Worse than blowing a 9-2 lead was seeing Felix Hernandez leave the game after betting struck in the right forearm by a linedrive.
Mariners 9, Cubs 9 at Sloan Park
The Mariners (2-1) not only lost a starting pitcher, but blew a 9-2 lead and had to settle for a tie. Former Mariner Mike Freeman belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off of right-hander Seth Elledge to tie the game at 9-9. Neither team wanted to play an extra inning.
But for the Mariners, the biggest moment in the game came when Felix Hernandez exited in the second inning after being struck on the upper right forearm by a line drive off the bat of catcher Victor Caratini. Hernandez was taken back to the Mariners complex in Peoria to be examined by a team doctor.
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The Mariners jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning. Facing lefty Brian Duensing, Matt Hague slammed a solo homer to left field for Seattle’s first run. Later in the inning, Dee Gordon, who isn’t known for his power, slugged a three-run homer to right-center.
Besides Elledge, minor league reliever Jack Anderson struggled, giving up five runs (three earned) without recording an out in the eighth inning.
Player of the game
Seth Mejias-Brean delivered the biggest hit of the game. With the Mariners leading 5-1, Mejias-Brean stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh inning. The veteran minor league third baseman crushed a pitch from right-hander Craig Brooks for a grand slam, capping off a five-run inning.
“Felix was throwing the ball really well too. The report I got back is that it’s a contusion. Nothing’s broken, but he’s going to be out a little while. We’ll know more in the couple of days. It’s unfortunate that it happened, but lucky it’s not any worse than it is. We’ll wait and see how he feels the next couple of days.” — manager Scott Servais
The Mariners will be a split squad on Tuesday with a home game in Peoria and a road game in Surprise. Lefty James Paxton will start for the squad at Peoria Stadium against the Padres. Lefties Marc Rzepczynski and James Pazos and right-handers Christian Bergman, Nick Rumbelow and Johendi Jiminian are scheduled to pitch against San Diego. Meanwhile at Surprise stadium, right-hander Andrew Moore will get the start against the Royals with pitchers called up from minor league camp filling out the rest of the innings. The Mariners game against the Padres will be broadcast live on mariners.com