Rangers 6, Mariners 5 at Surprise Stadium
The Mariners jumped on Rangers lefty starter Wes Benjamin, scoring three runs in the first inning. Mitch Haniger led off the game with a single and Ty France followed with his fifth homer of the spring, which was a deep blast to left-center field. Luis Torrens added a sac fly to score Kyle Seager.
In 13 games this spring, France has a .424/.500/.970 slash line with 14 hits in 33 at-bats, including three doubles, five homers, 10 RBI, three walks and five strikeouts.
The Mariners tacked on two more runs against Benjamin in the third inning. Mitch Haniger crushed a solo homer to dead center. With two outs, Kyle Lewis sliced a double into right-center and scored on Dylan Moore’s single through the left side to make it 5-0.
But the Mariners bullpen let the game get away. Kendall Graveman gave up a two-run homer to Nate Lowe and Joey Gerber was banged around for four runs in the seventh.
Player of the game
Making a spot start with Yusei Kikuchi pitching in a B game, right-hander Robert Dugger pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Not overpowering, Dugger got four groundball outs and showed solid composure. Dugger is in his second stint with the organization. After being taken by the Mariners in the 18th round of the 2016 draft out of Texas Tech, Dugger was sent to Miami in the trade that brought back Dee Strange-Gordon. The Mariners claimed Dugger off waivers this offseason and outrighted him to Triple-A Tacoma.
“I really liked what I saw from Dugger. He was very composed, a strike thrower. He’s got a couple different breaking balls — the curveball or the slider are both really effective, and that’s our focus with him to try and pitch off those two pitches. And then he’s got enough fastball to keep people honest. I thought he did a great job tonight. He has not pitched much at all this spring and he really handled this situation.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais
The Mariners will travel to Maryvale to face the Milwaukee Brewers in a Sunday afternoon affair. After being forced to pitch in simulated games on the backfields due to complications with his work visa, James Paxton apparently has those issues taken care of and will make his first Cactus League start. Paxton is expected to go at least four innings and at least 75 pitches. Also scheduled to pitch are right-handers Yohan Ramirez, J.T. Chargois, Gerson Bautista and Joey Gerber. Milwaukee will start right-hander Freddy Peralta. The game will not be televised in any capacity. There will be a live radio broadcast on mariners.com and ESPN 710-AM.