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March 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Mariners beat Royals, 6-2 — Post-game notes and quotes

Break up the Mariners, who after tonight’s 6-2 win now have the best record in the Cactus League at 10-3-1 (here’s the box score).
Okay, obviously it’s the spring and all that. But for now, the Mariners continue to give some glimmers of hope.
The Mariners again got some decent starting pitching, this time from Kevin Millwood, who overcame three walks in the first two innings with some timely pitches to get key outs, ultimately going four scoreless innings, allowing one hit and no runs. Steve Delabar then threw two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk but also getting a double play to end a threat.
“I like the way (Millwood) threw the ball and we wanted to get Delabar a couple of innings and he threw the ball well, too,” said Mariner manager Eric Wedge. “We’ve got a lot of guys competing for the final spots, whether it be in the rotation or the bullpen, and this is an important week.”
The offense, meanwhile, scored an efficient six runs on eight hits, two coming home on a double by Michael Saunders, who is now hitting .417 for the spring. Carlos Peguero also had a hit and a walk in four plate appearances, and Vinnie Catricala had two hits and drove in two.
Of the offense, Wedge said: “A much better job with two strikes. The Miguel Olivo at-bat (in the four-run sixth) down 0-2 to get a walk, (we’re) doing a better job of fouling off pitches and hopefully getting a better pitch to hit. They are up there ready and doing a better job in hitter’s counts.”
Of Peguero, he said: “All he has to do is just touch. If he can just touch it the rest of it will take care of itself, so it was a better night. He needs to learn from those at-bats.”
And of Saunders: “He has had a great spring. He looks like a totally different hitter. He is a complete ball player but the one area, which is the most important area, is the offense and that’s where he’s struggled the last couple of years. But he’s up there ready to hit and he’s walking around, he’s stronger, he’s got a little swagger to him, more presence at home plate. He has all the tools and I like the fact that he is up there ready to compete.”
Dustin Ackley also again hit leadoff, with Chone Figgins given the day off, and Wedge said that could be a spot for him during the season. “It’s a possibility,” he said. “I feel comfortable really with him at one, two or three. He’s capable of doing that. … With Figgins playing all over the place, we are looking at different lineups like that.”
The one bit of news was shortstop Brendan Ryan leaving in the fourth inning after feeling tightness in his left quad area running the bases in the third. “His groin was a little bit tight and I didn’t want to take any chances so we just got him out of there,” Wedge said.
The Mariners again play a night game Thursday, going against the Giants at 7:05 p.m. in Peoria, a game also on ROOT Sports. Erasmo Ramirez will face Barry Zito. There is also a B game against the White Sox in Glendale at 10 a.m. with Jeff Marquez, Charlie Furbush and Brandon League scheduled to pitch.
You can see some of Wedge’s post-game meeting with the media below:

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Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins

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