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March 15, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Wrapping up Mariners’ 7-5 loss to Giants

The Mariners’ three-game Cactus League winning streak is done after the Giants emerged 7-5 victors here tonight. Here’s the boxscore and the AP recap.
The highlights for the Mariners were the pitching of Erasmo Ramirez, who allowed one run on four hits in four innings, but settled down nicely to pitch three scoreless innings after allowing a run on two hits in the first; a 2-run opposite field homer by Mike Carp off fellow left-hander Barry Zito; and a good play at third base by Vinnie Catricala, who continues to answer questions about whether he can play defense at that spot.
The lowlights were the pitching of relievers George Sherrill and Hong-Chih Kuo, who each gave up three runs to allow the Giants to rally, and an offense that got just six hits total.
Sherrill has historically struggled to get his breaking ball just right in the Arizona air, and that might have been the issue again tonight. He’s deemed pretty much a lock to make the team and has had some good outings earlier this spring. Kuo, though, has struggled throughout and now has a 14.29 ERA after allowing three runs on three hits in two innings. Control wasn’t the issue, necessarily, as he threw 19 strikes in 27 pitches. But obviously he wasn’t fooling anyone.
Mariner manager Eric Wedge said he was impressed Ramirez was able to settle down after the rocky first.
“It’s good to see, especially with young players to see how they handle it and they figure out what the opposing team is trying to do them and make some adjustments and do it on the fly,” he said.
He also said of Ramirez that “His arm was really working good, he had a good fastball, he was a little passive with his secondary stuff at times.”
As I noted in the game blog, Ramirez said he was simply leaving his curveball too high at times.
Asked what more the team needs to see from Ramirez, Wedge said: “He has shown us everything he needs to show us. We have seen him as a starter and in the bullpen and we’ll be able to see him one more time.”
Of Carp’s homer, Wedge said: “That was true, too. He stayed behind it and drove it like a right-hander would drive it to left field. To be able to do that against a left-hander says a great deal about his swing and where it’s at.”
And of Catrical’s defense he said: “He’s surprised a lot of people at third base. We wanted to give him every opportunity to play third base as much as we could this spring and he’s shown himself well.”
The team plays two tomorrow — a game against the Brewers in Tucson at 1:05 and another against the A’s in Phoenix at 7:05. As he had earlier, Wedge indicated it’s a big day for some guys to make a final impression.
“We’re going to see a lot of guys and figure out where we are after tomorrow night,” he said.
Here’s some video of Wedge’s meeting with the media after the game:

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