Chance Ruffin had a rough time in the top of the ninth, giving up two runs and letting the tying run come to the plate before getting a game-ending double play with the bases loaded. The 9-5 victory ran the Mariners’ winning streak to eight games, tied for longest in club history. The ’93 Mariners also won eight in a row. Franklin Gutierrez homered and drove in four runs while rookie catcher Mike Zunino hit his first homer of the spring. That’s 20 homers for the Mariners in nine games as they lifted their record to 8-1.
BOTTOM SEVENTH: The Mariners added on three more (only one earned) off former teammate Brandon League, with two coming on a double by impressive young catcher John Hicks. He is now 4-for-7 this spring on top of a 2-for-2 showing last spring. Hicks came around to score on a wild pitch. 9-3 Mariners.
Back from a guest stint on the Mariners’ radio broadcast. While I was there, Franklin Gutierrez ripped a two-run double — his first non-homer of the spring — to give the Mariners a 5-3 lead.
BOTTOM OF THIRD: The muscle returns for the Mariners, with Mike Zunino ripping his first homer of the spring, and Franklin Gutierrez his third, as the Mariners tie it, 3-3. Justin Smoak ripped a single to left after striking out his first time up. 3-3.
TOP OF THIRD: The Dodgers get two runs off Bonderman, who needed 27 pitches to get out of the inning. And that’s after getting two quick outs on grounders. He walked Hanley Ramirez, gave up a triple to Andre Ethier and RBI single to Adrian Gonzalez before getting a force out. 3-0 Dodgers
BOTTOM OF SECOND: Another 1-2-3 inning for Capuano, who strikes out Justin Smoak (looking) and Casper Wells. 1-0 Dodgers
TOP OF SECOND: Iwakuma breezed through a perfect second, striking out two. 1-0 Dodgers
BOTTOM OF FIRST: A quick inning for Dodger starter Chris Capuano, who got Franklin Gutierrez on a ground out, struck out Kyle Seager looking, and retired Raul Ibanez a grounder. 1-0 Dodgers
TOP FIRST: Hisashi Iwakuma got off to a shaky start, giving up solid singles to the first two hitters, Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier. But he recovered to get Adrian Gonzalez to hit into a double play (well-turned, particularly on the pivot by shortstop Robert Andino) that scored Ramirez. Luis Cruz grounded out. 1-0 Dodgers.
It’s another beautiful day in Peoria, pushing 80 degrees, as the Mariners host the Dodgers. They have a seven-game win streak and can tie the franchise spring record with a victory. The M’s won eight in a row to end the 1993 spring schedule in Lou Piniella’s first season, and were so inspired they went 82-80 in the regular season.
The Dodgers’ lineup today starts out like gangbusters,with Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez holding down the first three spots. But it tails off after that with a lot of reserves and minor leaguers to face Mariner starter Hisashi Iwakuma, making his second spring appearance. He retired all three batters he faced against the Brewers on Feb. 26.