Sheffield solid again, Hanigers homers in M’s spring win

By Ryan Divish / The Seattle Times

PEORIA, Ariz. — Top prospect Justus Sheffield made his first start of the Cactus League season in the Seattle Mariners’ 7-3 win over the Milwaikee Brewers on Friday. The young lefty pitched well, working two shutout innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts.

Mitch Haniger gave Seattle an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, sending a line drive into the Mariners’ bullpen for a solo homer.

In a four-run second inning, Domingo Santana got some revenge against his old team, launching a leadoff homer into the party deck in deep left field.

Dee Gordon worked his second walk of the game in the fourth inning, stole second base, advanced to third on an error on the play and then scored on Haniger’s sacrifice fly. Gordon is healthy and running well while also working on a better approach at the plate.

As has been the case in most games this spring, a Mariners young player made a highlight play. J.P. Crawford showed his speed and athleticism, lacing a triple into the right field corner. Most hitters would have settled for a double, but Crawford saw Brewers right-fielder Tristan Lutz struggle to pick the ball up right away and accelerated for third. He beat the throw by a few steps with a headfirst slide. Crawford scored moments later on a fly ball to left field.

Player of the game

Jay Bruce had three of the Mariners’ 11 hits in the game. In his three plate appearances, Bruce lined singles into center in all of them. The biggest of the three came in a four-run second inning. With the bases loaded and facing reliever Jake Petricka, Bruce sent a hard line drive up the middle to score a pair of runs.

Quotable

“Dee had two walks. He was down in the count, he hung in there and didn’t chase and it obviously helped to score that one run. When he can on base our offense is just different animal and it’s fun to watch to the things Dee can do. Haniger continues to swing the bat really well. Domingo Santana has had a nice start with us and Jay Bruce has really picked it up.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais

On tap

The Mariners travel to Surprise Stadium on Saturday to face the Kansas City Royals. Lefty Yusei Kikuchi will get the start for Seattle while KC will start right-hander Brad Keller. Also scheduled to pitch for the Mariners are right-handers Erik Swanson, Chasen Bradford, Gerson Bautista and Brandon Brennan along with lefty Zac Rosscup.

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