Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
Glendale, AZ (ISN) – The Seattle Mariners used back-to-back home runs from Nelson Cruz and Adam Lind to overcome a 3-2 deficit and go on to a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Cactus Leage action Monday afternoon in front of 11,802 fans at Camelback Ranch in Glendale.
Seattle’s Robinson Cano put the M’s up early Monday with a 2-RBI double in the first inning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The victory, in their 23rd game of the Cactus League schedule, puts the Mariners back into the win column after weekend losses to Kansas City (split-squad), Arizona and Cleveland.
Monday’s game marked the first ever meeting between Japanese countrymen Hisashi Iwakuma of Seattle and Kenta Maeda of the Dodgers, who pitched last year at Hiroshima in Japan’s Central League. That did not seem to mean much to the Mariners, as they quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, as the first three batters recorded base hits off of the 27-year old Dodger lefthander.
Monday’s game was the first ever meeting between fellow Japanese countrymen Kenta Maeda (top) of the Dodgers and Hiashi Iwakuma (bottom) of the Mariners (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Ketel Marte led off the game with a double to right field, followed by a Luis Sardiñas single to left. Robinson Canó, playing again after enjoying a day off on Sunday, then drove in both Marte and Sardinas with a two-run single.
Justin Turner was a one-man wrecking crew for the Dodgers Monday, hitting a home-run and two doubles to knock in all three Los Angeles runs (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Los Angeles got a run back in the bottom of the inning on a solo home run from Justin Turner, as he took Iwakuma deep to left. Turner would end up accounting for all three of the Dodgers’ runs, as his two-out double in the third scored Yasiel Puig, who singled and stole second, to tie the score at 2-2. He then he gave Los Angeles a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth on another double, this time scoring Rico Noel, who pinch ran for Puig, who earlier notched his second single of the day.
Los Angeles Dodger shortstop Charlie Culberson looks for the call after putting the tag on a sliding Luis Sardinas of the Mariners at second base. Sardinas was safe on the play (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
That latter Turner double would spell the end of the day for Iwakuma who gave way to reliever Mike Montgomery, who, after yielding a walk to the first batter he faced, came back with a fly ball and a strikeout to end the inning.
Seattle Mariner reliever Mike Montgomery came in to put out a fire in the fifth and earned the win Monday as a result (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
That set the stage for the Mariners four-run sixth inning, which got started with Dodger reliever Luis Avilan issuing a walk to Marte. Sardinas then singled throught the hole at short – his second hit of the day – and after both runners advanced on a double steal, Nelson Cruz took Avilan deep to left for a three-run shot to put the Mariners back in front 5-3.
Seattle’s Nelson Cruz, with a three run shot, and Adam Lind (on-deck) went back-to-back in the sixth inning to put the Mariners on top to stay (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Not to be outdone, Seattle first-baseman Adam Lind then followed that up two pitches later with an absolute bomb well over the lawn seats in right field – his second home run of the spring – to give the Mariners a 6-3 lead.
Los Angeles baserunner Rico Noel stays on the bag as Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano has trouble finding the ball on this stolen base attempt Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
That would be all the runs the M’s would need, as for the second night in a row, the Mariners bullpen held the opposition scoreless over the final four innings, with Tony Zych (1.0 IP) and Donn Roach (3.0 IP) doing the honours this time.
Zych struck out two of the three batters he faced in the sixth inning, his fourth consecutive outing with multiple strikeouts and fifth overall this spring. Roach tossed three scoreless innings with three strikeouts to earn his first save of the spring. In his last three outings, Roach has posted eight scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts.
The Dodgers Yasiel Puig would have a pair of hits and score once Monday in the loss to the Mariners (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Iwakuma allowed three runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out three in 4.1 innings of work. By virtue of his appearance in that fifth inning, Montgomery (0.2 IP) gets credit for the win.
For the now 10-9-2 Dodgers, Maeda gave up two runs on four hits, while striking out five. Avilan takes the loss to go 0-2 for the spring. Offensively, in addition to Turner’s three-hit day, Puig and Joc Pederson had two-hit afternoons in the losing effort.
Dodger center fielder Joc Pederson would be another L.A. player with two hits Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Mariners (10-11-2) have their first off day of the Cactus League schedule tomorrow. Left-hander James Paxton is slated to start in a minor league game tomorrow at 1:00 pm. Seattle returns to play Wednesday, March 23 at 7:10 pm against the Oakland Athletics at Peoria Stadium. Right-hander Nathan Karns is scheduled to face Athletics right-hander Jesse Hahn.