Note: Ben recapped the first part of this game, where the Mariners were winning. As soon as Kate took over, they started losing. I, Kate, deeply regret this.
Mike Leake, making his second appearance of the spring, continued his efforts to fortify the M’s rotation by tossing three scoreless innings, scattering three hits while striking out four. Leake was peppering the strike zone all day long, throwing 30 of his 37 pitches for strikes, and throwing first pitch strikes to eight of 11 Royals hitters. Casey Lawrence entered the game in the fourth—making his second appearance of Cactus League play—and fared a little less favorably than the M’s starter, surrendering four hits over two innings of action. KC was able to string three of those hits together to pick up a run off of Lawrence.
After the first three frames, the Mariners had managed just a Robinson Cano single, and walks by Jean Segura and Matt Hague off of the combination of Burch Smith followed by Jesse Hahn. The bats got going for Seattle in the fourth as the Mariners got to the former-Oakland A for three runs on the back of a Nelson Cruz walk and singles by Kyle Seager, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt Hague. Friend of the site Ian Miller was given a chance to show off his wheels, swiping second and advancing to third after reaching on a fielders choice.
[Happy music becomes ominous, and Kate appears]
Unfortunately, that would be it for Seattle’s offense, and the trio of Casey Lawrence, Chase De Jong, and Chasen Bradford each gave up runs to the Royals’ B squad. One run over two innings isn’t terrible for Casey Lawrence, who managed to work around a fastball that was looking incredibly hittable. Chasen Bradford didn’t look as sharp as he did in an earlier appearance either, surrendering what would be the go-ahead run. The worst line of the day looks like it belongs to Chase De Jong, who gave up an Extremely Spring Training two-run home run, but outside of that De Jong continues to look much improved from last year. He’s keeping the ball down in the zone much better and getting a lot of groundouts, something he didn’t get last year, and when he goes up he’s jamming guys and mostly getting harmless flyouts when it’s not Jorge Soler hitting the ball into the jet stream. His curveball showed some nice bite today too, and he was able to use it to record his one strikeout on the day:
(Nice frame job by Marjama on that, as well, who also had a really nice block and is starting to look like a fine defensive catcher.)
Mariners pitching gave up no walks and struck out seven, while Royals pitchers struck out eleven but surrendered six walks. However, despite being able to draw three walks, the back end of the Royals bullpen (6 Ks among the three) simply overmatched the Mariners’ young hitters. The Z was C’d, PTPAs were made, but ultimately it didn’t add up to a win. Sometimes the process is good and the results aren’t there. Hopefully next time they are rewarded with a win.