Michael Morse blasted his third home run of the spring in the third inning, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Chicago White Sox, playing with a split squad, defeated the Mariners 11-7 in Cactus League play Sunday afternoon at Peoria Stadium. The Mariners have lost two in a row after winning a franchise-record 10 consecutive contests.
Chicago DH Stefan Gartrell had a three-run homer in the first inning and Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel added solo shots in the sixth. Seattle starter Andrew Carraway, who split last season between AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma, was torched for five runs on six hits in the first inning.
Morse, playing first base for the first time this spring, put Seattle on the board with his opposite-field shot leading off the second inning. The Mariners have 31 home runs in 16 games, leading all major league teams.
Jason Bay just missed increasing Seattle’s homer total with a deep drive off the 410-foot, centerfield wall that wound up a triple. Bay is hitting .389 in his bid to make the club.
Taijuan Walker, the Mariners top pitching prospect, allowed two hits and a run while tossing the third and fourth innings.
The Mariners are off Monday, though RHPs Blake Beavan and Erasmo Ramirez will each throw four innings in a minor league intrasquad game at Peoria. The rest of the team will return Tuesday, with Felix Hernandez making his second start in a 1:05 p.m. PT game against the Diamondbacks at Peoria.
Hernandez is expected to throw three innings, with Hector Noesi and Lucas Luetge among the relievers to follow.
NOTES: LHP Oliver Perez rejoined the Mariners Sunday following the elimination of Mexico from the World Baseball Classic. Perez was one of seven players ejected from the Mexico-Canada game at Chase Field Saturday night following a bench-clearing brawl. Perez pitched to just one batter during the tournament, getting a quick out during Mexico’s 5-2 victory over the U.S. Another Mariner, OF Michael Saunders of Canada, was also in the scrum. Neither reported injuries . . . Mariners reliever Josh Kinneywill be shut down for several weeks after tests showed a stress reaction in his left rib area. Kinney, 34, will be re-evaluated toward the end of the month . . . The club optioned RHP Chance Ruffin to Class AAA Tacoma and assigned LHP Brian Moran and RHPs Jonathan Arias and D.J. Mitchell to the minor league camp. The Mariners camp roster is 57.