Cubs 7, Mariners 4
Jeff Samardzija made a few mistakes with his pitches Thursday
night against Seattle. He also made Mariners pitchers pay for a
couple of their misguided offerings.
The Cubs’ starter was allowed to bat in an American League park
when Chicago chose not to employ a designated hitter, and he
delivered a solo home run and RBI single in a 7-4 win.
Set to start on opening day, Samardzija gave up four runs and
nine hits in six innings. He struck out seven.
”I threw a couple of pitches up in the zone that they took
advantage of,” Samardzija said. ”Overall, we’re right there, so
Samardzija has hit two homers this spring.
”If you can save yourself a loss or tie the ballgame up, that’s
huge. That speaks volumes down the road,” he said. ”And at the
end of the year, you look back on it, it might save you a couple of
games here and there.”
Alfonso Soriano and Brad Nelson also homered for the split-squad
Cubs and David DeJesus had two hits and drove in a run. Nelson’s
two-run shot in the eighth off Erasmo Ramirez gave the Cubs the
lead for good.
Cubs closer Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless eighth inning,
followed by a scoreless yet somewhat shaky ninth from reliever
The Mariners might have seen what they wanted from starting
pitcher Jon Garland and outfielder Jason Bay, two players competing
for major league roster spots.
Garland allowed two runs and five hits in six innings and should
hear from the coaching staff by Friday whether he has earned a spot
in the starting rotation.
Garland’s case might also have been aided by the performance of
Ramirez, a starter candidate who was tagged for four runs on six
hits in two innings.
”It’s really nothing that we haven’t seen. It’s a veteran guy
that works to keep the ball down, uses all of his pitches,”
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Garland has fared well in spring training except for his outing
against the Netherlands in an exhibition game last week.
Ramirez had also pitched well until Thursday.
”He did a good job of getting ahead, but he didn’t finish
hitters off,” Wedge said. ”That’s just something that he has to
do a better job with.”
Bay, a former three-time All-Star who signed a one-year contract
with the Mariners in the offseason, had three hits and drove in a
run. He will play center field again Friday, Wedge said.
Bay is competing with Casper Wells for presumably the final
outfield roster spot, and raised his spring training batting
average to .371.
Justin Smoak hit a solo homer and a sacrifice fly for Seattle.
He is batting .386 in spring training with four home runs and 10
NOTES: Opening day starter Felix Hernandez is scheduled to pitch
Friday night for the Mariners against San Diego. Blake Beavan,
trying to win a spot in the starting rotation, is scheduled for
Saturday against Cleveland with Hisashi Iwakuma, who has a rotation
spot locked up, throwing in a minor league game that day. … Three
Mariners relievers who are likely to be on the major league roster
in April – Oliver Perez, Lucas Luetge and Carter Capps – pitched in
a minor league game. Luetge and Capps threw scoreless innings and
Perez allowed a run on a hit in 2 2-3 innings and struck out six.
… RHP Carlos Villanueva is the scheduled starter for the Cubs on
Friday against Milwaukee, with RHP Edwin Jackson scheduled for
Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels. … The Mariners optioned
OF Carlos Peguero to Triple-A Tacoma and reassigned RHP Carson
Smith and INF Nick Franklin to the minor league camp.