Mariners 2, White Sox 2 at Camelback Ranch (7 innings)
For the third consecutive Cactus League game, the Mariners neither won nor lost. Playing just seven innings, they settled for a 2-2 tie with the Chicago White Sox. The last time they had three consecutive ties in spring training was March 29-April 1, 2017.
The Mariners got most of their offensive production from the top of the order as Kyle Lewis batting No. 2, Ty France batting third and Cal Raleigh at the cleanup spot, combined for five hits and two RBI in eight plate appearances.
Lewis doubled to right field in the first inning and scored on France’s hard single to right field. The Mariners might have gotten more, but Raleigh’s rocket line drive to the right side was caught by second baseman Danny Mendick and turned into an inning-ending double play, doubling France. Raleigh got some revenge with an RBI single right in the third inning that tied the game at 2-2.
The Mariners got a scare when Jarred Kelenic was slow to return to first base after sprinting down the first-base line on a hard one-hopper that White Sox second baseman Adam Engel couldn’t field cleanly. Mariners head athletic trainer Kyle Torgerson and manager Scott Servais went out to talk to Kelenic, who looked to be in some discomfort.
After a brief conversation, Kelenic remained in the game. He took one more at-bat and played three innings before being replaced by Julio Rodriguez.
“Coming out of the box after he hit that bullet at the second baseman, I thought it might have been his hamstring, but he said it was not muscle related,” Servais said. “He said he tweaked his knee a little bit. I was about as convicted as I get to take him out of the game and he was not going to have any part of that. He’s OK. He wanted to get his couple at-bats and the trainer felt good about it. We’ll see how he is tomorrow and if he’s able to go, but I expect he’ll be fine.”
Play of the game
Instead of a player of the game, let’s go with play of the game and possibly play of the spring. Because how often do teams turn a 5-2-3-2 triple play?
Reliever Domingo Tapia found himself with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the fifth inning of a 2-2 game with Jose Abreu, the reigning American League MVP, at the plate.
Abreu hit a hard ground ball to third baseman Donovan Walton, who fired home to catcher Brian O’Keefe for the first out. O’Keefe quickly threw to Jantzen Witte at first base to easily get Abreu for the second out. Meanwhile Tim Anderson, who had been on second base, tried to take advantage of the situation and score on the play. Witte saw what was happening and fired home to O’Keefe. While it appeared Anderson slid in before the tag, O’Keefe blocked the back of the plate with his leg. Home plate umpire Todd Tichenor called Anderson out.
According to the Society of American Baseball Research, there have only been five 5-2-3-2 triple plays turned in the history of baseball. The last coming in 1955 by the Cubs.
“The key to the whole play is the first throw. The third baseman, Donnie Walton, hit the catcher right in the chest. It’s the simplicity of the game. It’s playing catch, make good throw. That’s what starts the whole thing, so you’ve got time for it to play out. It was fun to watch. After everything happened, Domingo Tapia have walked off the mound like, ‘no big deal.'” — Servais on the triple play.
The Mariners return to the Peoria Sports Complex to host their American League West Rivals, the Oakland A’s, for a Saturday afternoon game. The Mariners will “piggyback” a pair of starters competing for the last spot in the starting rotation. Right-hander Justin Dunn will start and pitch two innings with lefty Nick Margevicius following with two innings. Also scheduled to pitch is lefty Aaron Fletcher and right-handers Nick Duron, Vinnie Nittoli, Jimmy Yacabonis and J.T. Chargois. Oakland will start right-hander Daulton Jeffries. First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN 710 AM and mariners.com. It will not be televised.