Saturday’s Game 3 recap: Mariners 5, Angels 3

Smoak, JustinPlayer of the Game: First baseman Justin Smoak went 2-for-2 with a double and a walk while also scoring a run as he continued looking confident at the plate in the early going. Smoak launched a deep drive midway up the batter’s eye in center field while hitting right-handed off tough Angels lefty C.J. Wilson in the second inning, then added a single in the fifth. He’s now 3-for-4 with two doubles and has reached base in four of his five plate appearances in two games.

Stat of the Game: The Mariners racked up 10 hits before the game was called by rain in the bottom of the seventh, giving them 38 hits and a .328 batting average in their first three Cactus League contests.

Storyline: This was an important outing for Scott Baker and the veteran right-hander threw a pair of scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and one strikeout in his first start. The former Twins starter is coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2012 and could be a big plus for the Mariners if he proves healthy this spring as they look to bolster a rotation that has already lost Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker for at least the first few weeks of the season.

Worth noting: The Mariners started the Cactus League season 3-0 for just the sixth time in franchise history and first time since 1994.

Quote of the Day: “We’re not going to get carried away. Obviously Spring Training ball is Spring Training ball. Most of the time that means your Triple-A guys are playing better than their Triple-A guys. You’ve got to be realistic in what you’re trying to accomplish. But there are certain things you’re looking for and a certain effort and our guys are doing a nice job with that.” — McClendon on winning the first three games.

Next: Veteran lefty Randy Wolf makes his debut Sunday as the Mariners face the Indians at 12:05 p.m. PT in Goodyear. It will be Wolf’s first action since Tommy John surgery in October, 2012. The 14-year Major League veteran is trying to catch on with Seattle as a non-roster invitee. Also scheduled to pitch are Andrew Carraway, Danny Farquhar, Logan Kensing, Tom Wilhelmsen, Lucas Luetge and Logan Bawcom.

Here’s today’s boxscore.

Here’s my story on McClendon talking about Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker not likely being ready for the start of the season.

And here’s my notebook with all the day’s news, including Corey Hart talking about his return after a year’s absence and Jack Zduriencik discussing the rotation options.


So Smoak is looking good so far, that is a bonus, didn’t expect that! But I can’t understand all the talk of trading Nick Franklin! The club has been so high on him, and he certainly has shown promise at the big league level. Why don’t they just start him out in Tacoma learning an outfield position, and keep that bat on the team. Or maybe it would be easier to teach outfield position to Brad Miller, who seems to be a little more athletic, and let Franklin play shortstop! I say we keep both of them! Franklin, as a switch hitter also has added value!

Talk is just that, at this point. Lots of media speculation that Franklin might be traded, but the Mariners may well keep both he and Miller. Certainly that’s the way Lloyd McClendon is approaching things this spring, just letting the two battle it out during camp and let the best man win. Both have Minor League options and could play in Tacoma to start the season. Unexpected things happen every year and depth is important.

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