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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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March 9, 2008 5:34 PM

Under way from the Power Plant

Posted by Jose Romero

Game over: Mariners (SS) 10, Diamondbacks 7
In Phoenix, Mariners lost 2-0 to Milwaukee, so they are now 5-6 in the Cactus League. Here's some info from intrepid baseball writer Larry Stone, who has arrived in Arizona and was at the game in Phoenix while I was in Tucson.

His report:

The Mariners avoided the embarrassment of being no-hit by the Brewers, but scratched out just two singles, sent 28 batters -- one over the minimum -- to the plate, and never advanced a runner past first base.

The Mariners, featuring a lineup that included regulars Ichiro, Jose Vidro, Raul Ibanez, Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre, were hitless into the seventh (with Brewers starter Claudio Vargas working five spotless innings) before Vidro led off with a single to center.

But Vidro was promptly erased on a double play. Beltre led off the eighth with another single, but that, too, was followed by a double-play ball.

The Mariners' only other base runner (and the only one to be stranded) was Willie Bloomquist, who walked in the third.

Mariners bench coach Jim Riggleman managed the game against Milwaukee while John McLaren was with the split squad in Tucson. Asked if he was dreading having to call McLaren and tell him his team had been no-hit, Riggleman laughed and said, "I know. I know. It was a small condolence to get a couple of hits."

Riggleman added, "The guys were irritated they didn't get any hits, and that's a good thing. They have pride. They don't feel good about the way the results were today. That will make them work that much harder."

Note from Phoenix:
-Lefthander Jake Woods was a standout for the Mariners, working two perfect innings with four strikeouts. Ryan Rowland-Smith also pitched two scoreless innings (two hits, one strikeout), and Eric O'Flaherty pitched one scoreless inning (no hits, one strikeout).

Notes from Tucson:
-McLaren said Aumont's outing was kept a secret on purpose in a designed move to avoid a big media buildup. "Good experience for him," McLaren said of the 19-year-old. "There's a lot of things he's got to learn in this game and it just gave him a little preview of what the game is all about on a higher level. He's going to be great."
-McLaren called Ramirez "two different pitchers," and said he looked best in the third inning.
-McLaren said Morse's home run was a perfect swing and that it made him feel good. "He's on the radar screen. We know what he's doing," McLaren said.
-Jose Lopez was 2-for-5 with 3 RBI and raised his spring average to .267.
-Brad Wilkerson was 2-for-5 with 2 RBI and is batting .357.

Top 8

Brad Wilkerson doubled deep into the gap in left center and drove in Mark Kiger and Greg Norton, who had walked with two out. Wilkerson is now 5-for-14 in spring training with 3 RBI. 10-7 Mariners.

Top 7

Morse just got his third hit, a double down the LF line. Runners at second and third for Lopez. He grounds out to a drawn-shortstop, run scores, 8-7 M's. Lopez is 2-for-4 with 3 RBI, his best game of the spring.

Middle of 6th

7-7 is the score in a slugfest. I've been told that Jose Vidro broke up a no-hitter in Maryvale and the M's are down 2-0 to the Brewers in the 7th in the split-squad game.

Spoke to Ramirez in the clubhouse just now and he said he's working on his changeup in camp, and it wasn't spotted as well as in previous outings. "The worst pitch I made was the one to Burke, the double in the gap," he said. "I was trying to a double-play ball there, but it stayed up in the zone and he hit it good. Besides that inning, my other two I thought, were good."
Stottlemyre told Ramirez to be more aggressive after the second inning.

Top 5
UPDATE: Tui time...RBI single for the Woodinville native who's great to talk to, by the way. 7-6 Seattle.
Matt Tuiasosopo is 3-for-10 in the spring with 3 RBI.

Must be a good group of Mariners fans here, because they just cheered a Jose Lopez double that drove in Brad Wilkerson and Mike Morse. It's tied at 6. Five RBI for Lopez this spring.


Minor-league camp had its first full workout Saturday. There are 133 players from the upper levels of the system are in camp. Rookie level players will report in a couple of weeks. The group (not counting non-roster players in major-league camp) includes 44 right-handed pitchers, 20 LHPs, 17 catchers, 28 infielders and 24 outfielders.
Minor league games begin March 14.

Bottom 4th
UPDATE II: Two-run single up the middle for the O-Dog, Orlando Hudson, and it's 6-4 D-backs.
UPDATE: Exit Aumont, who struggled. The bases are loaded with a run in after Aumont gave up two hits, a walk and hit a batter. He faced five hitters and got one out. Sean White is in to pitch. 4-4 game.

Phillippe Aumont, the M's first-round pick in 2007, is in to pitch. First major-league game action of the spring.

Top 4th
UPDATE: Jeremy Reed delivers a two-out, two run single to give the Mariners a 4-3 lead. Reed has two hits on the day.

Morse with another hit, he's 11-for-20 in the spring. Has two today.

End 2nd

50 pitches for Ramirez, 36 in the second. He got a lecture from pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre in the dugout.

Bottom 2nd

Ramirez looked OK in the first inning, but has struggled with his control some in the second. Back-to-back walks and a single loaded the bases, and Chris Burke ripped a bases-clearing double. 3-2 D-backs.

Top 2nd

Interesting how McLaren spoke of roster cuts earlier. One guy he won't cut soon, if ever in spring training, is Mike Morse. The big utility player just homered to the opposite field (right) and gave the M's a 2-0 lead after Kenji Johjima's double. Brandon Webb, Arizona's two-time All-Star and 2006 Cy Young Award winner.

Bot 1st

Here's Horacio Ramirez making his first spring training start. Big crowd on hand here. Greg Norton doubled in the top of the inning. He's hitting left-handed and took the ball to left.

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