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Seattle Mariners

Mariners suffer walkoff loss to White Sox in first Cactus League game

Ryan Divish Seattle Times

White Sox 8, Mariners 7 at Camelback Ranch

Notable

The Mariners’ young pitchers struggled to throw strikes over the final four innings. Right-hander Travis Kuhn and minor league call-ups Jose Mercedes and Peyton Alford combined to allow eight runs on seven hits with six walks. With a one-run lead in the ninth, Alford walked the bases loaded with no outs and gave up a two-run, walk-off single to Edgar Quero.

The Mariners got a huge lift from their top prospects with Cole Young, Jonathan Clase and Tyler Locklear combining for five hits, two runs scored and two RBI in the game.

“It’s gonna be a fun spring,” manager Scott Servais said. “We know we’ve got to get our regular guys ready, but we have a lot of really exciting young position players and we’re gonna give them plenty of opportunities to see what they can do.”

Ty France doubled in his first plate appearance of the spring, pulling a changeup down the third-base line. France worked diligently this offseason at Driveline Baseball to clean up some issues with his swing.

Of the Mariners’ pitchers, Servais mentioned the performance of reliever Jackson Kowar, whom Seattle acquired in the trade that sent Jarred Kelenic to the Braves.

Kowar tossed a scoreless inning, striking out two hitters. His fastball touched 98 mph and he showed off a nasty changeup.

Player of the game

Clase had two hits, scored two runs, drove in a run and stole a base while also making two nice catches in center field. He showed off his elite speed in the seventh inning, scoring from second on a mishandled groundball error by White Sox shortstop Braden Shewmake.

“Any time you go out and steal over 70 bases in a season, you are going to have no fear out there,” Servais said. “I was impressed with the way he swung the bat. He showed a really good approach.”

Quotable

“First game and a lot of good things out there. I’m always interested in somehow these young kids are going to do. I thought Jonathan Clase had quite a game — really good at-bats, obviously, very exciting on the bases. A lot of good things early with the pitching and some of the young (pitchers) struggled late.” — Servais

On tap

The Mariners play their first Cactus League game at Peoria Stadium on Sunday, hosting the Cleveland Guardians. Lefty Jhonathan Diaz will get the start for Seattle with right-handers Cody Bolton and Sean Poppen and lefties Kirby Snead and Holden Laws all scheduled to pitch. Cleveland will start right-hander Tyler Beede. First pitch is set for 12:10 p.m. The game will be televised on ROOT Sports NW and will have a live radio broadcast on mariners.com and 700-AM.