix Hernandez’s live batting practice session.
Talented left-handed pitching prospect James Paxton will makes his first start of the Cactus League season tomorrow as the Mariners return to Peoria to face the Texas Rangers. Also scheduled to pitch are Brandon Maurer, Stephen Pryor and Bobby LaFromboise. The Rangers will start lefty Randy Wells.