Seattle Mariners

Mariners settle for split: Outslug White Sox, blow late lead to Diamondbacks



THE FACTS: The Mariners blew a one-run lead to Arizona when another error by minor-league shortstop Tyler Smith opened the way to a two-run ninth inning. Justin Germano then gave up successive RBI doubles.

Justin Ruggiano’s three-run homer keyed a 14-hit attack in a slugfest victory over the Chicago White Sox in Glendale. The split left the Mariners with a 3-2 spring record.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Rickie Weeks rocked an eye-popping homer against the Diamondbacks that cleared the 40-foot batter’s eye in dead center field. That might turn out to be the play of the spring.

PLUS: Hisashi Iwakuma opened his spring by retiring six straight hitters in the first two innings against Arizona while throwing 16 of 22 pitches for strikes. … Lefty David Rollins, who is battling for a bullpen job, pitched around a leadoff double against Arizona by getting two grounders and a strikeout. … Shortstop Brad Miller had two hits, including a double, against the White Sox. … Ketel Marte went 2 for 3 with a stolen base after starting at second base against Chicago. … Chris Taylor started at shortstop against Arizona and went 1 for 2 while handling three chances cleanly. … Lefty Paul Fry, who spent last year at Low-A Clinton, pitched two scoreless innings against Arizona. … Carson Smith closed out the victory over the White Sox by pitching a scoreless ninth.

MINUS: It wasn’t all positive for Marte; he committed his fifth error in three games. … Same for Miller, who booted a grounder for an error against the White Sox. … Smith’s error against the Diamondbacks came three days after his wild throw in the ninth inning resulted in an injury to first baseman Ji-Man Choi. … Right-hander Sam Gaviglio, acquired last November from the Cardinals for infielder Ty Kelly, gave up five runs on six hits and one walk in 1 2/3 innings against the White Sox. One run was unearned.

QUOTABLE: “I needed to work on a few things out of the set position,” said Hisashi Iwakuma, who threw 20 pitches in the bullpen after two perfect innings. “In the bullpen, I was able to do that.”

EXTRA INNINGS: Note the time on Sunday’s game against the Reds in Goodyear. Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time. So the 1:05 p.m. start is the same here as in Washington.

UP NEXT: Veteran lefty J.A. Happ makes his first start as a Mariner in Sunday’s game against Cincinnati in Goodyear. All-Star closer Fernando Rodney is also scheduled to make his spring debut.

The Reds list right-hander Jason Marquis as their starter.