PEORIA, Ariz. — The emphasis will be on the two-out throwing error by Colorado pitcher Austin House in the ninth inning Friday that let the Mariners escape with a 1-1 tie at Peoria Stadium.
That’s fair. If House makes the routine throw after smothering Daniel Robertson’s hopper, the game is over the Mariners limp off with a shutout loss.
But don’t overlook Ketel Marte’s two-out triple into the right-field corner prior to the House’s error.
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"Really nice swing," manager Scott Servais said. "Just dropped the head on that ball. The speed game. A big play at short tonight. He’s ready to go. Ready for a big year."
Marte went 3-for-4 and added that defensive gem, when he charged to field a short-hop grounder by Cristhian Adames in the sixth inning.
Other than that, the Mariners’ attack was pretty quiet even though Servais kept most of his regulars in the game for at least eight innings.
Nori Aoki, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Adam Lind, Franklin Gutierrez and Chris Iannetta were a combined 1-for-21. Cano had the one.
The flip side is the Mariners pitched well.
Lefty Wade Miley gave up one soft run over three innings and 43 pitches in his cool-down start prior to the regular season.
"I was happy with that," he said. "Ready to go. It’s a long spring, but I definitely feel like I’m in a good spot right now."
Colorado’s run scored in the second after Ben Paulsen’s high two-out drive fell between three Mariners in short right field for a double. The Rockies cashed the gift when Correlle Prime followed with a ringing double to right.
That was it until two outs in the ninth.
Joaquin Benoit, Donn Roach, Vidal Nuno and Joel Peralta followed Miley and combined for six scoreless innings while allowing just three hits. They also combined for eight strikeouts and no walk.
So ends the Mariners’ home schedule in the Cactus League. They carry a 15-14-3 record into Saturday’s spring finale when they face the Rockies (15-12-4) again but at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Wade Miley erased Jordan Patterson after a leadoff single in the third inning by executing a slick pickoff over. Patterson was an easy out.
"He had a pretty big lead over there," Miley said. "I was like, `why not?’ Give it a go."
PLUS: Right-hander Donn Roach capped off a head-turning spring by working three more scoreless innings. That makes 15 1/3 scoreless inning over his last six appearances. He’s expected to be part of the rotation at Triple-A Tacoma…shortstop Ketel Marte extended his hitting streak to nine games with an infield single in the second inning. His three-hit game boosted his average to .358 (19-for-53)… Joaquin Benoit pitched a scoreless fourth inning. He gave up one run and four hits this spring in six one-inning appearances. He also had no walks and six strikeouts.
MINUS: Left fielder Seth Smith was scratched because of some lingering tightness in his groin…the Mariners were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
STAT PACK: The Mariners’ pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts and no walks.
QUOTABLE: "Donnie Roach just keeps doing it," manager Scott Servais said. "It’s not official, but I think it’s 34 consecutive first-pitch strikes. It’s been some kind of spring training for him."
SHORT HOPS: The Mariners set a total spring home attendance record when Friday’s crowd of 8,529 boosted the final total to 150,846 for 18 dates. The previous record, set in 2002, was 145,146 for 15 dates. The average home attendance this year was 8,380. The franchise record is 9,726 for 14 dates in 2004…Saturday’s game at Salt River Fields completes the Mariners’ 40th spring. They will carry a 549-575-33 all-time record in this year’s finale.
UP NEXT: The Mariners conclude their 33-game spring schedule at 12:10 p.m. Saturday with another game against Colorado. This one is at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.
Right-hander Nathan Karns will start for the Mariners, who will head to Texas following the game. The regular season opens at 1:10 p.m. Pacific time Monday at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Colorado lists right-hander Jordan Lyles as its starter in Saturday’s game.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners