February 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM
Mariners lose Cactus League opener 9-3 to Padres
There wasn’t a whole lot to talk about in this game, other than Hector Noesi giving up six runs total — four earned — and a Jedd Gyorko grand slam in the first inning and Casper Wells hitting a two-run, two-out homer in the bottom of the ninth. The Mariners took a 9-3 loss to the San Diego Padres in front of 5,495 fans at Peoria Stadium on a day things were settled pretty early.
The good news, I suppose, is how the Mariners pretty much limited the damage after the first inning. The Padres didn’t score again until adding three in the top of the ninth.
“We got a lot of guys in there today,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “For the most part, they threw the ball well. Hector struggled a little bit early on, he was up a little bit.”
Noesi’s location was off for much of his 42-pitch outing, in which he recorded just two outs. An error by Raul Ibanez on a fly ball to left didn’t help Noesi any, but he also couldn’t put batters away when he needed to.
“First time out, the ball wascoming out of hishand good,” Wedge said. “He just cut it off a bit as the inning wore on. When he does that, he just doesn’t have the same life. He was just a little bit off but he said he felt good, so hopefully he can just work off of that and come back strong the next time.”
Noesi will have to. He was already facing a steep, steep climb trying to make this rotation and did not do himself any early favors here.
Another guy who needs a strong spring is outfielder Wells, who is in a tough struggle with Jason Bay to land the fifth and final outfield job. Barring an injury, it will be one guy or the other making the team and Wells showing off a bit of a shorter swing in the ninth helped get him off to the spring start he needed.
“He really hit that ball,” Wedge said. “He has a lot of raw power. When he hits the ball, he hits it. His swing looks a little bit shorter. I thought he made some adjustments at the end of last year and early on, he’s definitely brought that into the spring.”