Spring training: Julio Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic hit back-to-back homers in Mariners’ loss to Cubs
March 1, 2023 Updated Wed., March 1, 2023 at 4:34 p.m.
Cubs 5, Mariners 3 at Sloan Park
The Cubs grabbed a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning, roughing up reliever Matt Brash, who struggled to find the strike zone and got hurt by some bloop hits. He recorded just one out while being charged with all five runs on four hits and two walks with a strikeout.
The Mariners answered by scoring two runs in the top of the fifth with two outs. Facing former Mariner Roenis Elias, Julio Rodriguez muscled a breaking ball over the wall in left field for a solo homer for his first home run of spring training. Jarred Kelenic made it back-to-back homers, staying on an 0-2 fastball away and sending a deep drive to the berm in left-center. It was Kelenic’s second hit of the game and third homer of the spring.
Former first-round pick Emerson Hancock pitched in his first Cactus League game. He worked 1 2/3 innings, allowing one hit with a walk and a strikeout.
“I thought Emerson [Hancock] threw the ball really good,” manager Scott Servais said. “First time in a big league spring training game, I loved his presence. His stuff was awesome. His fastball was up to 96 mph with a really good changeup. A lot to like there.”
Player of the game
Despite some command issues from admittedly working a little too fast in the first inning, which led to a one-out walk to Dansby Swanson and a two-out double to Cody Bellinger, lefty Robbie Ray worked three scoreless frames in his second start of the season. After the Bellinger double, Ray struck out the next five batters he faced. He got Trey Mancini swinging to end the first inning. He came back to strike out the side in the second and then struck out the first batter of a 1-2-3 third inning.
“It’s just slowing down, just realizing I have more time than I think. With the pitch clock, I probably should look at it more often because I have time. For me, I feel like I work better when I just get the ball, get back on the mound. With nobody on base, 15 seconds is pretty good amount of time. That first sitting there, it was just getting a little fast. But after that, I just tried to slow down a little.” — Ray
The Mariners return to Peoria Stadium to host the San Diego Padres in a renewal of the battle for the Peoria Sports Complex. Right-hander Logan Gilbert is scheduled to make his first start of the spring. Also scheduled to pitch are right-handers Prelander Berroa, Ryder Ryan and Travis Kuhn along with lefties Gabe Speier and Tayler Saucedo.
The Padres were going to start right-hander Joe Musgrove, but he suffered a broken big toe after dropping a weight on it. Instead, right-hander Seth Lugo will get the nod. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. PT. The game will not be televised. The only live radio broadcast will be on mariners.com or the MLB app.
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