Cactus League play continued today as the Mariners squared off with the visiting Texas Rangers at Peoria Sports Complex.
Following a rain-shortened, one inning outing last week versus the A’s, Marco Gonzales took the bump for the Mariners for his first official start of the Spring today. Gonzales was sharp in his three innings of work, keeping the Rangers scoreless on one hit, one walk, and a whopping five strikeouts.
Once Gonzales wrapped up his day, Seattle’s bullpen allowed four runs on seven hits. The bulk of the damage was done against Chasen Bradford, who allowed two of the runs to cross the plate in the sixth.
It was an unusually slow day for the Mariners’ bats. Outside of a bases loaded threat that led to an infield RBI single by Braden Bishop in the second inning, the M’s failed to muster any sort of legitimate momentum until the very end.
Now a week into game action, the Mariners rolled through their starting lineup three full times. Edwin Encarnación was the only starter to not see a third at-bat.
Perhaps the most shocking play of the day came immediately after Bruce’s first hit. Not known for having blazing, game-altering speed on the base paths, Bruce successfully stole second well ahead of the throw from Rangers catcher Jeff Mathis.
From that point forward, the Mariners fell silent on the offensive side of things… until the ninth inning. After Kristopher Negrón led the inning off with a walk, Jake Fraley powered a two-out, two-run blast over the right field berm.
Two pitches later, Chris Mariscal torched one into deep left-center and knotted things up at 4-4. Dom Thompson-Williams tried to make it three in a row with several healthy cuts, but wound up striking out swinging and both sides agreed to end the game in a tie.
The Mariners will travel to Goodyear to face the Cleveland Indians’ split-squad tomorrow. Mike Leake will assume starting duties in his second appearance of the Spring. The game will not be televised, but will be broadcasted on the radio on 710 ESPN Seattle and MLB.com for first pitch at 12:05 PM PT.