Weather shaky, but M’s ready to take on Angels

It’s looking a lot like Seattle today in Peoria, with rain hitting the Valley of the Sun last night for the first time in 70 days. Yeah, 70 days. And it’s still drizzly and gray as we sit here at 9 a.m. PT, three hours before today’s scheduled game against the Angels at Peoria Stadium.

The Angels have a fairly long bus ride from Tempe, so they’ll hope to have a decision on whether we’re playing or not before they depart. But as of now, it’s all systems go.

“I’ve been told we could get wiped out or chance it could miss us altogether. So we’re just keeping our fingers crossed and hoping we play,” Mariners skipper Lloyd McClendon said.

If we do get rained out, McClendon said some of the pitchers would get pushed back a day in order to get their work in during games, while hitters would just work in the cages. But Felix Hernandez, scheduled to make his first Cactus League start on Tuesday, will remain on his same schedule as aims for Opening Day on March 31.

McClendon went back to most of his first-game starters for today’s lineup, though Xavier Avery, the 25-year-old outfielder obtained from the Orioles in the Michael Morse trade last August, is playing right field in place of Michael Saunders today after Saunders started the first two games.

McClendon is interested to see what Avery can do after being impressed by his early work in camp.

“He’s a gamer,” McClendon said. “He makes things happen. He has a couple tools that are game changing. He stole a base yesterday off a guy that was 1.18 (seconds) to the plate. Those are the things that can change the scoreboard real quick. He’s an interesting young man and he’s making the most of his opportunities. He’s certainly played well to this point.”

Here’s today’s full lineup:

Abraham Almonte CF
Xavier Avery RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Justin Smoak 1B
Logan Morrison DH
Dustin Ackley LF
Brad Miller SS
Mike Zunino C
Carlos Triunfel 3B

Scott Baker RHP

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