THE FACTS: Hisashi Iwakuma pitched four scoreless innings and the Mariners led 5-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh, but four runs scored during the seventh and eighth innings allowed the White Sox to force a tie.
Iwakuma threw 60 pitches (43 strikes), allowed five hits and struck out two batters without walking any.
“I thought ‘Kuma threw the ball pretty good. Command got better as the game went along,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “A lot of very good two-strike strikes, so to speak. He did a nice job for us.”
Logan Morrison’s solo home run to deep right field gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, and he later tripled to lead off the sixth. In between, a Brad Miller walk and steal, a James Jones double and a Robinson Cano single scored a pair of runs in the fifth.
Dustin Ackley followed Morrison’s triple with one of his own in the sixth, and Ketel Marte’s RBI double in the seventh made it 5-1.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Trayce Thompson, the younger brother of former Washington State and current Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson, belted a long two-run homer over the left field fence in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the score.
PLUS: Iwakuma scattered the five hits, but he looked sharp and said he felt no fatigue through his four-inning assignment. His pitches aren’t quite where he’d like them to be before the season starts, but there’s time yet to polish. “I’m not 100 percent there yet,” he said, “but I’m getting closer there. I feel like I’m in game mode now. Hopefully, it will pick up another notch.” … Right-fielder Seth Smith, who will likely share that position this season with Justin Ruggiano, went 2-for-3 with a pair of sharp singles. … Marte, who entered the game hitting .286 this spring, used his speed to leg out a double on a line drive that stayed in front of the right-fielder – the kind of hit that typically results in a single.
MINUS: Rafael Perez had a rough eighth inning. The lefty allowed four hits and three runs in two-thirds of an inning, including Thompson’s game-tying blast. … The rest of the bullpen could have been a little smoother, too. Yoervis Medina and Charlie Furbush each gave up a run in their respective one-inning appearances.
JOB BATTLES: Lefty Joe Saunders worked out of a jam in the bottom of the ninth, recording the final two outs after runners reached second and third. … Perez’s three-run eighth ran his spring ERA to 11.57 in six appearances. Saunders and Perez are part of the five-man competition for the Mariners’ second lefty reliever spot. … Seattle’s outfield depth will likely cause Jones to start the season in Triple-A, but the speedy center-fielder had a solid day at the plate with a hit, two runs scored, an RBI and a walk.
QUOTABLE: “Regardless of the results, it’s always good to experience that now, because you get to see their swings. You get to see how they react and all that. It plays out well. I’m glad I got to do that today.” – Iwakuma on facing batters in high-leverage situations during spring
EXTRA INNINGS: Right-hander reliever Kevin Correia pitched a scoreless fifth inning. … The Mariners batted 5-for-15 with runners in scoring position, and left seven runners on base. … Both teams wore green hats to commemorate Saint Patrick’s Day. … Attendance was announced at 5,878.
UP NEXT: Erasmo Ramirez gets the start for the Mariners in a 1:05 p.m. Wednesday game against the Oakland Athletics at Peoria Stadium. Drew Pomeranz is scheduled to start for the A’s.
Jordan Pries and David Rollins are also slated to pitch for the Mariners.