Saturday’s Game 26 recap: Rockies 4, Mariners 3
Player of the Game: Left-hander Roenis Elias is turning into quite a spring story for the Mariners as he continued making his case to land a rotation berth with another solid outing. The 25-year-old Cuban allowed four hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings with two walks and four strikeouts. He threw 82 pitches, then went to the bullpen and tossed 10 more to get his final pitch count up to 92. His only mistake was a two-run homer by Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario on a fastball that drifted over the middle of the plate in the fourth.
Stat of the Game: Robinson Cano went 0-4, which serves as news this spring. Cano’s average dropped to .500 with just his second hitless game in Cactus League play. He did move a runner over to third to set up an RBI groundout by Kyle Seager in the third and then flew out to the opposite field twice before being replaced in the seventh inning.
Storyline: While Elias was impressing manager Lloyd McClendon in Scottsdale, fellow starting contender Scott Baker had a rugged outing against the A’s in another split-squad game in Phoenix. Baker was roughed up for six runs on seven hits with six walks in four-plus innings and gave up two homers. Meanwhile, Elias likely earned himself another start next week, according to McClendon, and certainly seems to be doing everything possible to keep his name alive in the battle for the final two starting spots behind Felix Hernandez, Erasmo Ramirez and James Paxton.
Worth noting: Shortstop Brad Miller continued his scorching spring with a 2-for-4 day that included two double. Miller now has four doubles, four triples and four home runs this spring and leads the Cactus League in slugging percentage at an impressive 1.000. Young reliever Dominic Leone also had another good showing, striking out the last four batters he faced in a scoreless 1 2/3 inning outing.
Quote of the Day: “He threw the ball extremely well. I was very pleased. He just keeps going out there and keeps doing good. He certainly has made a statement for himself.” – McClendon on Elias.
Next: Veteran southpaw Randy Wolf continues his bid for a rotation berth with his fifth start of the spring on Sunday when the Mariners host the A’s in a 1:05 p.m. PT game at Peoria Stadium. The 37-year-old non-roster invitee has thrown well coming back from a year off following Tommy John surgery and has a 4.15 ERA after throwing four scoreless innings with two hits against the Padres in his last outing. Closer Fernando Rodney and Yoervis Medina are also scheduled to pitch in the game, which will be carried live on Gameday Audio on MLB.com and 710 ESPN Seattle.
Here’s today’s boxscore from the Rockies’ game.
Here’s today’s boxscore from the A’s game.
Here’s my story on Elias’ outing and his improving chances of landing a rotation spot.
And here’s my notebook with all the day’s news from camp.