Sunday’s Game 4 recap: Indians 6, Mariners 3
Player of the Game: Left fielder Dustin Ackley went 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBIs and a run scored as he continued his strong start to the spring. Ackley’s two-run bolt to center field off Trevor Bauer in the fourth staked Seattle to a 3-1 lead. He’s hitting .571 (4-for-7) with two doubles and a home run in three Cactus League games.
Stat of the Game: Randy Wolf threw two scoreless innings, keeping the Mariners starters streak intact. Four different starters – Erasmo Ramirez, James Paxton, Scott Baker and Wolf – have combined to throw eight shutout innings so far this spring.
Storyline: Two notable developments came out of this one. Wolf looked solid in his first start since Sept. 22, 2012 as he returns from the second Tommy John surgery of his career. Just as with Scott Baker a day earlier, the Mariners would love to see Wolf come back with a strong spring and add a veteran option to a rotation in need of help now with Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker hurting. The other positive was a double ripped by DH Corey Hart, who is coming back from his own year-long absence with a pair of microfracture knee surgeries and will be a key figure in the middle of the lineup if he stays healthy.
Worth noting: Tom Wilhelmsen gave up three runs (two earned) on two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning in the fifth, but don’t be fooled by the numbers. Wilhelmsen got a double-play grounder that didn’t get turned when Gabriel Noriega’s throw to first was wide. Then Noriega booted a routine grounder that led to another run.
Quote of the Day: “It was a good game for awhile. One of the things we preached all spring is to go nine innings and 27 outs. Unfortunately we gave them more than 27 outs today and when you do that, you’re going to lose.” — McClendon on the defensive mistakes midgame that led to his team’s first loss this spring.
Next: The Mariners have their first split-squad games of the spring on Monday, with Blake Beavan facing the Rockies in Peoria and Erasmo Ramirez opening on the mound against the Reds in Goodyear. Both games start at 12:05 p.m. PT. A few of the Mariners regulars will be at Goodyear, including catcher Mike Zunino and DH Logan Morrison, but most of the starting position players – including second baseman Robinson Cano — will stay home in Peoria. Beavan and Ramirez will both be making their second appearances of the spring as the two young right-handers compete for rotation berths.
Here’s today’s boxscore.
Here’s a feature on Logan Morrison, who has racked up two hits in each of his first two games.
And here’s all the news from camp in today’s notebook, including a couple injury updates.