A daily look at the Seattle Mariners in spring training.
Monday in camp
It’s not easy to tell who’s the hotter Mariner, Ichiro Suzuki or Gil Meche.
Suzuki piled four more hits onto his torrid spring training numbers and Meche added 42/3 more scoreless innings to his in the Mariners’ 12-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Monday at Tucson, Ariz.
Suzuki slapped singles to center field his first three at-bats, then drove a triple high off the wall in right-center field in the sixth before he was pulled, with his batting average at .579.
Meche struck out eight and scattered five hits before he was pulled two outs into the fifth inning after reaching 85 pitches. Meche, having ditched a slider that had given him trouble, is succeeding with a four-seam fastball, curveball and changeup.
“I’m just trying to simplify everything instead of worrying so much about my slider, which wasn’t working,” he said. “I’ve got three pitches I’ve got full confidence in to throw at any time.”
Matt Thornton, trying to turn around his difficult spring, also made a positive impression as he strives for the left-handed specialty role in the bullpen. He gave up a hit and struck out two in 11/3 innings.
After allowing four earned runs in his first 12/3 innings this spring, Thornton has given up two earned runs in 41/3 innings since.
The Mariners clubbed 16 hits, including a long home run by Raul Ibanez and a 3-for-4 game by Dan Wilson. Even after Scott Atchison struggled in the ninth inning and gave up three runs, manager Mike Hargrove was pleased.
“We hit the ball hard all night long, and that was good to see,” Hargrove said. “We ran the bases aggressively, and that was good to see. And we ran them smartly, and that was even better to see.”
Today in camp
The game: Mariners vs. White Sox, 12:05 p.m. at Tucson
Radio: KOMO (1000 AM)
Of note: Left-hander Bobby Madritsch will start for the Mariners, followed by left-hander Nate Bland and right-handers Jeff Nelson and Shigetoshi Hasegawa. It’s an especially important outing for Bland, who is competing for a spot in the bullpen as a left-handed relief specialist.
On the trainer’s table
Starting pitcher Joel Pineiro pitched two scoreless innings in a minor league game Monday in Peoria and had no problems with his right shoulder, which had become stiff and sore after he pitched March 4.
Closer Eddie Guardado, recovering from a strained hamstring, will pitch a simulated game today in Peoria.
Partly cloudy and 75 for today’s get-away game against the White Sox in Tucson.
They said it
“I like night games. It’s refreshing. But I need to make sure Hassey doesn’t go to sleep at 9 o’clock because that’s his bedtime.”
M’s manager Mike Hargrove, getting another good-natured dig at bench coach Ron Hassey before the M’s played the Rockies on Monday in the first of three night exhibition games.
They did it
The team bus from Peoria arrived in Tucson later than expected Monday afternoon, but it did little to knock Ichiro Suzuki off his hitting stride. Suzuki’s 4-for-4 game extended his hitting streak to 11 games and increased an even more impressive streak. He hasn’t struck out in 37 plate appearances.
Kirby Arnold, Herald Writer