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March 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Game thread: Angels vs. Mariners

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Against my protests and prayers, we are playing baseball today at Peoria Stadium. I guess when it’s relatively desert like in the area precipitation can be soaked up quickly.

It was deluge about an hour before game time and now it looks like this …

field

The field crew here at Peoria did a pretty good job. It will be interesting to see how Scott Baker looks today. His health becomes even more important to the Mariners with the problems of Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker.

Also scheduled to pitch today …

  • Roenis Elias
  • Hector Noesi
  • James Gillheeney
  • Stephen Kohlscheen
  • Bobby LaFromboise
  • Jonathan Arias
  • Chance Ruffin

Here’s the GAMECAST  … and I think you might be able to stream the game online if you have an mlb.tv account.

I’m going to try and stick with one tense in this game thread. Yesterday was a meandering mess.

First inning

Scott “Don’t call me Geoff” Baker gives up a lead-off single to Kole Calhoun, but settles back in to record three straight outs on two ground balls and a pop up. He hit 91 with his fastball. That’s a good sign.

CJ Wilson strikes out the side, getting Abraham Almonte looking, Xavier Avery swinging and Robinson Cano strikes out looking.

Second inning

Baker issues a lead-off walk to Carlos Pena, but then comes back to get Chad Tracy, Collin Cowgill and Andrew Romine in order. In two innings of work, Baker threw 32 pitches, 22 were strikes. He topped out at 91.

Justin Smoak – hitting right-handed – rips a lead-off double high off the batter’s eye in center field. Logan Morrison moved Smoak  over to third with a groundball to second. Smoak later scored on a fielder’s choice in front of the mound from Brad Miller. The Mariners tacked on another run on a Carlos Triunfel sac fly to center.

Third inning

Roenias Elias issues a lead-off walk and gives up one-out infield single, but managed to get out of the inning unscathed.

The Mariners have taken a 4-0 lead. Xavier Avery singled and then advanced to third when catcher Hank Conger tried to pick him off at first and threw the ball away. Robinson Cano singled him home for a run. With the bases loaded, Dustin Ackley ripped a double to right-center to score a run. Justin Smoak was thrown out at the plate. The Mariners might have had a few more, but Mike Zunino’s flyball to the fence was caught by a leaping JB Shuck.

Scott Baker break … 

We also met with Scott Baker during the top of third. He was pleased with the outing

“I am happy with it,” Baker said. “I think the biggest thing is just to get out there and not only get a feel for the mound itself. I definitely got a good test with the guys on base. That’s not necessarily what you want, but it is part of the game and you do have to work on it.”

Baker said he threw all of his pitches. He liked his change-up and felt he got away with a few elevated breaking pitches.

He wouldn’t undervalue the first start.

“I think it’s huge,” he said. “I haven’t been in this scenario for quite few years where I had to come in to make a team. But I’ve always conditioned myself. I’ve never been able to allow myself to view spring training as a way to get ready for the season. I like to come in in good shape, so I don’t have to worry about that part of that so I can focus working on my pitches and trying to hit some spots. Overall, I’m happy with where I’m at as a whole. Now it’s just building the pitches and building the innings.”

Baker feels much better in comparison to the end of last season.

“It’s that two year mark,” he said of the anniversary of Tommy John surgery. “You keep hearing that and hearing that and I’m coming up on it. And now that I’ve experienced it, I see that’s there’s a reason that people talk about it. I feel really good. I feel like I’m able to let the ball fly without any adverse effects.”

Fourth inning

Elias gives up a one out single and reaches his pitch limit. Hector Noesi comes in and doesn’t give up a hit with an 0-2 count. Instead, he gets Collin Cowgill to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Carlos Triunfel laces a liner to center, but Cowgill robs him of the hit with a nice diving grab. Almonte tries a drag bunt, but it goes directly to the pitcher and Avery flies out to end the inning.

Fifth inning

Noesi works a 1-2-3 inning … that’s not a typo.

Robinson Cano leads off the fifth with a single to left field off of  lefty specialist Clay Rapada. He was replaced by pinch runner Nate Tenbrink. Cano finished the day 2-for-3. Justin Smoak, batting right-handed, singled through the left side. Logan Morrison then doubled to right field allowing Tenbrink to score. Mariners lead 5-0

Sixth inning

The Angels are on the board. They got two runs off of lefty Jimmy Gillheeney. A throwing error by Ji-Man Choi on a fielder’s choice set it up. Tommy Field doubled home a run and another run scored on C.J. Chron’s sac fly to right.

Two fly balls to right and a hard line out to right from James Jones ends the inning. Mariners lead 5-2.

Seventh inning

Steve Kohscheen gives up a double to Brennan Boesch to start off the inning. And later gave up an RBI double to Grant Green to cut the Mariners lead to 5-3.

Shortly after Jesus Montero worked a 3-0 count and then struck out with runners on second and third with one out, the skies open up a dumped a lot of water. As the old folk say, it was a gullywasher.

Game is over. Mariners win 5-3.

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