Forty-seven days since pitchers and catchers reported, the Mariners have finally wrapped up a lengthy spring training with a win to finish with a 21-11 record. . As a whole, the spring has been outstanding for Seattle. The team has avoided major injuries, played well and seemed to have a legitimate offense. With two more homers, the Mariners finished the spring with 58 homers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only the 1999 Chicago Cubs hit more homers in a spring training with 62. Of course, those numbers won’t guarantee success in the regular season for the Mariners.
Play of the game
Raul Ibanez has never been known for his defense. His play in the outfield is at best adequate. But he made a big defensive play with the Mariners up 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning. With runners on first and third and two outs, Ibanez made a half sliding, half diving catch in left field on a soft liner from Jonathan Herrera to end the inning and the threat.
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Who was hot
Kendrys Morales seemed to have Rockies starter Jeff Francis pretty well figured out in his second at-bat. The big first baseman crushed what appeared to be at first a home run down the left field line. But the ball kept hooking left and was ruled a foul ball – nothing more than a very deep and impressive strike. Two pitches later, Morales got his homer – launching a ball to left-center for his seventh homer this spring. He finished the spring hitting .311(19-for-61) with seven homers and 14 RBI.
Who was not
Dustin Ackley didn’t have a great day in Salt Lake City. At the plate, he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. In the field, he also had a tough day, committing two errors. Ackley misplayed a ground ball and also threw a ball into the dugout while trying to turn a double play.
“I’m proud of the guys. They’ve worked hard all spring. They’re getting better and they’re coming together very nicely. It’s a great group. It was fun to come here and play, but now it’s time to get things going.” – Mariners manager Eric Wedge
Brandon Maurer pitched four innings, giving up two runs on four hits. Both runs were scored on solo home runs. Maurer struck out three and walked one, but admitted that he didn’t have great fastball command and felt a little out of sync. … The Rockies got a scare and Jesus Montero got a triple in the third inning. Montero lifted a looper down the right field line that second baseman Josh Rutledge and right fielder Michael Cuddyer both sprinted for. The two fielders met in an ugly collision as the ball bounced away. Montero got to third while both players stayed on the ground. Cuddyer eventually got up and stayed in the game. Rutledge left the game under his own power. … Tickets for the game sold out in under an hour when it was announced. The announced attendance was 15,411. It was the first game in Salt Lake City between two major league teams since April 4, 1970.
The Mariners have today off. They will have an afternoon workout at the Oakland Coliseum – weather permitting. Seattle will open the 2013 season on Monday night against the A’s with Felix Hernandez on the mound.