Those fightin’, scrappin’, hustlin’ Mariners did it again. Down 7-4 going into the bottom of the ninth, they staged a furious rally because that’s what they do. It eventually led to an 8-7 win in extra innings.
Ty Kelly drew a one-out walk and Jesus Montero followed with a double to left off of lefty Tsuyoshi Wada. Xavier Avery struck out for the second out of the inning, but Stefen Romero worked a walk to load the bases. James Jones then delivered a sharp single to left that scored Kelly, but couldn’t score the slow-running Montero.
Cubs manager Rick Renteria then made a pitching change for some reason (it’s spring training) and brought in right-hander Frank Batista to face right-handed hitting John Buck. It was Buck, who was money in that situation, dropping a single into left field to score both runners and tie the game. Batista struck out Chris Taylor to end the inning.
Because managers Lloyd McClendon dislikes soccer (not certain of that), he wouldn’t settle for a tie and chose to play on. Lucas Luetge worked a 1-2-3 top of the 10th setting up the bottom of the inning heroics.
Abraham Almonte led off the inning with a sharp single through the right side. McClendon called for the hit and run and Willie Bloomquist was able to hit a high chopper to the area where second baseman Arismendy Alcantrara vacated to cover second on the steal. Almonte scooted to third.
“We executed at the end, but we didn’t do much executing in between,” McClendon said. “That’s what spring training is for.”
That non-executing he referred to was a rough sixth inning where Montero committed two errors and Kelly committed another.
Randy Wolf worked four innings, giving up two runs on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts. He got hit around a little, including a monster home run from Javier Baez. But he limited damage.
“You don’t want to give up hits, you don’t give up homers, but to me there was a lot of progress today,” Wolf said. “There were more positives than negatives. I threw a lot of strikes. I got ahead of guys. My curveball was a lot better today. My change-up for the most part was better. And I started throwing my slider and was able to get some outs with it.”