THE FACTS: Matt Shoemaker limited the Mariners to two hits in six shutout innings Monday as the Los Angeles Angels scored four times in the second inning and rolled to an easy victory.
Erasmo Ramirez failed to last two innings after drawing the start when the Mariners opted to keep Hisashi Iwakuma in Peoria for a minor-league game — Iwakuma is likely to face LA in the season’s first series.
Ramirez pitched a one-two-three first inning but yielded four runs and four hits while getting just two outs before exiting in the second. Two runs were unearned.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Mike Zunino ripped a one-out double past third base in the fifth inning after Shoemaker retired the first 13 Mariners. Zunino went to third when Logan Morrison followed with a single. Those were the Mariners’ only hits.
PLUS: Third baseman Kyle Seager moved to his left on Albert Pujols’ sharp grounder in the fifth inning and turned it in a double play….right-hander Jordan Pries turned in another strong outing by pitching three innings of scoreless relief. Almost certainly headed for the Triple-A Tacoma rotation, Pries has limited opponents to two runs and six hits in 11 innings over four outings.
MINUS: Start with being a combined 2-for-28 at the plate…Willie Bloomquist played shortstop this spring for the first time and committed a fielding error on his first chance — Matt Joyce’s leadoff grounder in the second. The Angels went on to score four runs in the inning…Ramirez couldn’t pull it back together after Bloomquist’s error. The next three batters got base-hits.
JOB BATTLES: Lefty Charlie Furbush isn’t really fighting for a job, but he’s got four scoreless outings in his last five appearances. He worked around a leadoff single in the seventh by retiring the next three hitters. He struck out the last two batters.
QUOTABLE: “(Pries) did a nice job,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He threw strikes. He was in and out. Held runners nice. I said three weeks ago I was impressed with him, and he hasn’t disappointed.
“He continues to show me a lot of poise, the ability to throw strikes and get after it pretty good.
EXTRA INNINGS: Iwakuma gave up two runs and six hits in five innings for Triple-A Tacoma against Round Rock (Rangers). He walked one and struck out eight while throwing 44 of 72 pitches for strikes.
"I feel like I could start the season right now physically," he said. "(It's) just all mental from here out."
Jesus Montero hit a two-run homer for the Rainiers.
UP NEXT: The Mariners return home, sort of, on Tuesday when they are the visiting club at Peoria Stadium for a 1:05 p.m. game against complex co-tenant San Diego.
Lefty J.A. Happ is scheduled to start against Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner.