BY SPNW Staff 03:45PM 03/30/2013

Mariners Top Rockies, Start Season Monday Night

Kendrys Morales homered in the fourth inning and Justin Smoak went deep in the fifth as the Mariners (22-11) closed out spring training Saturday afternoon with a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Spring Mobile Ballpark in Salt Lake City in front of 15,411. The Mariners set club records for most spring training victories (22) and home runs (58).

Except for finalizing their 25-man roster, the Mariners will take Sunday off, then open the regular season Monday night in Oakland against the defending AL West division champion Athletics. RHP Felix Hernandez will go for Seattle — his sixth opening day start — against LHP Brett Anderson.

The Mariners open with a seven-game road trip (at Oakland and Chicago-AL), and return to Safeco Field April 8 to face the Houston Astros (7:10 p.m.).

Brandon Maurer, who will make his major league debut Thursday in Oakland, gave up four hits and struck out three in his tuneup. The two runs he gave up, solo homers to Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki, doubled the total of earned runs he gave up this spring.

In addition to the Morales and Smoak home runs, the Mariners scored twice in the eighth inning, on a Raul Ibanez sacrifice fly and a Brad Miller RBI double, both against Rockies  (16-15) reliever Matt Belisle. Miller had two hits, the only Seattle player to produce a multi-hit game.

Jeff Francis, who will start the Rockies’ home opener Friday against the Padres, allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Stephen Pryor pitched one inning in relief of Maurer and earned the victory, his first of the spring. Brian Sweeney collected the save.

Seattle finished with 11 wins in its final 15 games. The 22 wins broke the mark of 21, set in 1994, the first year the Mariners began training at the Peoria Sports Complex.

With 58 homers, the Mariners led all MLB teams (Braves second with 49). The high mark over the past 20 years was 62 by the Chicago Cubs hit in 1999.

NOTES: Felix Hernandez Monday will tie with Randy Johnson for the most openers in franchise history. In his previous five, Hernandez is 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Four have been against the Athletics. Seattle won all four as Hernandez went 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA and just 16 hits allowed in 3.1 innings with eight walks and 25 strikeouts.

PROJECTED OPENING NIGHT LINEUP

1. CF: Franklin Gutierrez
2. 3B: Kyle Seager
3. DH: Kendrys Morales
4. LF: Michael Morse
5. 1B: Justin Smoak
6. C: Jesus Montero
7. RF: Michael Saunders
8. 2B: Dustin Ackley
9. SS: Brendan Ryan
SP: Felix Hernandez


YourThoughts

  • maqman

    Of the 62 home runs the Cubs got in spring training 12 were by Sammy Sosa, standout roid era slugger.