BY SPNW Staff 03:59PM 03/03/2013

Morales, Montero Homer, Mariners Beat Texas

Kendrys Morales blasted a two-run homer in the first inning in support of Joe Saunders, making his first spring start, Jesus Montero went deep in the third and the Mariners went on to a 7-6  victory over the Texas Rangers Sunday in Surprise. The Mariners extended their winning streak to nine games, their longest in Cactus League play.

Seattle, which had an eight-game winning streak to close out 1993 spring training, has 22 home runs, most by any team. Fifteen players have accounted for the 22 home runs.

Saunders worked 2.0 innings and allowed just one hit while the Mariners teed off on Texas starter Justin Grimm, who allowed six runs on six hits in 2.2 innings.

Seattle took a 7-2 lead in the sixth inning on an Eric Thames sacrifice fly before the Rangers scored a pair of unearned runs in the seventh to cut the lead to 7-4. The Rangers had a solo homer and an unearned run in the ninth inning to cut the lead to 7-6, but left the bases loaded.

The Mariners take on Colorado Monday at Peoria. Veteran Jon Garland will get the start, and top  prospects Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker are expected to pitch in relief. Closer Tom Wilhelmsen is also scheduled to pitch.

NOTES: Texas pitcher Martin Perez, a lefty considered a likely candidate for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, broke his arm when he was struck by a line drive in the sixth inning off the bat of Brad Miller. The Rangers said he will need a month to heal, then weeks of rehab. Perez, the No. 17 prospect on Baseball America’s top 100 list in 2010, made his big league debut last season. He was 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA in 12 games last year in six starts. . .
Felix Hernandez threw a second live batting practice session Sunday (39 pitches) and will make his debut Thursday. Seattle catcher Kelly Shoppach caught Hernandez during the session.


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