THE FACTS: The Mariners’ late spring skid hit five games Sunday when the San Diego Padres built an early lead in a victory that closed this spring’s complex spring series in a 2-2 tie.
Mariners starter J.A. Happ had a rocky three-run first inning that began with a first-pitch homer by leadoff hitter Wil Myers. Happ also gave up a homer to Matt Kemp that caromed off the batters’ eye and three singles.
“I was being way too tentative early on,” Happ said. “I don’t really know what the reason for that is. It showed, and I was missing a little bit. I do feel good, and I finished strong.”
Happ still gave up six runs (five earned) and 11 hits in five innings while walking two and striking out three. He threw 55 of 92 pitches for strikes.
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“As the ballgame went on,” manager Lloyd McClendon said, “he started to throw better, particularly in his last inning. It’s something to build on.”
The loss dropped the Mariners to 10-15-2 with five games remaining.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Second baseman Robinson Cano lunged to his left to make a backhand catch on Yangervis Solarte’s sharp line drive for the second out in the second inning.
PLUS: Jabari Henry got a late summons from minor-league and hit a homer in the fourth inning. Henry played right field because first, Seth Smith was a mid-morning scratch because of a sore right ankle. Initially, the club called up Alex Jackson, but he reported a sore shoulder. Henry was the sub for the sub.…Dustin Ackley had a double and his first spring homer in three at-bats…Danny Farquhar worked around a one-out walk and balk in a scoreless sixth.
MINUS: It wasn’t all positive for Henry, who made two errors in right field that contributed to three unearned runs…Kyle Seager struck out in his first at-bat and grounded into double plays in his next two at-bats…Justin Ruggiano was hitless in four at-bats with two strikeouts.
JOB BATTLES: Lefty Tyler Olson hasn’t officially won a bullpen job yet, but he’s close after Sunday’s series of roster moves.
Olson replaced Fernando Rodney with two on and two outs in the seventh and stranded both runners. Olson gave up two unearned runs in the eighth when the Mariners committed two errors behind him.
QUOTABLE: “I didn’t want Rodney to go over 16 (pitches),” McClendon said in detailing his mound conversation when he removed his All-Star closer with two on and two outs in the seventh inning.
“I think he went (17) pitches, so I just went out and got him. It was Rodney being Rodney. He wanted to tell me about how many the umpire missed. I said, `That’s good. It’s time for you to go.’”
EXTRA INNINGS: The Mariners hung Victor Sanchez’s jersey in their dugout, and both clubs and the crowd observed a moment of silence prior to the game. Sanchez died from a head injury suffered Feb. 13 when hit by a boat’s propeller while swimming in Venezuela…shortstop Brad Miller missed another game because of flu-like symptoms.
UP NEXT: The Mariners and Los Angeles Angels, one week before they open the season against one another, kick off the spring’s final week at 1:05 p.m. Monday at Peoria Stadium.
Right-hander Taijuan Walker will start against Angels righty Nick Tropeano, who pitched last season for Houston. Walker has not allowed a run in 18 innings through his first five starts.