12:33 p.m.: It was all Mariners in the first inning, scoring five times off Freddy Garcia after the first five batters managed hits. Raul Ibanez delivered a three-run homer to right field to open the scoring, followed by back-to-back doubles by Michael Saunders and Michael Morse. A fifth run later scored when first baseman Yonder Alonso bobbled a Nick Franklin grounder to first base.
Garcia threw 34 pitches and is done for the day. Erasmo Ramirez needed just 15 to get out of the first inning with just one hit allowed. James Paxton then allowed a leadoff single that Saunders cut off nicely in the gap. Paxton rallied by getting two fly ball outs, then striking out John Baker to end the inning.
11:55 a.m.: Well, this should be a bit of a treat today. Mariners No. 3 overall draft pick Mike Zunino gets to start behind the plate, catching Erasmo Ramirez and others as Seattle takes on the San Diego Padres. Zunino got into the game the other day in the middle innings. But this will be his first start.
It’s 57 degrees here with wind gusts of up to 27 mph. Not exactly cozy, though the sun is out.
We’ll also see Kyle Seager leading off and playing third, Michael Saunders in center, batting fifth, and Raul Ibanez in right field, batting third. In other news, I’m told Felix Hernandez will throw his first live BP this coming Thursday, then make his Cactus League debut one week after that. Remember, this is all tentative, depending on how bullpen sessions go and all that.