Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 44
The Mariners scored three runs with two outs in the eighth inning to claim a 6-4 come-from-behind win over the Cubs at HoHoKam Park. Minor leaguer Nate Tenbrink singled to drive in Jesus Sucre to tie the game at 4-4, and Kelly Shoppach followed with a two-RBI double for the margin of victory. Hisashi Iwakuma started and worked four innings. He allowed three runs, with two coming on a two-out, two-RBI homer by Alfonso Soriano. Kameron Loe worked 2.0 innings (1 un-earned run) and Lucas Luetge, Carter Capps, Tyler Burgoon (SV) each had a scoreless inning pitched. Full box score here.
Today’s tilt in Mesa was the final Spring Training game in Arizona for the Mariners. They will fly on Friday to Salt Lake City, and close out the exhibition schedule with one game versus Colorado on Saturday. This was the Mariners 37th spring in the Valley of the Sun, the 20th playing games at Peoria Stadium. (Seattle actually trained in Peoria in 1993, but the stadium was not built yet and the team played all road games). From 1977-1992, the Mariners called Tempe Diablo home, the same spring facility that the Seattle Pilots used in 1969 and 1970.
And, Goodbye HoHoKam (sort of):
Today’s tilt in Mesa was also the final game for the Chicago Cubs in HoHoKam Park. The Cubs have trained in Mesa since 1979 (and also 1952-65) and will remain in Mesa in 2014, but in a new facility about three miles from their current site. The Oakland A’s will remain in Phoenix Municipal for the 2014 spring, but will move into the Cubs former facility (albeit, remodeled) for spring of 2015. And since you’re wondering, Arizona State will move into Phoenix Muni. The Mariners played the first, and the last, game in remodeled HoHoKam. The ‘new’ ballpark opened here on Feb. 28, 1997.
Today was the Mariners 21st win this spring, tying the club record (also: 1994). Mariners will have one more chance to pick up a first-ever 22nd Spring Training win on Saturday.
With the end of Spring Training in AZ, comes the official end of the career of longtime Mariners clubhouse manager Henry Genzale. Henry worked in big league clubhouses in Seattle in three different Stadia (Sicks’, the Kingdome and Safeco Field) and has worked with the Mariners since their inaugural season of 1977.
Michael Morse hit his Cactus League leading 9th homer of the spring in the second inning. Nine home runs is a new Mariners club record, surpassing Mike Wilson’s total of 8 in 2009. Morse’s longball also meant that Seattle homered in 31 of 32 games in Arizona this spring. Seattle’s total of 56 homers this spring leads all MLB teams, and is the (tie) second most in the past 20 years (Chicago-NL, 62 in 1999; Kansas City 56 in 2009).
Opening Day at Safeco:
Fans in Seattle can take in the April 1 Opening Day game vs. A’s as part of an Open House at Safeco Field. The event features free admission and free parking in the Safeco Field and Century Link garages. Gates open at 6 pm and first pitch in Oakland is at 7:07 pm for Felix Hernandez vs. Brett Anderson.
Tweet of the Day:
Friday is a travel day for Seattle. The club will play Colorado in Salt Lake City on Saturday at 12:05 pm (PT). Saturday’s game will be broadcast on 710 ESPN Seattle, and televised by ROOT Sports. Right-hander Brendan Maurer is scheduled to start for Seattle, with left-hander Jeff Francis taking the hill for the Rockies.