THE FACTS: Mariners lefty Roenis Elias took the loss after allowing two runs on six hits in three and two-thirds innings. He was tagged for three consecutive hits with one out in the top of the fourth – singles by Howie Kendrick and Yasmani Grandal, then a run-scoring double by Carl Crawford.
That gave Los Angeles a 2-1 lead, which the Dodgers augmented with a two-run home run by Darwin Barney in the seventh inning off reliever Carson Smith. They added another run against Mark Lowe in the ninth.
Still, compared to Elias’ two-run, four-hit outing last week against Colorado, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said he “thought (Elias) threw the ball much better today. Worked a lot faster, commanded the zone a lot better. His secondary stuff was pretty good. I was pleased.”
PLAY OF THE GAME: Facing an 0-2 count against reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano tagged a double on one hop off the fence in dead center-field.
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PLUS: The Mariners managed four hits and a run against Kershaw in three-and-a-third innings, and worked two walks along the way. Justin Ruggiano and Nelson Cruz each had singles in the first inning. Zunino doubled in the second, and Cano doubled to lead off the third.
“I thought my guys were pretty good,” McClendon said. “They grinded their at-bats out, (and) got deep into counts for the most part against a real tough pitcher. We had very professional at-bats against him.”
MINUS: Carson Smith faced five batters in the eighth inning and allowed two hits and a walk, including Barney’s homer to left field. … The Mariners batted 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
JOB BATTLES: The competition for the second lefty spot in the Mariners bullpen continues to intrigue. Tyler Olson pitched the seventh and allowed a baserunner for the first time this spring – a single by Crawford – but erased him with a 1-4-3 double-play and still retired the side in order. David Rollins also impressed again, retiring all four batters he faced and striking out two – including an inning-ending whiff of Andre Ethier with two runners on in the fourth. … Elias might have been a little sharper than in his last outing, but he likely needs to keep improving to keep up with Taijuan Walker in the competition for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.
QUOTABLE: Asked whether batters look forward to getting a crack against a pitcher of Kershaw’s caliber at this point in the spring, McClendon replied: “I’m sure the guys were probably a little pumped, yeah. He’s one of the best in the game and you never want to embarrass yourself out there, so I’m sure they were probably a little bit pumped up with Kershaw on the mound, yeah.”
EXTRA INNINGS: First baseman Logan Morrison made a nice sliding catch of a foul pop-up in the fifth inning. … Danny Farquhar pitched a scoreless sixth inning thanks to three groundball outs. … Attendance was announced at 13,055, the largest crowd of the spring and the sixth-largest to ever see a Mariners game at Peoria Stadium. … The Mariners added their final run in the ninth inning thanks to a throwing error, and James Jones came to the plate as the tying run before grounding out to end the game.
UP NEXT: The Mariners are off on Monday before visiting the White Sox for a 1:05 p.m. game Tuesday at Camelback Ranch in Glendale.
Hisashi Iwakuma is scheduled to start for Seattle, with Jeff Samadrdzija scheduled to start for the White Sox.
The Mariners have also slated Kevin Correia, Yoervis Medina, Tom Wilhelmsen and Joe Saunders to pitch.