Mariners 5, Reds 5, at Goodyear Ballpark
Perhaps it’s fitting that the Mariners’ final game of 2021 spring training ended in a tie. When Brady Lail somehow managed to instinctively grab the hard one-hopper back at the mound, then look into his glove to make sure the ball was really in there and then throw to first with a smile, it meant the game Monday ended with the go-ahead run stranded on third base.
With Lail saving the game from being a defeat, and instead a 5-5 tie, the Mariners finished their Cactus League schedule with an 11-11-6 record. Yes, Seattle had six ties this spring.
Seattle jumped to a five-run lead, scoring three runs in the first inning off Reds starter Brandon Finnegan. Evan White ripped a two-run double to left-center and Taylor Trammell had to settle for a run-scoring double after his line drive to right-center hit off the wall about a foot below being a home run. Sam Haggerty made it 5-0 in the fifth inning with a two-run double to center.
But the Mariners’ bullpen couldn’t hold the lead after Chris Flexen pitched three scoreless innings. Rafael Montero had his first hiccup of the spring as the Reds scored five runs in the fifth inning. Montero couldn’t finish the inning after getting two outs from the first three batters he faced. He gave up a run-scoring single, a walk, another run-scoring single and walked one more before being pulled. His replacement, Taylor Guerrieri, allowed a run on a wild pitch and then Haggerty dropped a ball in center field, which would have been the third out. Instead, two runs scored.
Neither team scored in the next four innings with mostly backups and minor-league players in the game.
Player of the game
Flexen looked solid in his three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with no walks and three strikeouts. His fastball sat around 92-93 mph, but his changeup was solid and kept hitters off balance. He looked nothing like the pitcher who got roughed up for six runs on nine hits against the Angels on March 17.
The Mariners headed to Seattle after the game. They will have Tuesday off to get their housing situations in order. They will have a workout Wednesday afternoon at T-Mobile Park in preparation for opening the 2021 season Thursday night against the Giants. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.