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March 14, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Mariners-Rockties fit to be tied, and McClendon talks about Montero

Maybe this game was fitting of spring training, where there are never really any winners or losers, as the Mariners and Rockies played to a 2-2 tie before calling it quits after 10 innings.

Here’s the box score, as the Mariners — fell? improved? — to 13-4-2 on the spring.

The end was sort of exciting, even if maybe only one guy on the field will be in the Major Leagues when the season begins, as Seattle’s Dominic Leone struck out Kent Matthes to end the game with the bases loaded.

The players of the game for the Mariners (in my estimation, anyway) were shortstop Brad Miller, who had two hits and a dazzling play to begin a double play, and Stefen Romero, who had a home run and a catch at the wall. And Seattle got good pitching from Felix Hernandez and good enough from Erasmo Ramirez.

McClendon said Hernandez seemed more focused than his last outing, when he gave up four runs in 2.1 innings against Texas.

“He came out very, very well,” McClendon said. “Felt very strong.”

Hernandez threw just 41 pitches in getting through four innings, and wanted to go more. But McClendon said he wanted to make sure Ramirez got his work in, so Hernandez headed to the bullpen to throw 24 more pitches to get to the 65 he wanted.

McClendon, asked about Miller, said he continues to impress, but then also mentioned that Nick Franklin has also played well at shortstop, and said there remains no separation between the two.

“We’ve still got a lot of time to go, so we’ll see,” he said.

And McClendon liked the catch of Romero, saying he thinks the outfielders are “doing a good job around the wall. As we all know, our outfield play was not very good last year. I think (coach) Andy (Van Slyke) is doing a good job with them.”

The big news of the day may have come before the game when the team announced that Jesus Montero was being sent to Class AAA Tacoma (one of four players pared from the Major League roster).

McClendon said he thought Montero, who was hitting .310 with two home runs, was having a good camp, but needs the time in Tacoma to get squared away, and in shape after arriving, well, a bit above his optimum weight.

“I told Jesus he did an extremely good job for us in camp,” McClendon said. “He worked his tail off. He just had so far to go, particularly coming in so heavy. But he made tremendous strides. He probably made the biggest strides of anbody in camp. But he’s only halfway there. He has to continue to work, continue to do what he is doing to get himself back to the big leagues.”

McClendon said he thought Montero accepted the news well.

“I think he is in a good place,” he said. “I think he has an understanding of what he needs to do and is probably at peace with where he is right now.”

You can watch some of McClendon’s post-game session with the media below:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”3341925986001″/]




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