Padres’ Johnson feeling ‘right and normal’ after start Tuesday night
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Randy Wolf pitched four scoreless innings as the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres played to a 5-5 tie Tuesday night.
Wolf, who did not play last season after having Tommy John surgery in 2012, scattered two hits and two walks, while striking out three on 73 pitches.
"Thought he was a little bit sharper than the last couple times out," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. "It was a good outing for him."
Wolf, a 37-year-old left-hander vying for a spot in the rotation, said he considered more than results when assessing his performance.
"To me it’s about getting stronger and better every time out as far as the sharpness of your pitches and my strength, durability," he said.
San Diego starter Josh Johnson also pitched well, throwing 4 1/3 innings, allowing one earned run on three hits, two walks and five strikeouts.
Seattle infielder Brad Miller took advantage of Johnson’s only miscue, hitting his fourth homer of the spring in the third inning.
Miller, battling Nick Franklin for the starting shortstop role, finished 3 for 4 with a triple and three runs.
"He has the ability to hit the ball out of the ball park," McClendon said. "No question about it, had a good game tonight, played very well."
Padres: Compared to last spring, when Johnson was with Toronto, the Padres’ pitcher is feeling positively great.
"I was feeling beat up before spring training (last year)," Johnson, who battled arm injuries throughout the 2013 season and suffered through the worst of his nine Major League seasons.
Johnson said he feels "right and normal" now and he pitched well enough against Seattle to support that claim.
"Everything has kind of gone exactly to plan, if not better," he said. "It’s been good so far. Just got to keep gong and keep getting out there and progressing like I have been."
Padres: Third baseman Chase Headley will play in a minor league game on Wednesday, manager Bud Black said. Headley is recovering from a strained right calf and has been sidelined since Feb. 22 and has not played in a game this spring. Headley could play on Thursday — San Diego is off on Wednesday — if he does not suffer a setback.
Mariners: Seattle received good news when pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was cleared to have the protective splint removed from his the injured middle finger on his throwing hand.
"The finger is very stiff right now, but the good thing is I am pain free," Iwakuma said through translator Antony Suzuki.
Manager Lloyd McClendon said Iwakuma would start slowly by throwing tennis balls on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If the right-hander doesn’t experience a setback he could begin throwing baseballs on Monday. Iwakuma, who finished third in American League Cy Award voting last season, is looking forward to returning to the field after missing more than a month.
"It’s hard to say being in my situation right now," he said. "I want to come back soon, but I don’t want to push it and have any more setbacks. It’s a long season and I look forward to finishing strong. That’s all I have in mind."
NO WORRIES ABOUT RODNEY
New Seattle closer Fernando Rodney gave up a run for the fourth time in five springs appearances. In one inning he allowed two runs — one earned — on two hits and a walk, while striking out two.
McClendon isn’t worried about Rodney’s performance.
"Fact is, most closers stink in spring training," he said. "They’re pitching the fifth, sixth inning. It’s tough. They’re a different animal. It’s hard to get the adrenaline going. We just need to keep getting him out there and getting his work in."
Jedd Gyorko’s double off Rodney in the sixth scored Everth Cabrera and Alex Castellanos scored later in the inning on a passed ball, giving the Padres a 2-1 lead. Rodney, who saved 85 games the past two seasons for Tampa Bay, recovered and retired the next three batters, including two by strikeout.
Padres: San Diego has no game scheduled for Wednesday. Andrew Cashner (2-0, 0.00 earned run average) is slated to start against San Francisco on Thursday.
Mariners: Blake Beavan (2-0, 2.13 ERA) will make his fourth Cactus League start when Seattle hosts Milwaukee on Wednesday. Danny Farquhar and Tom Wilhelmsen are also listed to pitch.