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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

March 18, 2014 at 11:06 PM

Mariners and Padres decline bonus panels, settle for nettlesome tie

Video highlights …

The Mariners and Padres battled to a 5-5 tie tonight in a game in which the lead changed hands four times, and in which they called it after nine innings, much to the befuddlement of some of the 8,033 here who wanted to see more.

It’s the third tie of the spring for the Mariners, who are now 14-5-3.

Seattle took the lead on an unusual play in the eighth when Willie Bloomquist singled in the tying run, advanced to second on the throw, then scored when the throw from catcher Austin Hedges went into center field, and between the center and right fielders.

But the Padres tied it in the ninth on a single by — you guessed it — Hedges.

Michael Saunders stole second with two outs in the bottom of the inning to perk up what was left of the crowd. But it ended on a Nick Franklin fly out to left.

The two stars of the game for the Mariners were starter Randy Wolf, who allowed no runs and two hits in four innings while striking out three and walking two; and Brad Miller, who went 3-4 and scored three runs and also had a homer, his fourth of the spring, in raising his average to .412

Of Wolf, Mariner manager Lloyd McClendon said: “He threw the ball extremely well. He had all of his pitches again. I thought he was a little bit sharper than his last couple times out. It was a good outing for him. … threw strikes with all of his pitches. His breaking ball was working, changeup was working, some good fastballs up in the zone, in. He had it all going tonight.”

Wolf lowered his ERA to 4.15 but is likely still a longshot to make the team — he gets a $1 million bonus if he’s on the Opening Day roster, so Seattle would have to be really convinced. He’ll need another outing or two like that to really get into the hunt, probably. But he helped himself tonight.

Fernando Rodney struggled again, giving up two hits and two runs, though only one earned thanks to a passed ball, and saw his ERA raise to 15.75. But McClendon said he has no concern.

“Fact is, most closers stink in spring training,” McClendon said. “They pitch in the fifth, sixth innings (Rodney pitched the sixth). It’s tough. A different animal. Hard to get the adrenaline going. Just have to keep getting him out there and getting his work in.”

And not helping himself was Hector Noesi, who allowed two hits and two runs in two innings and whose place on the roster seems uncertain.

The Mariners will be back at it in Peoria tomorrow at 1 against the Milwaukee Brewers (better known as the one-time Seattle Pilots, darn it).

Here’s some video from McClendon’s post-game session with the media:

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