Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 33

Felix throwing to Beau Amaral.

Felix throwing to Beau Amaral.

Sunday, March 17, 2013 / 15 Days ‘til Opening Night (April 1 at Oakland) / 22 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Houston)

Game Recap:
The Mariners rode a pair of two-run homers from the heart of their lineup (Raul Ibañez & Kendrys Morales) to a 4-3 win over the Rangers in front of a crowd of 8,478 fans at Peoria Stadium. Moales homered for the second straight day, hitting a two-out, two-strike, two-run homer to right field in the bottom of the eighth to erase a 3-2 deficit and lift Seattle to the win. Ibanez slugged a two-run homer to right field (his third of the spring) to give Seattle a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Right-hander Blake Beavan worked 6.0 innings allowing one run on 3 hits. Here is a box score from MLB.com and video highlights of the home runs hit by Raul Ibañez and Kendrys Morales.

King Felix:
Felix Hernandez
made his third start of the spring this afternoon in a minor league game vs. the Cincinnati Reds High-A squad.  Felix allowed a run in the first inning, before settling down to hold the Reds scoreless over the final 3.0 innings. In all, Felix allowed 1 run on 3 hits, while hitting one batter and striking out 6 in 4.0 innings of work. He threw 62 pitches, 44 strikes combined to 16 batters.  One of the hits allowed by Felix was a single to right field in the third inning by Beau Amaral. Amaral’s dad, Rich was a fixture on the Mariners roster from 1991-98.

TV Time:
The game was televised by ROOT Sports in the Northwest with Dave Sims and Mike Blowers calling the action. It was the second of six spring telecasts by ROOT Sports. Starting with today’s game vs. the Rangers, four of the next five Mariners games will be televised on ROOT (check your local listings). In case you missed today’s game, it will be replayed at 7 p.m. following a 30-minute show featuring the Mariners 2013 Commercials.

Captain, My Captain:
The Texas Rangers were playing a split squad today, and with some of the Major League staff in Las Vegas, Spike Owen was the Rangers third base coach in Peoria. Spike was the Mariners first round pick (#6 overall) in the 1982 June draft out of the University of Texas. In 1986, Spike (that’s his given name, by the way) was the first, and still only, player to be named captain of the Mariners. Owen, and Mariners first base coach Mike Brumley, were teammates at Texas as Mike was drafted in 1983.

Spike Owen

Spike Owen

Lunch is on Me:
Mid-morning today a van pulled up outside the Mainers clubhouse and trays — and more trays — of food started to be unloaded. Turns out that Felix Hernandez bought lunch for the Major League side, and will treat the minor league side on Tuesday, with plenty of extra for front office staff. In fact, there was so much food that a lot of guys were packing ‘to-go’ boxes and stacking them in the fridge for dinner tonight. Lunch included barbequed ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked turkey, potato salad, baked beans, rolls, green salad and all the accoutrements.  In an unrelated development, the Mariners team nutritionist arrives in Peoria on Tuesday.

Tweets of the Day:

Must Be March 17:
To say an eclectic mix of music is played in the big league clubhouse would be an understatement. On any given morning, much less any given day, anything and everything from 80s pop, to current club music, to Latin salsa, to hard rock might come pumping out of the speakers. Today featured two renditions of The Unicorn song. The song seems (lyrics by Shel Silverstein) was made popular by the Irish Rovers and seems to only be heard on St. Patrick’s Day. Today it was the last song played before the morning meeting, and the last song played before the clubhouse closed before the game.

XM:
Former MLB general manager Jim Bowden and co-host Casey Stern from Sirius/XM’s Inside Pitch radio show were in camp today. They spoke with Jack Zduriencik and Eric Wedge in addition to nearly 10 players.

Dustin Ackley with XM Radio.

Dustin Ackley with XM Radio.

Irish Jig:
Prior to the start of the game as the ceremonial first pitch was being thrown, a group of girls from the Arizona Academy of Highland Dancers performed an Irish jig while bagpipes were being played. And it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day in 80-degree temperatures without someone dress up in a Guinness costume.

An Irish Jig for St. Patrick's Day.

An Irish Jig for St. Patrick’s Day.

Wear Your Green:
No Mariners player was in danger of being pinched for not wearing green today, as the Major League squad was decked out in special St. Patrick’s Day hats from New Era. A limited amount of the hats (shown below) were also for sale in the team store at Peoria Stadium. There was also of course a lot of green Mariners gear worn by fans throughout the stadium.

Green Hats.

Green Hats.

Good Crowds:
Over the last three Cactus League games the Mariners have played in front of some pretty large crowds. Seattle played in front of sold-out crowds on Friday vs. the Angels in Tempe (9,662) and Saturday vs. the Rockies at Salt River Fields (12, 427). Today the Mariners drew  spring-high 8,478 in the St. Patrick’s Day game vs. the Rangers at Peoria Stadium.

What’s on Tap:
The Mariners (15-7) take four-game winning streak, and their 8-3 road record, to Phoenix Municipal Stadium to play the Oakland Athletics (8-10-2) tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (1-0, 2.70) is scheduled to make his fifth spring appearance (4th start) against A’s right-hander A.J. Griffin (1-0, 1.80). The game will not be on TV or radio, the final spring game that will not be carried on 710 ESPN Seattle and the Mariners Radio Network.

 

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