Mariners 13, Royals 0 at Surprise Stadium
After being on the receiving end of a few lopsided spring training drubbings, the Mariners reversed the roles and delivered one Tuesday night against the Royals.
Seattle scored in each of the first five innings, rolling up a total of 12 runs and 14 hits in that span. Meanwhile, Seattle’s pitchers allowed just three hits with two walks and 14 strikeouts.
“We were due for a bust-out game tonight,” manager Scott Servais said.
The highlights of that early barrage, included:
- A run-scoring triple and an RBI double from Sam Haggerty
- RBI single from Mitch Haniger and J.P. Crawford
- A two-run single from Evan White
- Two-run homers from Ty France and Tom Murphy
But the most memorable moment came in the fifth inning when Julio Rodriguez entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Murphy. The Mariners’ prized power-hitting prospect worked a 3-1 count vs. Royals hard-throwing pitching prospect Carlos Hernandez. He got a fastball and unleashed on it, sending a line drive to right-center.
The sound off the bat was loud and was followed by an audible gasp from the 1,900 fans in attendance. The ball was hit so hard and with so much backspin, it just continued to carry and rise. It went over the wall in very deep right-center for his first homer of the spring. It had an estimated distance of 437 feet.
It was a preposterous blast for a 19-year-old, who has less than two full seasons of games at the lowest of professional levels. It also offered a delicious glimpse of his vast potential. Rodriguez also drove in a run later in the game on a hard ground ball to shortstop.
Player of the game
Despite all the offensive fireworks, Justus Sheffield’s outing can’t be overlooked. The young lefty tossed four shutout innings, allowing two hits with two walks and six strikeouts. He had four ground-ball outs and no fly-ball outs. In his previous outing, Sheffield was roughed up by the Rangers, giving up six runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings with three walks and no strikeouts. Sheffield used his bullpen in between starts to work on his “putaway” slider and finishing changeups. Both pitches were solid vs. the Royals.
The Mariners return to the Peoria Sports Complex to host the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday evening. Right-hander Chris Flexen will start for Seattle with right-handers Rafael Montero, Kendall Graveman and Keynan Middleton all scheduled to pitch. The Angels will start lefty Jose Quintana. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. The game will be televised live on ROOT sports, while ESPN 710-AM and mariners.com will have a live radio broadcast.