The Mariners wrapped up their home schedule of the Cactus League with a win and a nice ovation from the 8,852 fans in attendance. Michael Morse (above) hit his eighth home run of Cactus League, blasting a two-run homer to left off Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw. The eight homers ties a Mariners’ spring training record set by Mike Wilson in 2009. Morse’s homer gave the Mariners a total of 55 this spring – most in baseball.
Play of the game
Nate Tenbrink isn’t exactly a household name for Mariners fan. The 26-year old first baseman has never played above Double A Jackson. He missed parts of the last two seasons with elbow and spinal fractures. But on Wednesday, he got his chance to come up big and came through. With the bases full in the sixth inning, Tenbrink yanked a double down the right field line to empty them, scoring three all three runners and breaking the game open.
Who was hot
Manager Eric Wedge was hot and not from the Arizona sun. No, he was rather miffed with home plate umpire Seth Buckminster. After a few borderline pitches were called balls, Felix Hernandez shook his head and said something to Buckminster. It escalated with Buckminster, normally a Triple A umpire, yelling back at Hernandez. Wedge had seen enough with the confrontation and inserted himself into the discussion. He was ejected moments later after a few heated words. As he jogged off the field, Mariners fans gave him a standing ovation.
Who was not
Pitcher Ted Lilly, who is part of the glut of Dodgers’ starting pitching that manager Don Mattingly must choose from, was far from sharp. Pitching in relief, Lilly gave up seven runs on six his with three walks in 2 1/3 innings to push his spring earned run average to 4.18 ERA. Dustin Ackley’s tripe off of Lilly is above.
“That’s my first spring training toss. There was some back and forth with him and Felix and I’m just not going to let that happen. It’s as simple as that.” – Wedge on his ejection.
The Mariners play their final game Cactus League game in Arizona today. Seattle travels to Mesa to play the Chicago Cubs in their last ever game at HoHoKamPark. Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma will get the start for Seattle. Carter Capps and Lucas Luetge are also scheduled to pitch. Chicago will start right-hander Carlos Villanueva. First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast locally on 710-AM.