Mariners force tie with back-to-back homers in ninth

Jake Fraley and Chris Mariscal erased a 4-1 Texas lead in the final inning.

By Ryan Divish

The Seattle Times

PEORIA, Ariz — Down 4-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Mariners rallied to finish with a tie.

Facing Texas Rangers right-handed reliever Phillips Valdez, Jake Fraley smashed a two-out, two-run homer to right field to cut the lead to 4-3. Chris Mariscal followed with a solo homer to left field to tie the game. Valdez bounced back to strikeout Dom Thompson-Williams and end the game.

“The young guys are taking advantage (of the opportunities),” manager Scott Servais said. “Every at-bat is important. Fraley has big power. He’s made some swing adjustments in his game. He’s a different player than when he came out of college.”

The Mariners grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Braden Bishop hit a soft groundball to to third base. He beat out the throw to first to allow a run to score.

The Rangers tied the game in the fourth inning against right-hander Cory Gearrin on a sacrifice fly to right. Texas took a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning against right-hander Chasen Bradford. Andy Ibanez and Nomar Mazara recorded back-to-back RBI doubles for the Rangers.

Player of the game

In his second start of the spring, left-hander Marco Gonzales delivered an efficient performance in conditions much better than his previous outing, which was interrupted by rain. Gonzales pitched allowed one hit and one walk over three shutout innings, punching out five batters along the way.

“Right now, I feel like it’s been a good build-up process,” Gonzales said. “I feel really confident in it. Last time out, I only got to throw one inning. Today, I was hoping to get to three.”

Quotable

“Really outstanding outing by Marco today. I thought he was really, really sharp. He didn’t have his changeup in the first couple of innings. But he found it in the third inning. Good command of his fastball and cutter, he’s moving in the right direction and getting ready to open this thing up in a couple of weeks.” — Servais

On tap

The Mariners travel to Goodyear Ballpark to face the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. Right-hander Mike Leake gets the start for Seattle, while right-hander Adam Plutko takes the mound for Cleveland. Also scheduled to pitch for the Mariners are right-handers Hunter Strickland, Brandon Brennan, Gerson Bautista, Matt Festa, Ryan Garton and lefty Matt Tenuta. First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m. The game’s only live radio broadcast will be on mariners.com. ESPN 710 will air a replay broadcast at 7 p.m. There will be no television broadcast of the game.

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