Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 35

Sunset outside of Peoria Stadium prior to first pitch.

Sunset outside of Peoria Stadium prior to first pitch.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 / 13 Days ‘til Opening Night (April 1 at Oakland) / 20 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Houston)

Game Recap:
Kendrys Morales
homered for the third consecutive game to help lift the Seattle Mariners to their sixth straight win with a 6-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants before a nearly sold-out crowd of 11,188 Tuesday night at Peoria Stadium. With their sixth consecutive Cactus League win, the Mariners improved to 17-7 to tie the Kansas City Royals (17-6-1) for the most spring training wins. Starting pitcher Brandon Maurer continued his solid spring allowing one run over 5.0 innings, limiting the Giants to three hits while striking out four. Franklin went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI, while Kyle Seager (2×4, R) and Michael Saunders (2×5, 3B, RBI) also recorded multi-hit games. Here is a box score from MLB.com.

Saunders Pitches:
A crowd of at least 300 hundred spectators, including scouts, front office staff and the Major League coaching staff had an early wakeup call with a 10 am start times on field 3 to watch a minor league intrasquad games between the Mariners Double-A and Triple-A squads. Left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders got the start for the double-A team, allowing 2 runs on 8 hits, while walking and striking out 8 in 6.0 innings. Overall he threw 78 pitches, 53 for strikes. Intrasquad games can sometimes be a little difficult to follow. Twice Saunders recorded 3 outs in an inning and then stayed out on the mound and to get in more work. Mariners top prospects Taijuan Walker and James Paxton each threw 3.0 innings for the Mariners triple-A team, who defeated the double-A squad 5-3. Walker’s only hit allowed was a mammoth home run to outfielder Jabari Blash that cleared the street in left field.

Joe Saunders.

Joe Saunders.

The Maurer’s Were Tuned In:
Brandon Maurer
was all smiles after another solid outing, allowing three hits and one run in his 5.0-inning start. Maurer was also excited because he said his parents got to watch the game on TV in Southern California (Orange County) rather than follow the game via MLB Gameday.

Getting More Work In:
After Brandon Maurer completed his start, he went down to the Mariners bullpen to throw 16 more pitches. Why you ask? The goal was to get Brandon to 80 pitches tonight, and he threw 64 in his 5.0 innings of work. So after he was done, he headed down to the bullpen and got in the extra work. We’ve seen this a lot recently as Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma have also done it.

Night Game = Big Crowd:
The Mariners played their first of three consecutive night games in front of a nearly sold-out crowd of 11,188 at Peoria Stadium. We expect another big crowd when the Cubs visit Peoria Stadium on Thursday night.

Off Day Tomorrow:
Tomorrow is the third of four scheduled off days this spring, with the final one being a travel day to Salt Lake City on March 29. Right-hander Jeremy Bonderman is scheduled to be the starting pitcher in one of the Mariners minor league games.

Thanks for Lunch King Felix:
Felix Hernandez
treated all the minor league players and staff to a catered lunch by Famous Dave’s. Mariners Field Coordinator Jack Howell introduced Felix to the group and thanked him for being so generous. The spread was plentiful and the players did not go home hungry.

Tweet of the Day:

Happy Birthday Hevly and Hartley:
A big happy birthday to Mariners front office staffers, Senior Director of Baseball Information Tim Hevly and Video Coordinator Jimmy Hartley.

Happy Birthday Jimmy Hartley.

Happy Birthday Jimmy Hartley.

On the Tube:
Two of the next three Mariners games will be televised by ROOT Sports, Thursday vs. the Cubs (7:05 p.m.) and Saturday vs. the Indians (1:05 p.m.).

The Radio Dial:
In addition to being televised by ROOT Sports, tonight’s game was broadcast live on 710 ESPN Seattle and the Mariners Radio Network. It began a stretch of the final 10 spring training games that will all be carried live on the radio.

Meet Aaron Goldsmith:
Mariners fans have had the chance to listen to new broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith all spring, and tonight he made his TV debut sitting in with Dave Sims and Mike Blowers on the TV broadcast for a few innings. We are sure you’ll grow to love Aaron’s voice and personality on the radio.

Lights, camera, action!

Lights, camera, action!

Not in Jackson Anymore:
Chris Harris
, the voice of the Mariners AA affiliate Jackson Generals (in addition to being their PR guy), joined Rick Rizzs on the radio broadcast for a few innings while Aaron Goldsmith joined the TV announcers. Harris is a hard-worker and a great friend to the organization, and knows all of our top prospects as well as anyone. You can follow Chris on twitter via @CHarris731.

What’s on Tap:
The Mariners (17-7) have an off day tomorrow and will return to Cactus League play Thursday night against the Chicago Cubs at 7:05 p.m. at Peoria Stadium. The game will again be televised on ROOT Sports and broadcast on 710 ESPN Seattle and the Mariners Radio Network. Veteran right-hander Jon Garland (1-0, 1.50) is scheduled to make his fourth spring start against Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija (2-0, 3.68).

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