SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Erasmo Ramirez is not taking anything for granted even though he appears to have the inside track on returning to the Seattle Mariners’ rotation.
Ramirez gave up two runs in six strong innings – ending his scoreless streak at six innings over three outings – and the Mariners beat the Colorado Rockies 5-2 Saturday.
The right-hander struggled with the Colorado lefties, giving up a pair of doubles to Charlie Blackmon and an RBI double to Reid Brignac in the sixth, and chided himself for waiting until runners were in scoring position to make his best pitches. Projected as the No. 4 or 5 starter for the Mariners, he allowed a run and three hits to the first five hitters he faced before settling down.
“I was missing the strike zone when I was ahead, and they made me pay for it,” said Ramirez, who started eight games for the Mariners last year. “So I said ‘OK, you either have to execute your pitches or someone is going to score here.
“I don’t know why I wait until I get in trouble sometimes,” he said. “I was lucky some of the hits didn’t go up and out. But it gave me a chance to start over and go pitch by pitch and do what I should do all the time.”
Ramirez knows a rotation spot isn’t a given despite his strong spring.
“You can’t act like you’ve made this time. You have to make the decision tough. But we have a lot of arms on this team, a lot of talent and you have to be sure you show the manager I’m ready and willing to fight for what I have,” he said.
Kendrys Morales hit his third home run and Mike Jacobs also homered for the Mariners. Jesus Montero and Carlos Pequero each added two hits, an RBI and a run scored for Seattle. Michael Morse was on base all three times and raised his spring average to .375.
Blackmon was back for the first time since March 1 because of an infection in his right knee.