Figgy puddin’: Who needs hits?
Chone Figgins continued his hitless spring in the Seattle Mariners 6-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, but also his ability to be the perfect complement to Ichiro Suzuki at the second spot in the batting order.
Figgins went 0-for-1 but walked three times and scored twice. He has seven walks in 16 plate appearances and a .438 on-base percentage.
After Ichiro doubled off Tim Lincecum to start the game, Figgins walked and they pulled a double steal that set up Ryan Garko’s two-run single. The Mariners definitely will live with that.
“Those two guys at the top of the lineup are going to be like gnats,” Giants manager Bruce Botchy said.
Ian Snell pitched well in his second exhibition start, allowing a single to the first hitter he faced, Aaron Rowand, before mowing down the Giants the rest of his three innings. Snell has allowed one earned run in five exhibition innings.
First baseman Casey Kotchman batted third as Wakamatsu looks at ways he’ll fit into the batting order, and Kotchman delivered a two-run double in the fourth inning.
Today in camp
Not only will the Mariners play the Royals at Peoria (12:05 p.m. PST), they’ll return to the airwaves. The game will be carried by ESPN 710 AM radio, the first play-by-play broadcast since Saturday. Left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith will make his second exhibition start for the Mariners, who also are expected to pitch right-handers David Aardsma, David Pauley, Danny Cortes, Mike Koplove and Chad Cordero. Right-hander Luke Hochevar will start for the Royals.
Add utility infielder Jack Hannahan to the list of players with tweaks and stiff muscles in camp. Hannahan hasn’t played since last Thursday because of a sore groin. … Former Mariner Dan Wilson was in camp, visiting Wednesday morning with the Mariners’ catchers and taking some grief from Ken Griffey Jr. He’ll work the next few days with the minor leaguers. … The March 22 game against the A’s has been added to the radio broadcast schedule on ESPN 710 AM. It makes up for Sunday’s game against the Padres that was rained out. … In Seattle, the Mariners said people already were camping out next to Safeco Field on Thursday to get their place at the head of the line when single-game tickets go on sale Saturday morning. … Mike Sweeney, who organized the Mariners’ reserve players last year into a group called “El Ben Show,” already has this year’s group together. He gathered more than a dozen non-regulars around him in the clubhouse and passed out t-shirts that read “Peoria Fire and Rescue Team, Est. 2010.” Then Sweeney shouted, “Mark your numbers on your shirts, boys. Wear them proud.” Later, he announced, “El Ben Show is retired.”
Kirby Arnold, Herald writer