Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
February 25, 2009 3:49 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
It really did look like the first spring training game for the Mariners in this one as they left a dozen runners on base in a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the San Diego Padres. Rob Johnson hit a tying solo homer in the ninth, but Stephen Kahn yielded the walk-off, two-out single to hefty Kyle Blanks to decide this affair. Blanks just missed taking Kahn over the left field wall on the previous pitch, which wound up being a foul ball. On the single, he actually drove the ball deep to right center for what would have been an extra-base hit had it not ended the contest. See the game-winning hit and post-game celebration by San Diego from down at field level and on the field in the video below.
The game was going to end on the next out in any event, since it was only an exhibition charity affair. The two teams go at it again tomorrow in the official Cactus League opener.
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu spoke moments ago down on the field. Listen to what he had to say in the audio clip. Wakamatsu was pleased with some of the things he saw, like the two scoreless innings tossed by Ryan Rowland-Smith and some of the sacrifice bunts by his hitters. Franklin Gutierrez got down a nice one in the second inning to move runners to second and third, then bunted for a single in the fourth inning.
But there were far too many runners stranded in this affair. Shades of last June in San Diego when the Mariners left 18 on base in a weird victory.
Like I said, it really doesn't matter much as players are just getting their feet wet. Randy Messenger tossed two scoreless innings of relief for the M's, while Ronny Cedeno and Russell Branyan each had two hits. One of Branyan's was a little blooper into left field, while the other was hit on a line. Matt Tuiasosopo also hit his second triple in three days -- the other one coming in an intra squad affair. Too bad none of it counts in Cactus League stat-keeping, which begins tomorrow. Other than that, and three double-plays the Mariners hit into, there was not a whole lot to talk about after this one.
Just a note on Ryan Feierabend. The Mariners issued a release today saying that surgery has yet to be decided upon as a treatment option for him. Feierabend will meet in Los Angeles with Dr. Lewis Yocum on March 3 and he will determine the extent of the injury. At that point, if surgery is decided upon, it will happen on March 4. At this point, surgery is looking very likely.