Kershaw, Dodgers Top Mariners 5-2


Final. 2. 62. 5. 71

The Seattle Mariners (6-7) held their own against Los Angeles Dodgers’ (7-2) ace Clayton Kershaw on Sunday afternoon, but came up short, losing 5-2 in Peoria, AZ. Despite looking shaky through the first three innings, Kershaw (2-0, 2.16 ERA) was credited with the win. Roenis Elias (0-1, 4.70 ERA) pitched well overall, but was charged with the loss. Joe Wieland (1 S, 0.00 ERA) earned his first save of the spring.

The Dodgers got the scoring started early on Sunday afternoon. After Roenis Elias retired the first two hitters he faced in the top of the first inning, Adrian Gonzalez kept the inning alive by singling to right field. Howie Kendrick followed by doubling on a ground ball down the left field line. Gonzo hustled all the way around from first to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

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After stranding the tying the run 90 ft. away in each of the first two frames, the Mariners finally broke through in the third inning. Robinson Cano led off the third by doubling on a deep fly ball to center field. Robby advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Following a Nelson Cruz walk, Rickie Weeks grounded into a double play. Weeks’ was not awarded with an RBI, but the groundout plated Cano and tied the game at 1 after 3 innings.

The Dodgers reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth inning. Howie Kendrick got the better of Roenis Elias in both of his at bats, and in the fourth he lined a one out single to right field. Yasmani Grandal ripped a ground ball through the hole on the left side of the infield to give the Dodgers runners on first and second with one out. Carl Crawford drove Kendrick in on a double to right field. The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth.

The game remained close until the late innings of today’s ballgame. Promising young right-hander Carson Smith was called on to pitch for the Mariners in the top of the eighth inning. After issuing a four-pitch walk to Alex Guerrero to lead off the eighth, Smith surrendered a two run blast to veteran infielder Darwin Barney. The Dodgers held a 4-1 lead heading to the bottom of the eighth.

The Dodgers extended their lead in the top of the ninth. Mark Lowe was asked to work the ninth inning for the Mariners on Sunday. After the first two Dodger hitters were set down, Enrique Gonzalez connected on a double to left field. Alex Guerrero followed with an RBI single to left field, giving the Dodgers a 5-1 lead. Left fielder Patrick Kivlehan showed off his superb arm by gunning down Guerrero from the corner trying to extend his single into a double.

The Mariners staged a bit of a comeback in the ninth, but it ultimately was not enough. Carlos Rivero hit a one out double to left field to spark the M’s rally. With two outs in the final frame, top prospect D.J. Peterson reached on a throwing error by Darnell Sweeney. The error allowed Rivero to score, shrinking the Dodgers’ lead to 3. Jack Reinheimer beat out an infield single to keep the Mariners’ threat alive. James Jones stepped into the batters box representing the go ahead run, but he grounded out weakly to first base to end the game.

The full box score can be found here.

What Stood Out:

Roenis Elias Allows 2 Runs on 6 Hits in 3.2 Innings of Work

Roenis Elias made his second start of the spring Sunday afternoon in Peoria. Elias is currently in a three-way competition for the final spot in the Mariners’ starting rotation with Taijuan Walker and Erasmo Ramirez. Despite the ugly numbers, the 26-year-old Guantanamo native pitched really well this afternoon. He got ahead of hitters early in counts, and appeared to have great command of his fastball. He has been overshadowed by Walker’s incredible performance thus far in spring training, but Elias has looked like a much-improved pitcher this March. Even if the young southpaw is unable to secure the final spot in the M’s rotation, he is likely to factor into the Mariners’ plans at some point this season if the injury bug bites.

Nelson Cruz’s Hot Streak Continues

Mar 15, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) swings at a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners lured the 2014 home run champ to Seattle this winter by offering a four-year deal worth $57 million dollars. Thus far, Nelson Cruz has lived up to the hype. Cruz went 2 for 2 this afternoon, and played solid defense in right field. Through his first 17 at bats, Cruz is hitting .412 with 6 singles, 1 home run, and 3 RBI’s. The 34-year-old designated hitter has struck out just once in 17 at bats. Cruz’s performance this spring has been very encouraging, and I am expecting big things from the M’s new cleanup hitter in 2015.

David Rollins, Tyler Olson Shine on Sunday

The Seattle Mariners selected David Rollins this past December during the annual rule 5 draft, and he has been electric since putting on a Mariners’ uniform. Rollins has been given the opportunity to audition for role of the second lefty in the M’s bullpen, and he has made the most of his opportunities thus far. Rollins was called in to face Adrian Gonzalez with runners on second and third with two out in the fourth inning this afternoon. The 25-year-old southpaw froze Gonzo with a mid 90’s fastball on the inside corner to retire the side and end the threat. Rollins followed up by pitching a perfect fifth inning to give him 5.1 shutout innings to start the spring.

Tyler Olson has been phenomenal this spring. The 25-year-old left-hander entered play this afternoon having pitched 5.0 perfect innings to start the month. Olson posted another scoreless frame today against the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon in Peoria. Olson did allow a leadoff single to Carl Crawford, but induced a double play ball and escaped unscathed. Rollins and Olson have both been dominant this spring, and it is a toss up at this juncture who will win the job.

Looking Ahead:

Monday is an off day for the Seattle Mariners (6-7), but they will be back to work on Tuesday afternoon in Glendale against the Chicago White Sox (5-6). First pitch from Camelback Ranch is set for 1:05 PST on March 17. Hisashi Iwakuma (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will be making his second start of the spring for the M’s, and Jeff Samardzija (1-0. 6.00 ERA) will be on the bump for the White Sox. The St. Patrick’s Day game will be broadcast live on 710 ESPN.

Next: Brad Miller and Chris Taylor Vie For The Mariners Starting Shortstop Job

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