The opening game of the Cactus League for the Seattle Mariners left coaches, players, and fans with a gleam in their eye. Two of the club’s brightest prospects Julio Rodriguez and Jarred Kelenic combined to deliver a 5-4 walk-off win for the Mariners over the San Diego Padres.
The Mariners and Padres traded run in the first inning. The Mariners picked up three runs in the third inning on Dylan Moore’s single that scored Kyle Seger and a line-drive double by Evan White which brough home Ty France and Dylan Moore for the 4-1 lead. The Padres Wil Myers solo home run in the fourth inning narrowed the Mariner’s lead to 4-2.
Padre right fielder Jorge Ona’s two-run home in the top of the sixth inning tied the game at four apiece. The game stayed tied until the bottom of the ninth inning.
PATIENCE PAYS OFF
Taylor Trammell and Donovan Walton went down swinging leaving the Mariners just one out left when Kelenic stepped up to the plate. Kelenic stayed patient and drew a walk. Brandon Bishop was hit by a pitch and Jack Reinheimer drew another walk to load the bases. A group ball up the middle by Rodriguez secured the win.
Marco Gonzales started the game and pitched a solid 1 2/3 innings, allowing two hits, one unearned run with a walk. Gonzales did not finish the inning after a pair of errors by Moore and Kyle Seager. Having thrown 20 pitches and nearing his pitch count the Mariners opted to “ roll” the inning and end it with two out. The Mariners regular season opening day starter pitched the second inning and allowed just one hit from former catcher Austin Nola.