It got a little scary in the ninth, but the Mariners held on to beat the Rangers, 7-6, for their ninth straight victory. Bobby LaFramboise had a shaky ninth, allowing two runs (not helped by an error on a potential game-ending double play ball), but he struck out Yangervis Solarte with the bases loaded to end it. Two more homers for the Mariners today, by Kendrys Morales and Jesus Montero, to give them 22 in 10 games.
Alex Liddi (not Michael Morse — not sure what I was thinking), who leaves after the game for the WBC (along with Michael Saunders and Oliver Perez) is 0-for-4 today, 2-for-19 (.105) this spring.
TOP SIXTH: The Mariners add another run on an Eric Thames sac fly. Carlos Peguero appeared to get on his foot during his at-bat (in the midst of striking out on a ball in the dirt), but after being looked at by trainer Rick Griffin went back out to right field after the inning. 7-2 Mariners.
BOTTOM FIFTH: Some nifty pitching by Josh Kinney to work out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam. He got a popup and then a 6-4-3 double play, the second straight inning the Rangers have squandered a bases-loaded opportunity. 6-2 Mariners.
TOP FIFTH: Mariners go down in order for the first time today.
BOTTOM FOURTH: Noesi has had a ragged two innings, giving up two runs on four hits, with two walks mixed in. He just avoided major damage, however, by getting Ian Kinsler to pop out with the bases loaded to end the fourth. It’s 6-2 Mariners.
Hector Noesi is in to work the third for Mariners. Joe Saunders worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit and one run.
TOP THIRD: Jesus Montero was one of the few Mariners who hadn’t homered yet. He took care of that with a rocket to left-center, a two-run shot that knocked out Rangers starter Justin Grimm. The Mariners now have 22 homers in 10 games. 6-0 Mariners.
TOP SECOND: The Mariners continued to bash the ball, this time using three doubles — by Montero, Zunino and Ryan — for two more runs. Dustin Ackley also had a single in the inning. 4-0 Mariners.
BOTTOM FIRST: Saunders got two quick outs, gave up a walk and single, then got Geovany Soto on a foul popup. 2-0 Mariners
TOP FIRST: Kendrys Morales finally joined the home-run parade with a two-run blast to dead center off Texas right-hander Justin Grimm. That followed Jason Bay’s fourth walk of the spring in 10 plate appearances, to go along with three hits. 2-0 Mariners.
The Mariners, winners of eight in a row in spring, are on the road today in Surprise to face the Rangers, with Joe Saunders onthe molund against Justin Grimm. It’s a little overcast today — not quite the glorious weather of the past few days, but I’m sure I won’t get any sympathy from those in Seattle. Among those scheduled to pitch after Saunders are Hector Noesi, Josh Kinney and Carson Smith.
I’m working on a post about Felix Hernandez’s simulated game today, which went well. He threw 39 pitches, used all his pitches, felt fine, and is on schedule to make his Cactus League debut Thursday.