Mar 28, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; A sign inside the complex warms fans to be aware of objects leaving the playing field during a spring training game between the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco Giants pulled off a miracle comeback to beat the Seattle Mariners Saturday afternoon in Peoria. The Arizona sun was devastating today, but not nearly as devastating as the M’s blowing a 4 run lead in the 9th inning. Erasmo Ramirez (1-2, 6.23 ERA) stunk up the joint, and was charged with his second loss of the spring. Santiago Casilla (1-0, 7.20 ERA) earned the win, and Hunter Strickland picked up his first save of the spring.
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The Giants jumped out to an early lead following a Gregor Blanco leadoff triple down the right field line. Blanco came in to score on a Travis Ishikawa ground out to shortstop Willie Bloomquist. San Francisco took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 1st inning.
However, the lead was short lived, as the Mariners stormed back to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom half of the 1st. Seth Smith delivered a 1 out single on a ground ball through the right side of the infield. Robinson Cano has been brilliant this spring, and he tied the game this afternoon by doubling on a fly ball down the left field line. Cano made it to third base following a throwing error, and Nelson Cruz put the M’s in front by hitting a sacrifice fly to left field.
Mike Zunino entered today’s ballgame with 4 homeruns this spring, and in the second inning he clubbed his 5th spring training dinger. Zunino’s homerun was of the solo variety, and the Mariners took a 3-1 lead into the top of the 4th inning.
The 4th inning was not very kind to Mariners’ starter Hisashi Iwakuma. The veteran right-hander issued a rare walk to open the frame. 2014 NL Comeback Player of the Year Casey McGehee punched a groundball through the left side of the infield. Jason Maxwell cleared the bases by crushing an Iwakuma slider deep to left field for a three run blast. The ball cleared the fence with ease, and pushed the Giants back in front 4-3.
The Mariners’ bats were alive this afternoon, and with the help of Kyle Seager, the M’s retook the lead in the bottom of the 4th. Seager led off the inning with a bang, as he lined a Jake Peavy fastball at the lounging fans in right field. The homerun was the 3rd of the spring for the Mariners’ All Star third baseman. Logan Morrison reached base after working an 8-pitch walk. Following a Zunino pop out, Dustin Ackley hit a single to right field. LoMo chugged around to third base on Ackley’s single to put runners on the corners with just 1 out. Willie Bloomquist singled on a ground ball to left field to put the Mariners back on top. Ackley came around to score on a Just Ruggiano single to give the M’s a 6-4 lead after 4 innings.
Seattle added to their lead in the bottom of the 6th inning. Mike Zunino clobbered his second big fly of the game to give the Mariners a 7-4 lead. Zunino now has 6 homeruns this spring, good for second in the Cactus League. Jeremy Affeldt walked Ackley, and Willie Bloomquist made the veteran southpaw pay. Bloomquist laced an RBI double into the left-center field gap to give the M’s an 8-4 lead heading to the 7th inning.
The Giants showed why they are the reigning World Series Champs in the top of the 9th inning. Erasmo Ramirez was called on to finish things off for the Mariners, but things did not go according to plan. Justin Maxwell led off the final frame with a single to left field. Andrew Susac made it back-to-back singles to open the inning by lining a 2-0 offering into center field. Brett Jackson doubled home Maxwell on a line drive to right field. Juan Ciriaco singled on a groundball to plate Susac and shrink the M’s lead to 2. Things went from bad to worse when Kelby Tomlinson tied the game on a triple to center field. Tomlinson’s triple chased Ramirez from the game. Mark Lowe came on, and immediately struck out Jackson Williams for the second out in the 9th inning. Tomlinson sprinted home from third on a wild pitch to score the winning run.
Hunter Strickland shut the door on the Mariners in the bottom of the 9th inning for the save. It was a painful loss for Seattle, but at the end of the day, the starters played well and the loss is not important.
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