Cactus League Game 1: Mariners 4, Padres 3 (10)
Player of the game: In a contest played mostly by Seattle’s prospects, Taijuan Walker stood out with his two scoreless innings to open the game. Walker appears ready to do battle for a rotation berth and this was a solid first step as he gave up just a leadoff single in a 32-pitch outing that included strikeouts of Matt Kemp and Jedd Gyorko.
Main storyline: Manager Lloyd McClendon chose to hold back all his veterans in the opener, but the Mariners more than held their own against a Padres lineup that featured much of San Diego’s top talent. D.J. Peterson cracked a home run in his first at-bat of the spring in the first inning for the early lead and Patrick Kivlehan drove in the winning run in the 10th with a sharp single to right field that was misplayed for an error that allowed Tyler Marlette to cross the plate.
News of note: Young first baseman Ji-Man Choi suffered a fractured fibula (the long, thin bone in the lower leg) when he landed awkwardly while trying to snare a high throw from shortstop Tyler Smith in the ninth inning. Choi had to be carted off and likely will miss most or all of the upcoming season with what looked like an ugly injury.
Up next: The same two teams play Thursday at 12:05 p.m. PT at Peoria Stadium with Roenis Elias getting the start for Seattle. McClendon said he’ll play a lot of his veterans in this one, which will again be broadcast live on ROOT Sports and MLB.TV.
You can see today’s boxscore here.