Long Ball Haunts Mariners in Yet Another Loss

If it's getting old for you Mariner fans, relax. We can still get up in the morning every day and say "it's just spring training." Another loss on Thursday, 5-3 to the Cubs, droped the M's to 1-7 on the Cactus League season.



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Chicago (NL)
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Seattle
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Win - M. Prior (1-0)
Loss – J. Moyer (0-1)
HR - J. Dubois (2), J. Burnitz (1), C. Ransom (1), G. Dobbs (1)
Att: 10,155


PEORIA, Ari. – PEORIA, Ari. – Three home runs by the Chicago Cubs was enough to do in the Seattle Mariners' inefficient offense on Thursday. Jeromy Burnitz, Jason Dubois and Cody Ransom each homered in a 5-3 Chicago win over Seattle at the Peoria Sports Complex.

The Mariners, unimpressive thus far in the spring, fell to 1-7 in Cactus League play. For the most part, it's been a case of Seattle falling behind early and failing to swing the bats well enough to claw back. That was the case again against the Cubs.

Jamie Moyer (0-1) got the start for the Mariners, and began the day pitching like the Moyer of 2001. The veteran lefty struck out the side in the first inning, getting Peter Bergeron, Todd Walker and Derrek Lee to fan.

The second inning was a different story, as the Cubs pounced on Moyer for two runs on Dubois' solo homer and a run-scoring single by Henry Blanco. Moyer left after three innings, giving up two runs on three hits. He struck out four.

Mark Prior (1-0) went the first three innings and picked up the win for Chicago. His lone run given up came in the third inning, when Jamal Strong, Jeremy Reed and Adrian Beltre hit three consecutive singles to score the M's first run of the game.

Strong finished with three hits on the day, two singles and a double. His strong effort was duplicated by Greg Dobbs, who got the start in left field went 3-for-4 with a homer off of closerJoe Borowski in the sixth. Dobbs moved back to his natural position of third base later in the game, replacing Beltre.

Raul Ibanez added two doubles to the Mariners' cause, and quietly is batting .450 this spring.

Pitchers Cha-Seung Baek (3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER), Nate Bland (2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER) and Jon Huber (1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER).

Baek was the victim of two of the Cubs homers on the day, serving up long-balls to Ransom and Burnitz.

Seattle out-hit Chicago 10-9.


PLAY OF THE DAY:

Moyer Rolls Cubbies - The 42-year-old Moyer was dominant in the first inning, baffling the top of the Cubbies lineup with his slow, slower, and just flat out jaw-dropping slow stuff. On a day with few highlights, Moyer's craftiness was about as good as it got. Unfortunately, both for Moyer and Seattle, it was downhill from there.


PLAYERS OF THE GAME:

Greg Dobbs, LF/3B - Given the start in left field, Dobbs not only looked comfortable defensively but also at the plate. The University of Oklahoma product batted sixth in the lineup, behind Raul Ibanez, and smacked Cubs pitchers around with three hits. His first, a single, came in the second inning off of Prior, and was Seattle's first base knock of the game. He later added another single and a line-drive home run over the wall in right-center off of Cubs closer Joe Borowski. In his final at-bat in the eighth, the 26-year-old lined out to first base for the only out he made all day.

Jamal Strong, RF/CF - After missing most of the first week of Cactus League action, Strong got his second start in as many days on Thursday. Yesterday he got the nod in center field, giving Jeremy Reed a day off. Today, Reed was back in center and Strong was in right, giving Ichiro Suzuki a one-day breather. Strong, the top base-stealer in the Mariners minor leagues, made the most of his opportunity with two singles and a double.

Raul Ibanez, DH - Two more doubles for Ibanez on Thursday upped his spring average to .450. Who says Edgar Martinez is the only Mariners' DH who can tear up the Cactus League? Thus far, Ibanez is showing that he can do the same.


DEEP THOUGHTS, by InsidethePark.com

  • Shortstops Matt Tuiasosopo and Adam Jones and pitchers Ricky Guttormson, Rett Johnson and Jared Thomas were sent to minor league camp on Thursday.
  • Wladimir Balentien replaced Greg Dobbs in left field late in the game and went 0-2 at the plate. He is still hitless on the spring.
  • The announced crowd of 10,155 was the largest at Peoria Sports Complex this season, helped by the large turnout of Cubs fans at the Mariners home ballpark. For the first time this March, every seat was filled and the outfield berm was jammed with fans.
  • New Mariners third sacker added another hit Thursday afternoon. Beltre is now hitting .467 for the spring.
  • With Bret Boone still sidelined with back spasms, Willie Bloomquist started at second base. He switched to right field as a defensive replacement later in the game, and continues to be the most versatile player on the Mariners' squad. That versatility makes him more valuable than the others competing for a bench spot – Ricky Gutierrez, Justin Leone, Greg Dobbs, Benji Gil and Ramon Santiago.
  • Richie Sexson's struggles at the plate continued against Chicago. He went 0-3 at the plate and struck out looking twice. He is now 0-13 for the spring with six strikeouts, five walks and two errors.



  • QUOTE OF THE DAY:

    "Kinda like the Mariners last season." – Fan sitting on the outfield berm, watching a one-year-old child take one step forward and two steps back.


    PHOTO OF THE DAY:


    DOWN IN FRONT!



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