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Marco silences Rangers bats, accidentally also silences Mariners bats until 9th inning, M’s tie 4-4

MLB: Spring Training-Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday’s Spring matchup showed the power potential of Seattle’s young outfield. Today, short of a couple veterans, the offense was nearly nonexistent until two outs in the bottom of the ninth. A furious comeback led to a Spring Training tie at 4-4, but outside of a 2nd inning threat the offense did little most of the afternoon.

Catch up on the action blow-by-blow in the game thread here.

Kyle Seager got things going, keeping his encouraging Spring going with an opposite field double that one-hopped the wall. Daniel Vogelbach and J.P. Crawford each worked walks, but Austin Nola struck out swinging, putting the onus on Braden Bishop with two outs. Bishop beat out a slow roller to drive in a run and take a 1-0 lead, knocking Adrian Sampson from the game. The M’s wouldn’t score again until the 9th, when Jake Fraley clobbered a two-run homer off AAA-vet Phillips Valdez and Chris Mariscal followed with a solo shot of his own to tie the game 4-4.

Other things of note included...

  • A lights-out second showing from Marco Gonzales. It was all on display today, with five Ks in 3.0 innings, just one walk and one hit allowed, and a near-pickoff of Delino DeShields that had the baserunner totally fooled. Gonzales looks ready to throw Opening Day right now if you asked, and it’s nice to see. He also enjoyed a moment with his friend Patrick Wisdom, who he K’d:
  • Jay Bruce lined a single up the middle and followed it with a stolen base in the bottom of the third, while Jerry Dipoto looked on behind home plate. When asked about it later on the broadcast, Bruce asserted he was simply trying to get closer to scoring. A thing of beauty it was not.
Lookin good
Now hold on, Jay let’s... well
This is technically a slide that you’ve done
Safe is untrue a couple ways here.

Congrats to Jay on his thievery.

  • Cory Gearrin and Chasen Bradford both got knocked around a bit. Gearrin walked the leadoff guy, then allowed a laser single by Rangers right fielder Nomar Mazara. He rebounded to strikeout Patrick Wisdom but was bailed out of a longer inning by a heroic defensive play from Mitch Haniger (and an unlucky hit-and-run by Mazara). The ROOT coverage cut away from the throw for some reason so the gif ends early, but just know Dee Gordon caught this and tagged the bag.
  • Zac Rosscup looked deceptive, and got through an inning without incident. J.P. Crawford made a nice play on a ball to end the inning, and would later make another solid play, recovering off a knuckling liner to throw out Patrick Wisdom.

That patience was good to see, and necessary as Chasen Bradford had just allowed a pair of doubles after hitting poor Hunter Pence with a pitch.

  • In the 7th we saw a line change, and several prospects of lesser acclaim made appearances. We got our first look at LHP Ricardo Sanchez who worked around a weak single to record a pair of strikeouts and received the benefit of a lovely play from 2018 draftee Bobby Honeyman.
  • Nick Rumbelow avoided further wrath from Kate with a 1-2-3 8th inning, but submariner Jack Anderson got an unfortunate pairing of a sinking fly ball triple down the right field line caroming around for Isiah Kiner-Falefa, followed by a sky-high chopper bouncing over 1B Dustin Ackley with the infield in to make it 4-1. A Honeyman-Mariscal-Ackley double play and another fine play from Honeyman on a sawed-off slow roller quelled the threat.
  • In the 9th, Fraley and Mariscal went yard, with the hirsute outfielder putting a 2-2 fastball well beyond the wall.

Not the most explosive game from the MLB-level Mariners, but some solid showings from the younger guys like Sanchez, Honeyman, and Fraley against players at or above their expected level of competition. Tomorrow Seattle is at Cleveland for a radio-only matchup with Mike Leake on the hill.