Mar 24, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres pitcher
(34) on the mound during a spring training game against the Seattle Mariners at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
The Seattle Mariners (9-10) came up short on Tuesday afternoon against the San Diego Padres (11-10). The M’s lost 6-4 this afternoon, but did receive strong performances from many of their regulars. Hard throwing right-hander Andrew Cashner (2-0, 3.00 ERA) was credited with the win, and J.A. Happ (1-2, 7.27 ERA) took the loss. Shawn Kelley shut the door for the Padres in the ninth to pick up his first save of the spring.
Austin Jackson and Seth Smith combined to give Seattle an early lead on Tuesday. AJ led off the ballgame with a ringing double to center field. Smith plated Jackson on a single to left field. The Mariners took a 1 run lead into the bottom of the first inning.
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J.A. Happ made it through the first inning unscathed, but the Padres teed off on the veteran lefty in the second and third innings. Justin Upton led off the second inning by doubling on a fly ball to left field. Following a Will Middlebrooks single and a Wil Nieves walk, the Padres had the bases loaded with just 1 out. Clint Barmes scored Upton and Middlebrooks on a single to left field. Cashner helped out his own cause by hitting an RBI ground out. San Diego held a 3-1 lead entering the third inning.
Seth Smith was unstoppable on Tuesday afternoon. The veteran outfielder clubbed a 92-mph fastball over the wall in right-center field to open the top of the third inning. The home run was the first of the spring for the surging Smith. The round tripper cut the Padres lead in half, making the score 3-2.
However, the momentum gained from Smith’s homer was quickly squashed in the bottom half of the third inning. Second baseman Jedd Gyorko worked a lead off walk for the Padres. Matt Kemp got a fastball he could handle, and tripled on a line drive to center field. Gyorko hustled around to score on Kemp’s triple. Justin Upton gave the Padres a 6-2 lead after clobbering an 86-mph slider deep to left-center field.
The Mariners began slowly chipping away at the Padres lead in the top of the fourth inning. Dustin Ackley hit a 1 out double on a deep fly ball to center field. Ackley advanced to third base on a Brad Miller ground out. Austin Jackson came through with a 2 out RBI single to center field. AJ’s single trimmed the San Diego lead to three.
The M’s refused to throw in the towel on Tuesday, and they engineered a late inning comeback. The versatile Willie Bloomquist led of the top of the eighth by singling on a line drive to left field. Old reliable Endy Chavez connected on an RBI double to center field to bring the Mariners to within two. Unfortunately, it proved to be too little too late, as that was as close as Seattle could get today.
Next: J.A. Happ Continues to Disappoint