GLENDALE, Ariz. — In his first start of Cactus League play, young right-hander Erik Swanson made two costly mistakes — a pair of misplaced sliders to the hitter — and they both resulted in solo homers in the Seattle Mariners’ 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 13,250 at Camelback Ranch.
Kiké Hernandez smashed solo homers in the first and third innings off Swanson to provide all the offense the Dodgers needed.
Swanson pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing just the two homers while striking out four batters.
The Mariners got solid work from the rest of their pitching staff. Lefty specialist Zac Rosscup pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, including a big strikeout of Cody Bellinger, the first batter he faced. Roenis Elias worked three scoreless innings, and there was a scoreless inning from Brandon Brennan.
Player of the game
Domingo Santana had two of the Mariners’ four hits, including a double. He’s raised his batting average to .455 this spring. His 10 hits are the most of any Mariner.
“I thought Swanson pitched really well. He made two mistakes. He hung two sliders to the same guy, and they both ended up in the same spot. He got in a pretty good rhythm and doing what he had to. He looked much more comfortable starting than coming out of the bullpen. Another young player trying to find his way. But I liked a lot of what he did out there.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais
The Mariners will be a split squad on Sunday with half of the team playing in Tempe vs. the Los Angeles Angels and the other half playing in Peoria against the Cleveland Indians. Right-hander Mike Leake will get the start vs. the Angels, while right-hander Felix Hernandez will start against the Indians.