Pineda looks strong in Minor League game

Michael Pineda got in five innings in a Minor League game this morning against the Royals AAA team as the Mariners wanted to avoid the possibility of a rainout in his scheduled afternoon Cactus League start against the Reds.

He looked strong against a Royals squad featuring several top prospects, giving up one run on three hits with four strikeouts and one walk.

Pineda threw 72 pitches and said he’s ready to roll, figuring he could have thrown 100-110 pitches if necessary.

As for the blustery, chilly day in which outfield fly balls were an adventure and everyone used to the 80-90 degree Arizona warmth was suddenly left searching for jackets and sweaters?

“The weather today is not very good,” Pineda said. “It’s a little cold, you know? But I think it’s the same in Seattle, so it’s good to pitch.”

Left-hander Aaron Laffey, competing for a spot in the bullpen, threw three innings on an adjacent field against the Royals AA team and gave up one hit and an unearned run with no walks and four strikeouts.

Josh Lueke, looking more and more like a critical late-inning contender in the ‘pen, threw a scoreless inning in the AA game. Pitching for the second straight day, he gave up two singles and had one strikeout.

I’m heading to Goodyear to see if they get in this afternoon’s game against the Reds, but will have more on Pineda’s outing later on Mariners.com.

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