A Win Streak!

Don't look now but the M's have a winning streak for the first time this spring. After Sunday's 7-6 win over Texas, Seattle improved to 3-8 in Cactus League Play.


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Win - R. Franklin (1-1)
Loss – T. Hughes (1-1)
Save - S. Atchison (1)
HR - Hidalgo 2 (2), Soriano (1)
Att: 8,572


PEORIA, Ari. – Ryan Franklin didn't exactly help his cause for the fifth spot in the starting rotation on Sunday afternoon versus the Texas Rangers. The right-hander served up three home runs in four innngs of work, but got a little help from his friends – the bats – as the Mariners delivered their third win of the spring, defeating the Rangers 7-6 at Surprise Stadium.

Scott Spiezio's RBI double in the fifth proved to be the game winning hit after Texas jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings. In the fourth, the Mariners pieced together four hits and three runs to stay close.

The M's bullpen held off the Rangers over five innings, allowing just one run on on two hits, striking out four.

Franklin cruised in the second after giving up a long ball to Richard Hidalgo in the first, but yielded two more home runs in the third, a solo blast to left field by Alfonso Soriano and a second two-run shot by Hidalgo.

Randy Winn got the rally going in the fourth for the M's, doubling to lead off the inning. After Jeremy Reed singled Winn to third, Bret Boone drove him home with a sac fly to deep left to break the shutout.

First baseman Raul Ibanez singled to put runners at first and second, and after Spiezio's fielder's choice moved the runners up 90 feet, DH Ricky Gitierrez singled home two runs to complete the rally.

Down 5-3 after four full innings, the M's weren't done swinging the bats. In the top of the fifth, the M's would add four more runs on four more hits, including run-scoring singles by Winn and Ibanez, topped off by Speizio's double.

Franklin picked up the victory, despite the shaky outing. Masao Kida, George Sherrill and Scott Atchison went the final five innings with Atchison getting the save, his first of the spring.

The M's move to 3-8 on the Cactus League and will play split-squad games tomorrow afternoon. One half will head back to Surprise to take on the Kansas City Royals while the other half will play the San Diego Padres at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Right-hander Felix Hernandez will get the start for the Mariners versus the Padres, his third appearance of the spring, and second start.


PLAY OF THE DAY:

Getting a "Reed" on it - In the bottom of the third inning, Gerard Laird stepped to the plate with two outs and a man on and sent a deep fly ball into the gap in left-center field. Left fielder Winn and center fielder Reed converged as the high skyball screamed toward the warning track dirt. As Winn backed off after realizing he wasn't going to get to it, the ball seemed like it was going to land in no-man's territory for an extra-base hit, when at the last second, Reed flew into the picture and made a running two-handed basket catch to save the M's a run, and starting pitcher Franklin from more heartache.


PLAYERS OF THE GAME:

George Sherrill, LHP Sherrill went two shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out one batter. The left-hander needed just 27 pitches to get through the two innings, 18 thrown for strikes. Sherrill sat in the upper 80's with his fastball, touching 90 with solid command.

Randy Winn, LF - Winn played Ichiro's role quite nicely on Sunday. The switch-hitting outfielder had two hits and a run batted in and is hitting .375 on the spring. While rumors swirled about Winn being traded this winter, the 30-year-old has quietly gone about his business and is having a fantastic spring at the plate. It is still undecided on whether Reed or Winn will bat between Ichiro and Adrian Beltre in the batting order, but, like Reed, Winn is hitting from several spots in the lineup - including the leadoff spot.


DEEP THOUGHTS, by InsidethePark.com

  • Yuniesky Betancourt recorded his first hit of the spring with a single during the four-run fifth inning. The middle-infielder is now 1-9 (.111) for the spring.
  • Greg Dobbs continued his impressive hitting, even though he was hitless in two at-bats Sunday. The left-hander lined out to deep left in his first at-bat and grounded sharply into a fielders' choice in his second plate appearance.
  • Like Dobbs, Raul Ibanez has been an offensive force thus far in spring. He continued his hot hitting today with two hits, two runs scored, and an RBI in three trips to the plate. The veteran is now hitting a crisp .519 in the early going.
  • Jose Lopez made his first appearance of the spring at second base today. He has played shortstop in each of his seven previous games this spring. It is still unknown where on the infield the twenty-one-year-old will end up.
  • Newly-signed shortstop Pokey Reese has left the team for personal reasons. He flew home to North Carolina and it is unknown if and when he will return.




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