The Mariners scored seven runs in the first two innings of Felix Hernandez's first start of the Cactus League, rolling to an 8-1 win over the White Sox.
Mariners 8, White Sox 1 at Cameback Ranch
Felix Hernandez made his Cactus League debut this spring, pitching two innings and giving up one run on three hits with a walk and no strikeouts. Hernandez needed just 10 pitches in the first inning, working around a one-out bloop single by getting an inning-ending double play. He gave up a leadoff bloop single to start the second and walked the next hitter after appearing to strike him out. Hernandez got a big double play, but gave up 3-2 double to Nick Delmonico for the only run in the game.
“I thought he was more aggressive with the fastball trying to get that going,” manager Scott Servais said. “I was happy to see that. I think he felt good about it. The ball was coming out good. It’s a step in the right direction.”
The Mariners also got solid pitching performances from the relievers. Right-hander Andrew Moore tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Hernandez, allowing one hit and striking out two batters. Lefty James Pazos pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning, right-hander Dylan Unsworth followed with two scoreless frames with three strikeouts. Relievers Paul Fry and Jean Machi each worked scoreless innings in the win.
Seattle scored seven of its eight runs in the first two innings. They scored four in the first inning off of hard-throwing phenom Michael Kopech, highlighted by Nelson Cruz’s RBI double off the fence in right center and Mitch Haniger’s deep three-run homer to left.
Player of the game
After fighting through some at-bats in his first few games in the Cactus League, Mitch Haniger showed some of the potential that the Mariners are so high on. Haniger crushed a 0-2 slider from Michael Kopech over the bullpen in left field and near the Dodgers offices for a three-run homer. Haniger also added a single in the game.
“It was nice to Haniger get going,” Servais said. “He was a little slow to get going here the last few days, but a good day for him. He needed it.”
“I thought Andrew Moore was outstanding. He went right at them with very good stuff. It’s kind of what I expected to see.Really, all of our guys threw the ball well and were ahead in the count for the most part. Pazos’ stuff was really good as well.” — Servais
The Mariners will travel to Goodyear Ballpark to face the American League champion Cleveland Indians. Left-hander Drew Smyly will be making his first start of the spring for Seattle. The Indians will go with right-hander Trevor Bauer. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. PT. The game will not be televised. There will be a live radio broadcast on ESPN 710 and www.mariners.com