Sunny skies hurt Mariners in spring loss to Angels

Outfielders on both teams struggle to see the ball in Seattle’s 8-2 defeat.


By Ryan Divish / The Seattle Times

Angels 8, Mariners 2 at Tempe Diablo Stadium

TEMPE, Ariz. — While the sellout crowd of 9,550 enjoyed the cloudless skies and 80-degree temps with hint of a breeze — the warmest game temperatures of a Cactus League game this spring — the Mariners and Angels outfielders didn’t enjoy it quite so much.

Difficulty seeing and failing to make plays on fly balls due to the sun led to at least four runs in Seattle’s first loss in five games.

“Tough day to catch the ball in the outfield,” manager Scott Servais said. “This ballpark historically is one of the toughest ones down here and as bright as it was today, it was a challenge. Those things happen in spring training.”

Lefty Tayler Saucedo, who is competing for a spot in the bullpen, struggled in his outing. Brought into pitch in the fifth inning of a 2-2 game, Saucedo never got out of it — giving up three runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout.

Lefty Gabe Speier, who is also competing for a spot, gave up two runs on three hits, including a triple that was lost in the sun by center fielder Kaden Polcovich.

Jarred Kelenic had a pair of singles in the game with a stolen base and a run scored to lead Seattle’s offense.

“We saw some things today we haven’t seen in the past,” Servais said. “He stayed on a tough breaking ball first time up and drove that ball up the middle. He is really finding his stride and hopefully continues throughout the spring because he’s gonna be a big part of our offense here as the season gets going.”

Player of the game

In his third start this spring, Robbie Ray pitched three innings, allowing one run on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Using a lively four-seam fastball that he was able to spot at the top of the strike zone, Ray racked up swings and misses. In the third inning, he struck out Brandon Drury, Jared Walsh and Anthony Rendon in order. The four hits were a bit misleading since three of the hits were bloop pop-ups — two of which could’ve been caught.

“I felt really good,” Ray said. “I felt like the fastball was coming out really well. My location with it was a lot better today. I was able to kind of keep it along that top rail, I thought I threw some really good sliders and some really good splitters.”


“Robbie Ray’s stuff was fantastic. It’s as good of a fastball as we’ve seen him have certainly at this point in the spring. It’s really good to see. He threw a couple of good split fingers as well.” — Servais

On tap

The Mariners will be back at Peoria Stadium on Tuesday, hosting the Kansas City Royals. Right-hander Logan Gilbert will start for Seattle with fellow right-handers Emerson Hancock, Paul Sewald, Penn Murfee, Trevor Gott, Riley O’Brien and Juan Then scheduled to pitch. Kansas City will start right-hander Brad Keller. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PT. The game will not be televised. The only live radio broadcast will be on or the MLB app. Seattle Sports 710 will air the radio broadcast on tape delay.

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