MARINERS 9, RANGERS 8 (AT PEORIA STADIUM)
The facts: The Mariners roared back from a five-run deficit by scoring six runs in the eighth inning for a 9-8 victory over the Texas Rangers. The key blows were a two-run double by Mike Dowd, and a two-run triple by Cole Gillespie.
Play of the game: The winning run scored when Xavier Avery’s sharp grounder struck Texas pitcher Cory Burns and caromed away. Chris Taylor scored from third.
Plus: Willie Bloomquist started at second base and made two nice defensive plays on grounders in the third inning. He also had three singles in three at-bats. Shortstop Brad Miller went two for three. Tom Wilhelmsen pitched two scoreless innings and got the victory when Logan Bawcom worked a scoreless ninth.
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Minus: Felix Hernandez allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings due, in part, to a leaky defense, although all runs were earned…closer Fernando Rodney failed to complete his inning. He gave up two runs in the fifth on a two-out blooper after starting the inning by hitting batter and yielding a single…The Rangers’ four-run third started when right fielder Corey Hart failed to catch Elvis Andrus’ one-out sinking fly ball…The Mariners had two runners thrown out at the plate.
Quotable: “He got better the last three days. He was horse(spit) before then.” — manager Lloyd McClendon in assessing first baseman Jesus Montero, who didn’t play Sunday but was six for 10 with two homers, two doubles and five RBIs in his previous games.
Extra innings: The Mariners are showing interest in White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo, according to CBSChicago.com…Tentative plans call for second baseman Robinson Cano to return to the lineup Monday in the afternoon game against the Royals. He hasn’t played since having a root canal after last Wednesday’s game against Cleveland…The attendance of 10,291 was the Mariners’ biggest home crowd of the spring.
Up next: The Mariners, 10-3, play a split-squad, day/night doubleheader Monday for the second time in three days. Brandon Maurer gets his first spring start in the afternoon against Kansas City at Peoria Stadium, while lefty James Paxton looks to continue a strong spring in the night game against Arizona in Scottsdale.