Julio Morban had a pair of two-run home runs and Justin Smoak added a third in support of Jeremy Bonderman as the Mariners defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 8-5 in Cactus League play Friday in Peoria. The Mariners have smacked 39 home runs in 20 games.
Morban ripped his first shot in the second inning when Angels starter Tommy Hanson grooved a 2-2 pitch on the inside corner. He hit his second two-run blast in the top of the eighth off Billy Buckner. Smoak broke a tie in the fourth with an opposite-field homer.
Bonderman, seeking a spot in the rotation, struggled before Friday, allowing six earned runs in six innings. Against the Angels, he gave up two runs on five hits in four innings and left with the lead.
“I was just trying to stay down,” Bonderman said, “and use the bottom part of the zone and make them swing the bat. I only really made one mistake on that double, but I’ll take it. I’ve gotten better every outing, so I’ll keep working, trying to get quick outs and get in and out.”
Seattle tacked on three runs in the sixth off the Angels’ Chad Cordero. Michael Saunders started off with a double and scored on a single from Nick Franklin. Raul Ibanez and Jesus Montero also drove in runs.
In the ninth, the Angels mounted a rally, loading the bases and scoring two runs on three hits and a walk, but it fell short.
In an exhibition game Friday, a Mariners split squad fell 8-1 to the Netherlands, which has qualified for the championship round in the World Baseball Classic in San Francisco this weekend.
Former Mariner Wladimir Balentien hit a three-run homer in the first off Seattle starter Jon Garland. Garland allowed another two runs in the second on a two-run single from Balentien as Seattle fell behind 5-1. In three innings, Garland was charged with five earned runs on six hits, while striking out seven.
Lucas Luetge (2.0 IP) and Stephen Pryor (1.0) worked shutout innings. Logan Bawcom (2.0) allowed one earned run and Tom Wilhelmsen (1.0 IP) was touched for a pair of runs in the ninth.
NOTES: The Mariners whittled their roster Friday, sending infielders Alex Liddi and Stefen Romero and catchers Ronny Paulino and John Hicks to minor league camp. Liddi, who just finished playing for Italy in the World Baseball Classic, was optioned to AAA Tacoma as the only one of the four who is on the 40-man roster . . . Outfielder Franklin Gutierrez was not in the Mariners’ lineup for the sixth consecutive day. Gutierrez said he’s fine and that the club is being cautious about the tightness he has experienced in his legs. Gutierrez played in only 40 games last season . . . Single-game tickets for the Mariners 2013 season go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday. Tickets will be available without a service charge at the Safeco Field box office and at Mariners team stores. Tickets will also be available online at www.mariners.com. Tickets for center field bleachers for all games are limited to 12 per person per game . . . Jamie Moyer, the winningest pitcher in Mariners history, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Night Monday, April 8, when the Mariners take on the newest member of the American League West, the Houston Astros.