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Jason Bay made his presence felt today, clubbing a two-run homer in the first inning of his spring debut. Justin Smoak and Mike Jacobs later added a pair of two-run blasts of their own to complete an 8-6 win over the San Diego Padres.
Bay is in a dogfight with Casper Wells for the fifth and final outfield spot, barring any injuries. Wells hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning yesterday, so Bay just evened the count between them. I’d spoken to Bay about this, his chances this spring and his outlook on his future even before he took the field today. More on that later.
But today, he repeated some of what he told me when speaking to reporters after coming off the field.
“I’m more worried about what I can do,” he said. “I understand there’s a limited number of people and a limited number of spots. I’m not so concerned about ‘Who does this?’ I’m worried about me. I was under that impression when I came here. I’ve still got to make the team.”
Kameron Loe tossed a perfect third inning with two strikeouts, Taijuan Walker gave up a lone single in the fourth and Danny Hultzen looked very impressive with a pair of strikeouts in working a perfect fifth.
It was 8-1 in the ninth when Jeudy Valdez hit a two-run homer off Jhonny Nunez to narrow the gap, then an error allowed a fourth run to score.Two more runs scored on a bloop single before the Mariners got the third out.