Mariners 5, Brewers 4 at the Peoria Sports Complex (7 1/2 innings)
The Mariners got a solid start from Yusei Kikuchi, who displayed outstanding fastball life and command. He pitched 3 1/3 innings and his only allowed run came after he exited the game and young reliever Wyatt Mills allowed the inherited runner and two others to score. Mills gave up a double and issued a walk to load the bases. He allowed a bases-clearing double from Zach Green that made it 3-0 in favor of Milwaukee.
After a scoreless top of the fifth inning from projected closer Rafael Montero, the Mariners exploded for five runs in the bottom of the inning, all off veteran reliever Brad Boxberger.
Jack Reinheimer led off the inning with a solo homer to left-center. Mitch Haniger, Dylan Moore and Ty France followed with singles to load the bases for Kyle Lewis. The reigning rookie of the year stayed on a 3-2 fastball away, sending a line drive down the right-field line to score two runs and tie the game at 3-3. Luis Torrens gave the Mariners a lead with a sac fly to right field and Evan White added a bloop RBI single for the fifth run of the frame.
The Mariners bullpen was able to protect the lead over the next three innings. Kendall Graveman pitched a scoreless sixth inning. Keynan Middleton gave up a solo home run his one inning. The veteran right-hander has allowed five homers in four innings this spring. Joey Gerber worked a scoreless top of the eighth to end the game.
Player of the game
Kikuchi was dominant for three innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six batters, including five in a row between the second and third inning. He allowed singles to Daniel Robertson and Tyrone Taylor to start the inning, but came back to strike out Derek Fisher, Zach Green and Dylan Cozens — all swinging — to end the inning. He struck out the first two hitters of the third inning. Kikuchi faced two batters in the fourth, issuing a leadoff walk and getting a force out at second before being removed. His fastball sat at 95-96 mph and touched 97 mph on a few occasions.
“I wouldn’t say it was the best I felt all spring. But that third inning, I felt really locked in. I had everything working that inning. But you know, I think I’m making good progress. And I think I’m just gonna keep getting better from here on out.” — Yusei Kikuchi through interpreter Kevin Ando.
The Mariners will host the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Peoria Sports Complex for a Monday afternoon game. After pitching in simulated games on the back fields, left-hander James Paxton will make his first Cactus League start of the spring. Also scheduled to pitch for the Mariners are left-hander Anthony Misiewicz and right-handers Yohan Ramirez, J.T. Chargois and Gerson Bautista. Arizona will start right-hander Taylor Widener. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. The game will not be televised. There will be a radio broadcast on mariners.com and ESPN 710-AM