Mariners drop exhibition opener

PEORIA, Ariz. — Rookie Jedd Gyorko hopes to become the second baseman for the San Diego Padres on opening day. A grand slam in the first game of spring training can only help his cause.

Gyorko homered over the left-center field fence during a six-run first inning Friday and the Padres beat the Seattle Mariners 9-3.

Mariners starting pitcher Hector Noesi, seeking a spot in the back end of the rotation, was gone before the first inning was over. He threw 42 pitches, allowed four hits and was charged with four earned runs.

An error charged to Mariners left fielder Raul Ibanez contributed to the big inning, as he lost a fly ball in the sun. Chris Denorfia hit an RBI single in the frame and Will Venable drew a bases-loaded walk.

Gyorko came out after four innings. He wound up his day by pairing up with Cabrera, taking ground balls with the shortstop on a nearby field.

“Just trying to get comfortable with each other. That’s the goal,” Gyorko said. “It’s one of the blessings about having a long spring training, we have plenty of time to get used to each other.”

Gyorko said in the first couple of spring-training games, hitters are looking to get comfortable. He felt he put a good swing on a fly ball out in his second at-bat.

This spring training has a different feel for the 24-year-old, a top Padres prospect.

“Last year was my first time, I didn’t really know anybody so obviously I was trying to introduce myself more than try to work and get better,” Gyorko said. “This year I’m coming in definitely more prepared, definitely ready to work to try and earn a spot.”

Padres manager Bud Black said Gyorko made an impression with his glove, too.

“Looked good in the field, had a number of plays,” Black said. “A few to his left, a couple right at him, one to his right. So overall, he had a good day.”

Casper Wells hit a two-run homer for Seattle.

The Mariners used eight relievers in the game. Manager Eric Wedge didn’t seem too concerned with Noesi’s performance.

“He was just a little bit up, but he said he felt good,” Wedge said. “Hopefully he can work off that and come back a little bit stronger next time.”

Wedge planned to take right fielder Michael Morse, one of the team’s top acquisitions in the offseason, out of the game after two at-bats. But Morse asked for a third, in which he grounded into an inning-ending double play in the sixth.

Padres starter Shawn O’Sullivan pitched two scoreless innings.

NOTES

The Mariners announced the signing of C Jesus Montero and RHPs Erasmo Ramirez, Tom Wilhelmsen and Stephen Pryor to one-year contracts. The moves filled out their 40-man roster. … Wedge said regulars Franklin Gutierrez and Justin Smoak will play in Saturday’s game against San Diego, with two other projected starters, SS Brendan Ryan and 2B baseman Dustin Ackley, expected to play early next week. Ryan and Ackley each underwent offseason surgeries. … The game marked the 20th anniversary of the Peoria Sports Complex as spring-training home of both the Mariners and Padres.

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