A look at the Seattle Mariners in spring training.
In a game that gave the Mariners little to feel good about – they got only five hits and their relief pitching struggled again in a 5-2 loss to the Royals – Ichiro Suzuki and a little-known pitcher named Cesar Jimenez starred.
Suzuki hit a bloop triple to extend his hitting streak to 15 games, tying Ken Griffey Jr’s 1989 spring training team record.
Suzuki’s average dipped to .531 on a day when something rare occurred: he struck out. Suzuki’s first-inning whiff against Royals starter Brian Anderson was his first in 49 at-bats.
Jimenez, brought up from the minor league camp for the day, worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning and caught the eye of Mariners coaches, who’ve been looking for one of their own relievers to pitch like that.
Otherwise, the Mariners plodded through another outing in which the offense managed just five hits, the defense committed two errors and the pitching was mediocre.
Nine days from the season opener, manager Mike Hargrove says the Mariners have truly hit the dog days of spring training.
“I think they’re ready to play, and I think that has as much to do with it as anything else,” he said. “Everybody’s ready to get out of here. This time every year this happens.”
Today in camp
The game: Mariners vs. Royals, 12:05 p.m. at Surprise
Radio: KOMO (1000 AM)
TV: Channel 11
Of note: Joel Pineiro, who hasn’t pitched since March 4 because of a sore shoulder, returns to game action today. He’s expected to throw about 40 pitches, which could carry him through three innings. It’s the first of what should be four outings needed to get Pineiro back into the rotation by mid-April.
On the trainer’s table
Catcher Ryan Christianson suffered a broken index finger on his left hand when he was hit by a bat during Friday’s game against the Royals. He’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Relief pitcher Scott Atchison, a candidate to make the bullpen, has a strained right elbow. His status won’t be known until at least today after he is re-examined.
After a rainy morning Friday, the skies cleared and weather is expected to keep improving. Sunshine and a high of 72 are forecast for today, with a warming trend that will push the temperature into the 80s early next week.
They said it
“My personal theory is that you’ll get more and go farther with people who have character than people who have no character and a lot of talent. And you’ll sure enjoy the journey a lot more.”
Mike Hargrove on the type of player he enjoys to manage.
They did it
Bucky Jacobsen, still unable to take batting practice because his right knee is healing from surgery, carried his bat into the stadium to watch Friday’s game against the Royals.
“I carry this just to reminisce,” Jacobsen said.
Kirby Arnold, Herald writer