SURPRISE, Ariz. — The Seattle Mariners had played relatively clean and competitively baseball in Cactus League play. But that ended on Saturday in a clunker of an outing, an 8-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Seattle was sloppy and mistake-filled in the field while failing to muster anything offensively in the game. Seattle committed three errors in the game, which led to five unearned runs. They also failed to convert a handful of plays that are expected to be made from Major League players.
Making his second start of the spring, lefty Yusei Kikuchi pitched three innings, allowing two runs on two hits with no walks and a hit batter. Kikuchi cruised through the first two innings, but ran into trouble in the third. A missed out on a one-hopper to shortstop J.P. Crawford and a hit batter started the problems.
Right-handers Gerson Bautista and Brandon Brennan had the best showings of the Mariners relievers. Bautista worked a scoreless fifth inning while Brennan bounces back from a shaky performance in his previous outing to pitch a 1-2-3 eighth inning with a strikeout.
Player of the game
Daniel Vogelbach is having another hot spring and in an important season. He reached base in all four of his plate appearances in the game, getting two singles and drawing two walks. In five games this spring, Vogelbach has tallied five singles and worked six walks. He has an on-base percentage of .733 and a slugging percentage of .889
“Vogey’s really patient at the plate,” manager Scott Servais said. “He knows the strikezone as good as anybody we have. It’s great to see the way he’s swinging the bat. He’s really comfortable in the batter’s box right now. That’s what he needs to do to make this ballclub.”
“That was a clunker. You have those games once in a while. Our young players just didn’t protect the baseball today. It’s ‘27 outs, no more’ is what Perry Hill has been preaching and I think we gave them about 35 outs today. It happens in spring training once in a while, but we have to be sharper than that.” — Servais
The Mariners return to Peoria Stadium on Sunday to host the Arizona Diamondbacks. Left-hander Marco Gonzales will be making his third start of the spring. Arizona’s starting pitcher is to be determined. Also scheduled to pitch for Seattle are right-handers Hunter Strickland, Matt Festa, Ryan Garton, David McKay and lefty Ricardo Sanchez.