Mariners play two, win two in split squad sweep

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Miller homers, Dustin Ackley stays hot, and Chris Taylor hits a grand slam, all spread across two different games.

It's hard enough to follow one baseball game during work, let alone two. When the Mariners split into two teams for today's games against the Reds and Rockies, I chose the Colorado game for one reason: Dustin Ackley. Not only has Ackley's box score looked fantastic, but he's passing the eye test as well so far. We can't trust the stats because of the miniscule sample, but the ball has been jumping off his bat this year. It was no different today. Insert segue to large header, and

Mariners 8, Rockies 1

  • It was the Dustin Ackley show yet again, as he went 2 for 3 with a bases-clearing double. Ackley's now 6 for 10 in spring training, and three of those hits are doubles. You've seen clips of his other rips, so here's the latest, crushed over the head of Brandon Barnes.
  • Ackleydouble3 (Courtesy Seattle Mariners)
  • Abraham Almonte, starting at leadoff and in center field again, made a pair of impressive basket catches. He's clearly earning some favor of Lloyd McClendon, though he has yet to do a thing with the bat, putting in another 0/3 line today. Still, every day without an outfield acquisition seems more and more likely that he will crack the 25-man roster.
  • Justin Smoak and Corey Hart combined for three walks, and Hart actually ended up with a credited steal of home on a busted throw down to second. Hart jogged home, and was in no danger of blowing a wheel.
  • Seattle's best vodka-themed prospect Ketel Marte replaced Robinson Cano, who again went 2/3. Marte scored and played second base. Marte was up from the minor league camp, and if you haven't heard of him, neither had I - he spent most of 2013 with Clinton and hasn't hit much through his minor league career. Still, he got to replace Robinson Cano in a sort-of real baseball game. That's cool.
  • If Marte's favorite drink doesn't involve his name then he probably has good taste and doesn't like shitty drinks.
  • Blake Beavan pitched three scoreless innings, which wouldn't mean anything even if you wanted it to, but it especially doesn't mean anything because it's Blake Beavan and he still gave up 4 hits without striking anyone out. Since nothing means anything but I still want to care, I will pick and choose the stat lines I get excited about. Blake Beavan is not one of those players.
  • Zach Miner struck out the side, which is pretty cool until you remember that he's wearing a wide receiver's number (#83), and he struck out a bunch of guys wearing defensive line numbers. The late innings of these games are hilarious.

Mariners 6, Reds 5

  • It was a couple of shortstops who won the game for Seattle in this one, as Brad Miller answered Nick Franklin's hot start with his first bomb of spring training, and then Chris Taylor hit a grand slam in the 7th to put the Mariners on top for good. Miller, pictured, had his jersey covered in dirt as he trotted around the bases, because of course it was.
  • Mike Zunino checked in with an RBI double in the 5th inning. That's only sort of cool until you see that he pulled an Aroldis Chapman fastball to left. Well, it doesn't say what kind of pitch it was. Let's pretend it was a fastball. It's best that way.
  • Jesus Montero went 0/3 at DH, and I anxiously await for games to be televised so I can see him attempt to play first base. Montero has one hit in 9 AB so far.
  • Burt Reynolds got into the game as a late sub and walked, keeping his batting average at exactly 1.000. Stop. Quit. I want the Mariners to employ a player named Burt Reynolds who is a flawless baseball player. Don't let him pick up a bat again. Let the legacy live on.
  • Erasmo Ramirez started and wasn't particularly sharp, giving up 4 hits and 3 runs in 2 2/3 innings of work. But the rest of the pitchers only gave up 4 hits combined, and Nick Hill struck out the side wearing #68. I think offensive line is better than J.J. Stokes. But Richie Incognito. Get a new number, Nick.

Tomorrow's game against the Dodgers will be the first televised offering of the year, albeit on MLB.tv.  First pitch is at 12:05.

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