The Mariners won their third straight game as Erasmo Ramirez pitched six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. Ramirez never had a 1-2-3 inning, but he allowed one run in the first and one in the fifth, while doing a good job with damage control the rest of the way. Seattle slugged two more homers in the game to push their major league leading total to 41.
Play of the game
Jesus Montero broke the game open in the fifth, driving a fastball to right-center for a double and scoring Michael Morse from first base. Montero had two hits on the day, both to right-center. The Mariners have stressed often to Montero the importance of hitting the ball to all fields. It’s been a slow process that he seems to be embracing.
Who was hot
Kendrys Morales continues to hit for the Mariners. The big first baseman/DH went 2-for-3 with a solo homer to left field. He’s hitting .371 (13-for-35) this spring with three homers. More importantly, he’s putting together good at-bats, and seeing plenty of pitches.
Who was not
Michael Saunders had a forgettable day. Facing a lefty starter in Drew Pomeranz, who is very tough against left-handed hitters, Saunders went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against Pomeranz. Saunders has just one hit since returning from the World Baseball Classic.
“He’s worked hard. It’s a situation with Jesus where he has to be in every at-bat. He’s done a better job with that. We felt like he gave away too many at-bats last year. He’s very talented. But you are seeing a better focus this year. You are seeing more fight at home plate, less frustration. He’s still understanding the success and failure that go along with this game. And I think he’s handling it better.” — Wedge on Montero
Felix Hernandez will pitch in a minor league game today instead of in the Cactus League. Besides keeping the Rangers from seeing Hernandez this spring, Wedge said that with the competition for the starting rotation, he wants to see those players vying for spots pitch against big league competition. … Wedge said he has Franklin Gutierrez penciled in the line-up for today’s game. Gutierrez hasn’t played in a game since March 9 because of tightness in his legs.
The Mariners return to Peoria to host the Texas Rangers with right-hander Blake Beavan getting the start for Seattle. Also scheduled to pitch for the Mariners are Carter Capps, Kameron Loe and Stephen Pryor. Left-hander Michael Kirkman is scheduled to start for the Rangers. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ROOT Sports and 710-AM.
Here’s some video of Nick Franklin’s RBI single in the second inning.