Monday’s Game 29 recap: Mariners 16, Reds 0

MonteroAPPlayer of the Game: Lots to choose from in a 16-0 win, but I’ll go with catcher Jesus Montero after a 3-for-3 day with six RBIs, including a monster grand slam in the fifth inning that cleared the left-field berm at Goodyear Ballpark and sailed out of the stadium. Montero also singled twice and walked with the bases loaded, raising his spring average to .405. Click here to see a video of Montero’s blast.

Stat of the Game: Two more home runs for the Mariners — by Montero and Michael Saunders — raises the spring total to 52 in 29 games, a new spring record for Seattle. The old mark of 51 was set in 32 games in 1999. The Mariners have four more games to raise that total, which remains the highest of any Major League team this spring. Here’s a video of Saunder’s smash.

Storyline: Even with all the offense against a quality Reds starter in Homer Bailey, the big thing in this game was another outstanding start by young right-hander Brandon Maurer, who threw five scoreless innings and worked his way out of several jams while lowering his Cactus League ERA to 0.90 (two runs in 20 innings). The kid is doing everything he can to force his way onto the starting rotation, with one final performance coming Saturday against the Rockies in Salt Lake City. Here’s a video of all seven of Maurer’s strikeouts.

Worth noting: Manager Eric Wedge confirmed the first three starters in his rotation to open the season will be Felix Hernandez (yeah, that one we knew), followed by Hisashi Iwakuma and then Joe Saunders. It’s the last two spots that remain up in the air, though it emerged today that Erasmo Ramirez was limited last week be some soreness in his triceps and that’s why he’s pitching only in relief again this week.

Quote of the Day: “You just throw a couple extra pitches out there to get warm, but shoot, it’s fun throwing with the lead. I must be a lucky guy. I’ll take ‘em any day.”  –Brandon Maurer on pitching in a game where the Mariners scored 15 runs during his five innings.

Next: Jeremy Bonderman starts against the Royals in a 1:05 p.m. PT game at Peoria Stadium in his last spring outing.

Here’s is the link to today’s boxscore.

Here’s a full story on today’s game.

Here’s my notebook with all today’s news from camp, including the move to keep Kameron Loe.

And here’s my story about the rotation battle as it comes down to the wire.

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