Kendrys Morales’s third home run of the spring spearheaded a three-run fifth inning, and Erasmo Ramirez came close to locking up a spot in Seattle’s rotation as the Mariners defeated the Colorado Rockies 5-2 Saturday afternoon in Scottsdale. With two more homers, the Mariners have 41 in 21 games.
Ramirez allowed eight hits and two runs and fanned four in six innings for the Mariners, who also received a solo homer from Mike Jacobs in the seventh inning off Rockies reliever Matt Belisle. Ramirez has a 1.50 ERA.
Colorado’s lefty starter, Drew Pomeranz, trying to lock up the fifth rotation spot, pitched smoothly until the fifth inning, giving up three runs on three hits, including Jesus Montero’s double and Carlos Peguero’s single, both of which drove in a run. The inning also included Pomeranz’s only walk, to Michael Morse, who ended up scoring.
The Mariners Sunday play the American League West rival Rangers at Peoria Stadium. Blake Beavan is scheduled to start and will pitch four innings.
NOTES: Seattle manager Eric Wedge said Saturday that the plan is for outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, who has missed a week with leg stiffness, to return to the lineup Sunday . . . Felix Hernandez will make his third start of the spring Sunday, but he will skip the Rangers and throw instead in a minor league contest. Hernandez is scheduled for four innings of work for the club’s Class A team as it faces the Cincinnati Reds on one of the practice fields at the Peoria at 1 p.m. PT.