SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Mike Zunino slugged his first homer of the spring, Leonys Martin scored from second on a wild pitch and minor league infielder Zach Shank drove in a pair of runs as the Seattle Mariners held on for a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Saturday afternoon in front of a sold-out crowd of 11,148. The Mariners are now 6-2 in their first eight Cactus League games.
Shank was 2-for-2 with a double and a pair of RBI, giving Seattle a 3-2 lead in the 7th, and driving in the game-winner in the 9th after entering as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Mariners starter Yovani Gallardo had a very strong outing in his second start of the spring. He worked 3.0 shutout innings, allowing just 1 hit while striking out 3 and facing just one batter over the minimum.
The Mariners scored first as Zunino bombed his first homer of the spring to left-center field in the 2nd inning off Rockies starter Jon Gray. MLB’s Statcast® tracked the ball leaving the bat at 112 MPH and landing 421-feet from home plate. Seattle stretched its lead to 2-0 in the 3rd when Martin drilled a 2-out double to right-center field, and scored from second on a wild pitch.
Seattle took a 3-2 lead in the 7th as Kyle Waldrop stroked a 2-out triple, Tyler O’Neill walked and Shank snuck an RBI double just inside the third base line.
Left-hander James Paxton worked 2.0 innings in relief of Gallardo. He allowed a wind-blown 2-run homer to tie the score, but struck out a pair in his first outing this spring. Chris Heston worked a pair of shutout innings, including escaping a runner on third with one out jam with a nifty 1-4-3 double play. Zac Curtis made his Spring Training debut, allowing the tying run in the 8th in his only inning of work, but ended up with the win (1-0), and Christian Bergman worked around a 1-out single in the 9th to notch the save (#1).
Gallardo (Team Mexico), Robinson Canó, Nelson Cruz & Jean Segura (Dominican Republic), O’Neill (Canada) all left camp after today’s game to join their respective World Baseball Classic (WBC) teams.
The Mariners (6-2) will be split on Sunday, with one half of the squad hosting the Oakland A’s (4-4) in Cactus League play tomorrow (Sunday, March 5) at 12:10 PT/1:10 MT Peoria Stadium. The game will be broadcast in the Seattle area on 710 ESPN Seattle and the Mariners Radio Network, as well as on ROOT SPORTS Northwest. Right-handed pitcher Felix Hernandez is scheduled to make his second Cactus League start for the Mariners against A’s right-hander Jharel Cotton.
The other half of the Mariners squad will be on the road, playing the Los Angeles Dodgers (5-4) at Camelback Ranch in Glendale. Andrew Moore is scheduled to make the start versus the Dodgers.
MARINERS 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 – 4 8 1
ROCKIES 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 – 3 9 0
W – Curtis (1-0); L – Carisiti (1-1); SV – Bergman (1)
SEA – Gallardo, Paxton (4), Heston (6), Curtis (8), Bergman (9) and Zunino, Marlette (7)
COL – Gray, Almonte (3), Howard (5), Vasto (7), Lee (8), Carasiti (9) and Murphy, Bemboom (7)
Home Runs – SEA: Zunino (1); COL: None.
Attendance – 11,148 (sell out) Time – 2:51