Friday’s Game 8 recap: Mariners 8, Rangers 6
Player of the Game: Carlos Peguero (pictured) continued his red-hot start with a 2-for-4 day that included his third home run of the spring — all coming in his last two starts — as he raised his average to .462 (6-for-13) with five RBIs in six games. For good measure, the athletic big man made two nice catches in left field.
Stat of the Game: With four more home runs – by Peguero, Michael Saunders, Jason Bay and Michael Morse – the Mariners increased their MLB-leading spring total to 18 bombs in eight games. They continue to lead all 30 teams in home runs and slugging percentage and have out-homered their opponents 18-6.
Storyline: It’s hard to say how much spring results mean, but the Mariners are certainly making a good early impression with their seven-game win streak equaling their longest Cactus League streak since 1998. The last two wins came against pretty strong lineups from the Giants and Rangers, though Texas wasn’t throwing any of its top pitchers Friday.
Worth noting: The Mariners offense isn’t all about the long ball. Dustin Ackley had his best game at the plate yet with a 2-for-3 game, with all three of his at-bats resulting in hard-hit balls up the middle. Kendrys Morales also stung a couple singles to right in a 2-for-3 day.
Quote of the Game: “We’re just going out there relaxed and playing within our abilities and everybody is coming through. Games like this are just the tip of the iceberg of what this team is capable of doing.” — Outfielder Michael Morse.
Next: Hisashi Iwakuma makes his second start of the spring as the Mariners host the Dodgers at 1:05 p.m. MT (12:05 p.m. PT) in Peoria. Jeremy Bonderman is also expected to throw two innings as he continues working back from arm problems that have sidelined him since 2010. The Dodgers will start Chris Capuano, with former Mariners closer Brandon League among the relievers scheduled to throw.
Here’s the link to today’s box score.
Here’s my feature today on young catcher John Hicks, who has been impressive in his first Major League camp.
And here’s a video of all four of today’s home runs.