Do you believe that spring training games mean anything? Well the Seattle Mariners do, and they keep taking it out on their opponents. The Dodgers lost their third straight exhibition game Saturday afternoon to the Seattle Mariners by a score of 9-5. The Mariners won their eighth straight spring game, improving their record to eight wins and only one loss. This ties the Seattle team for their longest spring training winning streak since they won eight in a row back in 1993.
Meanwhile the Dodgers record drops to three wins, four losses, and two ties. It wasn’t all bad for the Dodgers though, as the top of the order had a productive game. Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier, and Adrian Gonzalez, combined to go 4 for 7 and drove in three of the Dodger’s five runs in a losing cause.
The Mariners used their power to top the Dodgers at Peoria Stadium. The Mariners lead the league in home runs during spring training, and used two in today’s game to eventually beat the Dodgers 9-5. The Dodgers had an early lead though. The Dodgers were up 3-0 by the third frame. In the top of the first, Hanley Ramirez, and Andre Ethier began the game with consecutive singles, and Ramirez would score on a double play grounder from Gonzalez. The Dodgers added two more in the top of the third. With two outs, Ramirez walked, and Ethier tripled him home.
However the Mariners would rally back to take the lead. Dodger starter Chris Capuano had gotten the first six batters of the game out, but then became unraveled in the bottom of the third. He gave up a lead-off home run to catcher Mike Zunino. Then after a rare miscue from Luis Cruz, Franklin Gutierrez would pop a two run shot, to tie the game at 3-3. Chad Billingsley relieved Cappy in the bottom of the fourth, and Seattle took the lead by scoring two more runs. Zunino, singles, there was a force out, and the after another single from rookie Carlos Truinfel, Gutierrez, the Dodger nemesis of the day, doubled home both runners to give the Mariners a 5-3 lead.
The Mariners added another run in the fifth, when Raul Ibanez doubled, and scored on a Casper Wells sacrifice fly, which made the score 6-3 Seattle. The Mariners scored three more runs in the bottom of the seventh off of Brandon League. They used a single, an error, a twp-run double from John Hicks, and a wild pitch to take a 9-3 lead.
The Dodgers would stage a last minute rally in the top of the ninth, but it was too little too late. The Dodgers scored two runs in the ninth off of four hits and a walk, but it wasn’t enough. With Chance Ruffin on the mound for the Mariners, Jeremy Moore doubled to lead-off. Jesus Flores drew the walk. Osvaldo Martinez’s single scored Moore. Tony Gwynn’s single loaded the bases. Dallas Mcpherson whiffed for the first out of the frame. Omar Luna followed with a base hit to right to score the second run. Everyone else moved up 90 feet, and the bases were still loaded. That was all she wrote, as Alex Castellanos grounded into a game ending double play.
The Dodgers used five pitchers total, Chris Capuano, Chad Billingsley, Ronald Belisario, Brandon League, and J.P. Howell. The Mariners used seven pitchers. Jeremy Bonderman was credited with the win, and Billingsley was charged with the loss. Hisashi Iwakuma pitched two frames as the starting pitcher for Seattle. The Dodgers scored five runs off eleven hits, but also committed three errors.
The Dodgers play the Cleveland Indians tomorrow afternoon at Camelback ranch. Matt Kemp is expected to be in the lineup for his second game back this spring. Once again he will be the DH. He was the DH in his first game on Friday, going 0 for 2. Josh Beckett will be the starter for the Dodgers. The game will be live streaming on the Dodger web site beginning at 1:05 P.M. Join us tomorrow for a complete recap of the game, and more twitter commentary. Go Blue.