Monday’s Game 5 recap: Mariners 8, Rockies 1
The Mariners had a split-squad situation today, also winning 6-5 over the Reds in Goodyear. But I was in Peoria to see the Rockies, so I’ll stick with that, though you can see links to the box score of both games below.
Player of the Game: I’ll go with left fielder Dustin Ackley for the second day in a row as he continued his red-hot start by going 2-for-3 with a three-run double, a shot over the center fielder’s head in the fifth inning in Peoria. Ackley is hitting a tidy .600 (6-for-10) with three doubles, a home run and six RBIs in four Cactus League games.
Stat of the Game: Blake Beavan threw 41 pitches as the Mariners begin stretching out their starting candidates. Beavan went three innings and allowed one run on four hits, working his way out of trouble several times and not issuing any walks.
Storyline: Ackley and Robinson Cano did damage again, both going 2-for-3 before being replaced in the fifth inning. Cano’s performance is no surprise, but Ackley is looking like the guy the Mariners have been waiting on the past two years. Manager Lloyd McClendon says the key is to put him in one place and let him flourish and that place clearly is going to be left field. Abraham Almonte is getting a long look in center field and he made two nice catches out by the wall.
Worth noting: Corey Hart is supposed to be coming back slowly from his two microfracture knee surgeries, but the big man alertly stole home on a double steal when Xavier Avery drew a throw going to second and Hart motored home as the ball got away from the shortstop covering.
Quote of the Day: “No, they were still trying to revive me.” — McClendon on whether he had words for Hart after he went home on the double steal.
Next: Felix Hernandez makes his first Cactus League start on Tuesday as the Mariners travel to Glendale for a 12:05 p.m. PT duel with the Dodgers. Hernandez is preparing for his club-record seventh Opening Day start and this will be the first of his five spring games building up for that March 31 date in Anaheim. He’ll throw two innings, with Hector Noesi, Stephen Kohlscheen, James Gillheeney, Carson Smith, Logan Bawcom and Jonathan Arias to follow. The game will be televised live for MLB.TV subscribers and for free on a delayed basis at 1 p.m. PT on the MLB Network.
Here’s a feature I wrote on outfielder Xavier Avery, who is making a bid for a backup role this spring.