David Phelps gave up two home runs for the Mariners, who at least saw four scoreless innings by Marco Gonzales in the loss to Oakland.
A’s 7, Mariners 3 at Peoria Stadium
This was a sloppy affair that the Mariners would just as soon forgot, as they made four errors and allowed three Oakland home runs – two of them off reliever David Phelps, who got shelled.
But there were some positive elements for the Mariners, most notably four scoreless innings by Marco Gonzales even without his best stuff.
“Marco wasn’t as sharp tonight as he has been the first couple of times,’’ Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It was a learning spot for Marco. When you don’t have your best stuff, you’ve still got to figure out a way to keep us in the game, and he did that tonight.”
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Robinson Cano had his first home run of the spring, and Daniel Vogelbach continued a strong spring with a pair of doubles that raised his average to .467 (7-for-15).
Defensively, Dee Gordon was the standout with two strong throws to third base from center field, one that nailed the runner trying to advance on a wild pickoff attempt, the other barely late on a tag-up.
“He’s an exciting player,’’ Servais said. “He can do a lot of different things on the field. Obviously the speed, the arm, the bat, it’s the whole package.”
Player of the game
Gonzales, a likely member of the Mariners’ rotation, is now unscored upon in nine innings this spring. He worked out of several jams, aided by a couple of double plays.
“I was just focusing on making pitches after getting guys on,’’ he said.
Last year, Gonzales was coming off Tommy John surgery that limited his participation in spring. Now he’s throwing all his pitches with confidence, saying that his cutter and curve were effective pitches on Wednesday.
“It’s very different (than last spring),’’ he said. “I wasn’t even in games. I
was throwing bullpens, barely. So I’m grateful to be able to take the mound and feel good afterwards.”
“Vogie has a lot of confidence. He’s getting his pitch, he’s aggressive, that’s the biggest thing. I thought last year he was a little passive, kind of always looking for his pitch, taking a lot of strikes. He’s up there attacking it and getting good results.” – Servais on Daniel Vogelbach.
In order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Ichiro, RHP Shawn Armstrong was designated for assignment. Armstrong, who has 39 games of major-league experience, was acquired from Cleveland in December in exchange for international slot money. Seattle has seven days to trade, release, or outright the contract of Armstrong to the minor leagues.
The Mariners also reassigned three players to minor-league camp: RHP Matt Fest Sn a, C Joseph Odom, and INF Jordan Cowan. That leaves them with 40 roster players and 20 non-roster players.
Servais said that Ichiro will likely need at least three or four days of workouts before seeing game action. He may face Nick Vincent when he throws a live BP session later in the week. … Mitch Haniger (hand) has done well in batting practice and Servais hopes to get him in a game this weekend. … Ryon Healy continues to progress well from his hand injury but was given a down day on Wednesday to rest. On Tuesday, he took swings with the bat, no contact … Felix Hernandez, recovering from his bruised arm, was scheduled to play catch again on Wednesday, increasing the distance. Asked when Hernandez will return to game action, Servais said he needs to throw all his pitches off the mound first. … RHP Nick Rumbelow, sidelined with what Servais termed a neck issue, is having more medical tests done. “The timing for him is not good, obviously,” Servais said. “Coming in here having a chance to make the club, being in a training room, it’s going to be a challenge for him to do that.”
The Mariners play the last of three consecutive night games at Peoria Stadium on Thursday against the San Francisco Giants. Rob Whalen will start for the Mariners, followed by Max Povse, with possible appearances by Edwin Diaz and Juan Nicasio. The Giants will start right-hander Johnny Cueto. First pitch is set for 5:40 pm. PT. The game will be televised live on Root Sports and broadcast live on ESPN 710 and mariners.com.