Ryan Casteel's grand slam leads the Mariners to a big rally
Mariners 9 , Diamondbacks 5 at Salt River Field
The Mariners minor leaguers provided a little late inning magic, scoring seven runs in the top of the ninth and erasing a three-run deficit to pick up the win. Seattle entered the inning trailing 5-2 against Arizona reliever Yuhei Nakaushiro. With one out, Adam Law, Chantz Mack and Joe Rizzo all worked walks to load the bases. Ryan Casteel unloaded them with one swing, sending a mammoth blast into the center field planters well above the wall for a grand slam and a 6-5 lead. Seattle added three more run with Jay Baum’s two-run double and a RBI single from Law off of lefty Gabriel Moya.
“That was a bomb by Casteel,” manager Scott Servais said. “That’s about as far as you can hit one down here.”
Dan Altavilla worked a 1-2-3 ninth to end the game.
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“We had to get our daily nine runs in,” Servais said. “These games are crazy down here.”
Mariners starter Yovani Gallardo had his longest outing of the spring, working 4 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Gallardo threw 70 pitches with 42 strikes.
Andrew Moore pitched three innings, giving up three runs in the final inning of work.
Player of the game
If you hit a go-ahead grand slam in the top of the ninth to erase a three-run deficit, you are going to be the player of the game. Casteel, 25, signed as a minor league free agent in the middle of the 2016 season after being released by the Rockies, who had selected him in 17th round of the 2010 draft. Casteel spent time at catcher and first base. He’s career .274 hitter with a .766 OPS in the minor leagues.
“He mixed his pitches well. The last pitch – the backdoor cutter – to get out of the bases loaded jam in the fourth inning was good. He had the high pitch count inning in the third. But I thought he looked fine. He looked very comfortable. He got out of rhythm a little bit, which led to the walks, but for the most part I thought his stuff was good.” — Servais on Gallardo
The Mariners will return to Peoria Stadium to host the San Francisco Giants. Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma will make the start for Seattle with right-handers Max Povse and Nick Vincent scheduled to pitch. The Giants starter is to be determined. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. The game will be televised on Root Sports and MLB.TV and broadcast on mariners.com and ESPN 710.