PEORIA, Ariz. – Shawn O’Malley capped a three-run bottom of the 9th inning with a walk-off single to right field, scoring pinch-runners Luis Rengifo and Bryson Brigman, as the Mariners rallied for nine runs over the final three frames for an 11-10 victory over the Chicago Cubs before a sellout crowd of 12,201 on Friday afternoon at Peoria Stadium.
Seattle tallied a lone run each in the 5th and 6th innings before exploding for four runs in the 7th, followed by two runs in the bottom of the 8th and three runs in the 9th. The Mariners scoring began in the 5th with an RBI-groundout by Marcus Littlewood after consecutive singles by Boog Powell and Mike Freeman. Ben Gamel led off the 6th with a triple to dead center field and later scored on a Kyle Seager RBI-groundout.
With one out in the 7th, the Mariners got three straight singles from Freeman, Littlewood and Guillermo Heredia to load the bases for Kyle Waldrop. He plated Freeman on a sacrifice fly to left field. Joe DeCarlo then cranked a three-run home run to left field – his first home run of the spring – as the Mariners cut the Cubs lead to 10-6. DeCarlo went 2-for-2 with 1 run, 1 home run and 3 RBI.
The Mariners scored two runs in the 8th, highlighted by Luis Liberato’s two-out, two-run inside-the-park home run, to cut the Cubs lead to 10-8. After Rayder Ascanio stroked a two-out single to right field, Liberato drove a fly ball into the left-center field gap. The ball bounced off the outfield wall padding and skipped away from the Cubs left fielder and right fielder.
DeCarlo started the 9th inning rally with a single to left field and was replaced on the base paths by Ian Miller, who promptly recorded his 4th steal of the spring. D.J. Peterson followed with a double that bounced off the 3rd base bag into left field, scoring Miller to make it a one-run game. Rengifo then pinch-ran for Peterson, and Tuffy Gosewisch drew a walk. He was pinch-ran for by Brigman. Zach Shank moved up the runners with a sacrifice bunt. O’Malley then lined the first pitch he saw into right field to score Rengifo and Brigman and complete the Mariners 9-run rally over the last three innings.
In his third outing, second start, of the spring, Chris Heston struck out two over 3.0 scoreless innings, scattering two hits. Heston got three groundball outs in the top of the 1st inning. After allowing a leadoff double in the 2nd, he got another groundball out, followed by a single but ended the inning with a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play. Heston worked a 1-2-3 top of the 3rd, ending his day with a strikeout.
Marc Rzepczynski made his third Cactus League appearance, striking out two in 1.0 scoreless inning of work. Nick Vincent came on to work the 5th inning and allowed 3 runs on a two-run home run and an RBI-triple, giving the Cubs a 3-0 advantage. In his third outing of the spring, Thyago Vieira allowed 4 runs on 5 hits, including a home run, as the Cubs took a 7-2 lead. Micah Owings got the final out of the top of the 6th before allowing a three-run home run in the 7th inning, as the Cubs stretched their lead to 10-2. Making his 2nd Cactus League appearance, Paul Fry pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 8th, striking the last two batters he faced. Dan Altavilla (1-0) picked up the win after facing the minimum three batters in the 9th.
The Mariners (8-5) return to Cactus League play to face the Cincinnati Reds tomorrow at 12:10 pm PT/1:10 MT at Peoria Stadium. The game will be broadcast live in the Seattle area on 710 ESPN Seattle and the Mariners Radio Network. It will also be televised live in HD on ROOT SPORTS Northwest. Right-handed pitcher Chase De Jong is slated to make his third Cactus League appearance, second with the Mariners, and first start of the spring, for the Mariners against Reds left-hander Brandon Finnegan.