The ever-fluid starting rotation for the Mariners finally took a little shape Wednesday when manager Lloyd McClendon named Erasmo Ramirez the No. 2 starter behind Felix Hernandez.
“He’s a strike-thrower,” McClendon told reporters Wednesday after another strong spring performance. He held the Texas Rangers to zero walks, one run and three hits over five-plus innings in a 5-3 loss in Surprise, AZ. “It’s never been an issue of whether he could throw strikes. It’s been an issue of whether he could throw quality strikes, and throw the ball outside of the zone when he needs to throw it outside of the zone.”
In the game, Justin Smoak hit his third homer of the spring and raised his spring average to .311. The Rangers raked reliever Charlie Furbush, who gave up three runs on three hits.
The Mariners (17-11-3) are off Thursday and host Colorado Friday.