Mariners Insider Blog

Royals 11, Mariners 6 -- KC clinches the Cactus League title

The facts

The Royals (23-6-1) secured the sort-of-coveted Cactus League title by beating the Mariners (19-11) today. The two teams were vying for the top honor. Does that mean regular season success? Absolutely not. Seattle’s pitching struggled and the Royals hitters capitalized on a very warm day in Peoria. The Mariners hit two more homers to push their total to 54 this spring.

Play of the game

Even in a loss, Michael Morse’s seventh inning home run would be the play of almost any game. The Mariners slugger crushed an 0-1 change-up from lefty Tim Collins over the batter’s eye in center field. It was a massive blast considering the wall sits 410 feet from home plate and is over 40 feet tall.

Who was hot

When Franklin Gutierrez is healthy and plays, he’s pretty good. Of course, that hasn’t been the case for much of the last two seasons or even this spring. But Gutierrez was back in the line-up Tuesday, and he produced. Gutierrez went 2-for-4 with a two-run double (above) and solo homer (below). He has five homers this spring.

Who was not

Lefty Oliver Perez has been outstanding this spring. But his run of success came to an end on Tuesday. Perez pitched one inning, giving up two runs on three hits.

On tap

It’s the final home game at Peoria Stadium for the Mariners this spring and it’s a great pitching match-up. Mariners ace Felix Hernandez will square off against Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast locally on 710-AM