On a beautiful sunny, but windy, afternoon in Peoria, Arizona, the Mariners’ and the Angels’ lineups featured some familiar and newer faces. I felt like I was seeing a future Mariners’ team although we may see several of them sooner because the players looked very good.
Mariners you would know from the 2022 season included Sam Haggerty or “Swaggerty,” who started at 2nd base and batted first. Marco Gonzales was the starting pitcher; Matt Brash and Matt Festa each had an inning of relief pitching. Evan White, the Mariners' former first baseman returned to play that position and bat 3rd in the lineup after two years. Welcome back, Evan White!
We saw several of the players who came to us from other teams: AJ Pollock from the White Sox in left field; former Diamondback, Cooper Hummel, at catcher; and Colin Moran from the Reds at 3rd base. Several players who have been moving up the ranks in the Mariners’ organization started as well: Cade Marlowe (AAA, Tacoma) in right field, Robert Perez, Jr. (High A affiliate, Everett) as the designated hitter, Mason McCoy (Tacoma) at shortstop, and Jonatan Clase (Single A, Modesto) at centerfield.
After Gonzales pitched the first two innings, he was followed by Matt Brash, Chris Clarke (new, from the Cubs), Matt Festa, J.B. Bukauskas (Tacoma), Darren McCaughan (Tacoma) for two innings, and Collin Kober (Arkansas).
The following players from AAA, Tacoma were substitutes: Kean Wong (younger brother of Kolten!), Mike Ford, Alberto Rodriguez (no relation to Julio), Drew Ellis, Jacob Nottingham, Leonardo Rivas, and Leonys Martin. Zach DeLoach from the Travelers and Harry Ford (not Mike's brother) from Modesto also played.
The Angels started out with some familiar players: David Fletcher, Gio Urshela, Luis Rengifo, Jo Adell, and Mickey Moniak. They too substituted other players in so we did not see Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani, for example, at the plate.
The Angels made four of their runs in the second inning. They had someone on base when Jo Adell hit a homerun making it 2-0. Taylor Jones would knock in two with a soft single that same inning, to make it 4-0. A wild pitch later allowed another score in. The Mariners’ Cade Marlowe hit a solo home run in the fifth inning to make it 5-1, which would be the final score.
Although this was a loss, four out five runs were scored in the second inning when several of the Angels’ starters were playing. I think that if the Mariners had a few starters in the game, the score might have looked differently. It was fun to see all the new guys. There were over eight thousand fans from both teams in attendance. Thank you, Root Sports, for broadcasting on TV!