Yes, it's just spring training, and yes, the pitching that late in the game is rarely at a big-league standard — but for the second straight day, the Mariners came back to beat the world champion Cubs via a ninth-inning rally
Mariners 11, Cubs 10, at Peoria Stadium
Yes, it’s just spring training, and yes, the pitching that late in the game is rarely at a big-league standard — but for the second straight day, the Mariners came back to beat the world champion Cubs via a ninth-inning rally
Trailing 10-2 after six and a half innings, the Mariners scored four runs in the seventh, two in the eighth, and three in the ninth to thrill the 12,201 in attendance.
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Tri-cities native Shawn O’Malley provided the walk-off hit, driving in Luis Rengifo and Bryson Brigman with a one-out single to right.
On the pitching front, Seattle got a third straight quality outing from its starter, this time in the form of Chris Heston going three innings without allowing a run. The right-hander also struck out two Cubs without surrendering a walk.
Despite a productive 2015 in San Francisco, where he went 12-11 with a 3.95 ERA, Heston logged just five major league innings last year. But he said he is starting to rediscover his form from two seasons ago.
“To be able to get the sinker down and get the ground-ball outs is really my whole game plan,” said Heston, who has now gone six spring-training innings without giving up a run. “To be able to get that back rolling again was nice.”
The relief pitching, on the other hand, wasn’t so nice for the Mariners. Nick Vincent surrendered three earned runs in one inning, and Thyago Vieira gave up four runs in two thirds of an inning.
Player of the game
Joe DeCarlo. The 23-year-old third baseman has never played a major league game, but he made some major league swings on Friday. Finishing 2 for 2 with a team-high three RBI, DeCarlo hit a three-run homer in the seventh to cut the deficit to four, then led off the ninth with a single.
Outfielder Luis Liberato gets an honorable mention for his two-run homer in the eighth.
“It was good to see the young kids — DeCarlo with the big hits and Liberato is one of our better prospects. That kid hit two triples in the exact same spot in a ‘B’ game the other day. I guess that must be what he does.”
-Mariners manager Scott Servais
The Mariners will host the Reds at Peoria Stadium Saturday afternoon. Right-hander Chase De Jong will start on the mound for Seattle. The first pitch is scheduled for 12:10 PST.