Sheffield has strong debut, Long keeps hitting in M’s win

Justus Sheffield strikes out four in two scoreless innings in Seattle’s 4-2 win over the Rockies.

Herald news services

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Seattle relievers combined for seven scoreless innings, and Shed Long delivered a go-ahead run-scoring single in the sixth inning as the Mariners knocked off the Colorado Rockies, 4-2, in front of a crowd of 6,493 on Sunday afternoon at Salt Rivers Fields at Talking Stick.

After a solo home run from Nolan Arenado in the bottom of the first inning, the Mariners evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the second. Ichiro Suzuki drew a one-out walk, stole second base, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Jake Fraley’s two-out single.

The Rockies regained a 2-1 advantage in the bottom of the second on a two-out, RBI-single from Yonathan Daza. Seattle tied the score at 2-2 in the top of the fifth when Dylan Moore doubled and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

In the sixth, the Mariners tacked on two runs to take a 4-2 lead. Tim Lopes walked and scored on a run-scoring single by Long. After Long stole second base, he scored on a pinch-hit, RBI-single from Dom Thompson-Williams.

In his 2019 spring debut, Wade LeBlanc allowed two runs on three hits and one walk while striking out two in two innings of work. Justus Sheffield tossed two scoreless frames in relief, striking out four of the last five batters he faced. Erik Swanson struck out one while keeping the Rockies off the board in the fifth inning. Tommy Milone fired two scoreless inning, retiring six of the seven batters he faced. Robin Leyer worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Matt Tenuta worked around a pair of hits in the ninth inning to pick up the save.

Player of the game

Sheffield worked around a walk to the first batter he faced followed by a catcher’s interference to still throw a scoreless first frame. It was aided by a pair of strikeouts. The Mariners’ top prospect followed that up with a 1-2-3 inning of work. He threw two shutout innings, not allowing a hit with four strikeouts.

Quotable

“Everybody is on the green light early in camp and we’ll find out what they can do. We know what Number 51 can do. It was fun. I think he enjoyed it today as well.” — manager Scott Servais on Ichiro’s stolen base.

On Tap

The Mariners return to Peoria Stadium on Monday to face the Cincinnati Reds. Left-hander Yusei Kikuchi will make his much-anticipated debut on mound. The Reds will start lefty Travis Wood. Also scheduled to pitch for the Mariners are right-handers Shawn Armstrong, Dan Altavilla, David McKay, Jorgan Cavanerio and Nabil Crismatt.

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