Julio Rodríguez walks off the Padres in the Mariners spring opener in 2021

Julio Rodriguez of the Mariners celebrates during spring training.

Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners after hitting a walk-off single in the ninth inning to defeat the San Diego Padres during spring training. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

After having shared the same complex since 1994, the Mariners and the Padres kicked off Spring Training against one another as they traditionally do. The game was not televised on either side but was available on 710 ESPN Seattle at 1:10 PM earlier today. Marco Gonzales drew the start for the Mariners, he was opposed by Adrián Morejón of the Padres.

Gonzales went 2.0 innings and gave up an unearned run as a result of multiple defensive miscues in the first. He was followed by a slew out of the bullpen after his day was done, highlighted by scoreless innings from Kendall Graveman, Anthony Misiewicz, Will Vest, Casey Sadler, and Paul Sewald. Vest and Misiewicz in particular were very sharp, retiring everyone they faced in order and both recording two strikeouts.

Mitch Haniger picked up a hit in his long-awaited return to action. Kyle Seager, Dylan Moore, and Evan White each notched an RBI as well. José Marmolejos had multiple hits in his start to the spring, with Jarred Kelenic and Ty France also pitching in with base hits of their own earlier this afternoon.

Julio Rodriguez clutches up for the Mariners in their first game of Spring Training

But the real star of the show without a doubt on Sunday’s opener was Julio Rodriguez. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth in a 4-4 tie, former Mariner farm-hand Parker Markel walked aboard Jarred Kelenic. He then proceeded to hit Braden Bishop with a pitch, moving Kelenic over to second. Then Julio Rodriguez stepped to the plate with a chance to win the game for the Mariners.

Julio lined a base hit up the middle, Kelenic easily scored, and the Mariners took their first game of Spring Training. As we possibly could be seeing much more of this spring, the Mariners’ bright young stars gave us a glimpse into the future and what we could be seeing very soon at T-Mobile Park for years to come.

P.S. Julio Rodriguez scorched the ball. Exit velocity = 102mph

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