THE FACTS: The Mariners, in perhaps their cleanest effort of the spring, broke open a close game by scoring times in the eighth inning Wednesday on singles by James Jones, Stefen Romero and Pat Kivlehan.
Erasmo Ramirez, Jordan Pries, Tyler Olson and Carson Smith combined on a three-hit shutout that took just 2 hours, 25 minutes in front of 9,903 at Peoria Stadium.
The Mariners evened their record at 7-7-1.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Shortstop Brad Miller snagged Marcus Semien’s two-out liner in the first inning and turned it into a double play when Craig Gentry broke from third for home.
“I told Brad (earlier) today that he’s been playing winning baseball in a lot of different ways,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “The play (Tuesday) when he backed up third, a play where he back up second base and threw a guy out at second.
“That play today…he’s playing very instinctive baseball.”
PLUS: Kyle Seager grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the first inning but ripped a two-out double off the right-field wall in the fourth. He scored the game’s first run when Justin Ruggiano followed with an RBI single…Jordan Pries pitched around two-out doubles in the fifth and sixth innings…Willie Bloomquist keyed the three-run eighth by punching a single through a vacated right side that put runners at first and third with no outs.
MINUS: The Mariners led just 1-0 in the seventh when Carlos Rivero, who replaced Kyle Seager as a pinch-runner, got picked off second base by A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt. Logan Morrison then lined a two-out double into the right-center gap.
JOB BATTLES: Olson worked another one-two-three inning in his bid to win a bullpen job. He has faced the minimum 21 batters in seven innings. He has allowed one single, but he erased that blemish by getting a double-play grounder…Smith aided his push for a bullpen job in a competitive right-hander field by breezing through a one-two-three ninth on just seven pitches.
QUOTABLE: “This a good look here?” reliever Tom Wilhelmsen asked as he stood in office of equipment manager Ryan Stiles covered only by a towel and wearing shower shoes as icing from Fernando Rodney’s birthday cake coated his mustache. (Whatever mental image you have is too flattering.) Rodney is 38.
EXTRA INNINGS: It’s hard to see how Erasmo Ramirez fits on this club, but he limited the Athletics to one hit in four shutout innings. He threw 34 of 48 pitches for strikes.
“Wait for news,” Ramirez said. “That’s what you do in spring training. Just wait for news. You’re waiting. I’m waiting, too.
“It’s hard because we’ve got (Roenis) Elias, we’ve got (Taijuan) Walker, we’ve got Pries. They’re good arms. They throw strikes, and they’re smart. It’s good competition. So you just have to wait.”
UP NEXT: The Mariners play the first of four spring night games when they play Cleveland at 7:05 p.m. at Peoria Stadium.
Walker makes his fourth spring start in his bid to secure the final spot in the rotation. He has yet to allow a run in eight previous innings. The Indians list right-hander Carlos Carrasco as their starter.