Nothing like a little walk-off magic in the final home game of the spring. But that’s what the Mariners do in this Cactus League season. They scrap out wins.
Down 2-0, the Mariners scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to pick up the win. Nate Tenbrink hammered a line drive off of Rockies’ reliever Manny Corpas to bring home Tyler Smith with the game winning run.
The inning started off innocently. John Buck drew a lead-off walk from Corpas. He was replaced by pinch runner John Hicks. Endy Chavez then hit a soft chopper to shortstop that was misplayed by Josh Rutledge. With runners on first and second, Tyler Smith doubled down the left field line to score both runners and tie the game at 2-2.
With Smith on second, Ketel Marte sac bunted him to third. Stefen Romero had the first chance to be the hero. But after Corpas fell behind 3-1, he walked intentionally walked Romero. It set up Tenbrink – the pride of Olathe, Kansas. He didn’t hesitate, going after the first pitch he saw.
The Mariners got a decent effort from starter Roenis Elias, who pitched five innings, giving up two runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
“He did OK,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “I thought he was a little charged up. To be honest, I thought it was going to be a disastrous outing for him. It’s usually the way it works. You tell a young he’s made the club and he’s starting and you couple it with TV – that’s a recipe for a disaster, but he came through it pretty good.”