Thursday’s recap: Mariners split two games
Player of the Day: Young second baseman Stefen Romero (pictured) went 4-for-5 with two home runs – a grand slam and a three-run bomb – along with a double and seven RBIs in the Mariners’ 12-2 victory over the Royals in Surprise. Romero, who hit .352 with 23 home runs while splitting last season between A and AA ball, is one of the organization’s brighter hitting prospects and showed why as he raised his spring average to .500 (7-for-14) with his monster day
Stat of the Day: The Mariners launched four more home runs Thursday – three in the win over the Royals and one in a 7-3 loss to the A’s in the other half of the split-squad day – and now have 30 in 14 games this spring. The club totaled 28 homers in 26 Cactus League games last year. Romero had two and Casper Wells one against K.C., while Robert Andino went deep against the A’s. That makes 18 different players contributing to the 30-homer total.
Storyline: Felix Hernandez made his Cactus League debut, allowing one run on two hits in two innings while throwing 33 pitches against the Royals and Hisashi Iwakuma continued his strong spring start with three scoreless innings with just one hit. Brandon Maurer also had another strong showing with three innings of one-run ball against the A’s. That pitching would have carried the day until young Romero stole the show with his bat.
Worth noting: Wells continued his strong week with a four-RBI game of his own against the Royals, giving him nine runs batted in over his past two games. The 28-year-old outfielder leads the club with 12 RBIs this spring while hitting .259 in eight games.
Quote of the Game: “It’s all word of mouth. It’ll get back to them. No matter who is watching, you just have to go out and perform.”—Romero after a reporter noted his big game came while manager Eric Wedge was at the other split-squad game and didn’t see it.
Next: Hector Noesi makes his fourth appearance – and second start – of the spring at 1:05 p.m. MT (12:05 p.m. PT) when Seattle hosts the A’s in Peoria. Noesi is slated to throw two innings, followed by Kameron Loe, Chance Ruffin, Jhonny Nunez, Jonathan Arias, Danny Farquhar, Bobby LaFromboise and Brian Moran.
And here’s today’s notebook, with all the news from Mariners camp.