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March 19, 2007 at 12:59 PM

Split squad delight

Here are the lineups for today’s split-squad affair. First, the one in Mesa, Ariz. between the Mariners and Cubbies:
Seattle Mariners (5-13)
16 Willie Bloomquist, 2B
7 Jeremy Reed, CF
29 Adrian Beltre, 3B
23 Ben Broussard, 1B
12 Mike Morse, RF
39 Tony Torcato, LF
30 Rene Rivera, C
1 Gookie Dawkins, SS
63 Ryan Feierabend, LHP
Chicago Cubs (8-9-1)
12 Alfonso Soriano, CF
2 Ryan Theriot, 2B
25 Derrek Lee, 1B
16 Aramis Ramirez, 3B
8 Michael Barrett, C
15 Cliff Floyd, LF
27 Buck Coats, RF
3 Cesar Izturis, SS
52 Wade Miller, RHP
And then, the one I’m here covering in Peoria:
Arizona Diamondbacks (12-6)
1 Orlando Hudson, 2B
6 Stephen Drew, SS
22 Eric Byrnes, RF
16 Conor Jackson, DH
34 Tony Clark, 1B
18 Chad Tracy, 3B
9 Scott Hairston, LF
5 Robby Hammock, C
24 Chris Young, CF
49 Doug Davis, LHP
Seattle Mariners (5-13)
51 Ichiro Suzuki, CF
3 Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
5 Jose Vidro, DH
28 Raul Ibanez, LF
44 Richie Sexson, 1B
6 Jose Guillen, RF
2 Kenji Johjima, C
— Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B
10 Rey Ordonez, SS
56 Jarrod Washburn, LHP
Interesting lineup for Seattle, closely resembling what we’ll see come April 2, save for the Nos. 8 and 9 spots and at No. 2, given that Adrian Beltre is rounding out the travel squad over in Mesa. Washburn will face the lefty-hitting Drew, who bats second in the order while Tracy is a lefty as well. Remember, getting lefties out will be a key to Washburn having any success this season.
Washburn is having a better day than first baseman Sexson thus far, having just pitched out of a second inning jam in which Arizona put runners on first and second with none out. The inning opened with a Clark single to right and then a ground ball to the right side by Tracy that Sexson came about 30 feet off his bag to try to corral. He naturally failed at this attempt and was charged with an error. The only reason Tracy was still batting at that point was that catcher Johjima and third baseman Tuiasosopo got their signals crossed and let his pop-up drop between them in foul territory. But Washburn bailed them out, getting a Hariston groundout, which left runners on second and third, then fanning Hammock for a huge second out.
Young then popped out to shallow center, a ball caught by second baseman Ordonez, to end the threat.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the first when Betancourt singled and scored on a double to left center by Vidro. The inning looked far more promising for the Mariners when Ibanez singled to left to put runners at the corners. But Sexson grounded into a 6-6-3 double play, leaving him 2-for-31 this spring.
Guillen then led off the bottom of the second by tagging D-Backs starter Doug Davis for a solo homer to left center on the first pitch. It’s the third game Guillen has played in right field this spring and his second game of any kind in nearly a week since he came up with sore ribs during a day off last Wednesday.
Sexson’s luck changed a little in the third inning as he hit a one-out chopper to third with two men on that looked like another potential inning-ending double play. But third baseman Tracy whiffed at the ball with his glove and watched it scoot on by into left field. A run scored on what was initially ruled an error. But the official scorer took a telephone call moments later (we think from the Mariners dugout) and promptly changed the call to a hit for Sexson. The explanation was that the ball was hit hard and it was a “do or die” play. So, Sexson is now 3-for-32 this spring and gets credit for an RBI.
The roof caved in on Davis after that, with Guillen grounding out to the right side and collecting his second RBI of the day. Johjima then doubled home another run and Tuiasosopo added another marker on a single. Rey Ordonez and Ichiro both collected infield singles after that, but Tuiasosopo rounded third a little too hard and was thrown out trying to get back to the bag to finally end the inning.
Not great news from Mesa as Mariners starter Ryan Feierabend got positively smoked for eight runs on nine hits, three of them homers, in just two innings of work. Not sure of the score, other than the fact the Cubs are winning. (Actually, my stellar colleague, Larry Stone, just phoned from Mesa to tell me it’s now 11-4 for the Cubs after three innings. Feierabend apparently gave up not only the three dingers, but a triple and a double as well. Remember folks, he’s only 21. That’s Feierabend, not Stone).
Arizona just scored a run off Washburn on back-to-back doubles by Tracy — yes, a lefty — and Hairston. So, make it 6-1 for Seattle in the bottom of the fourth.



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