SEATTLE — Infielder Gabriel Noriega is off to a fast start in the Venezuelan Winter League after batting .281 in 101 games at Tacoma.
Noriega, 24, is 5-for-14 in four games, through Sunday, for the Lara Cardinals. The Mariners signed Noriega, a Venezuelan, as a non-drafted free agent in 2007.
*Right-hander Victor Sanchez, 19, opened his winter schedule Sunday by allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits and four walks in four innings for the Caracas Lions while getting a no-decision in a 7-5 loss at Anzoategui.
Sanchez was 7-6 with a 4.19 ERA this season in 23 starts at Jackson after entering the season ranked by Baseball America as the Mariners’ No. 7 overall prospect.
*First baseman Ji-Man Choi, 23, is playing the outfield for the Aragua Tigers, where he is 5-for-15 with hits in all four of his games.