Mariners win streak ends at 10 games
Michael Morse, Kendrys Morales hit home runs for the Mariners, who lost 7-6 to Milwaukee, ending a 10-game winning streak.
Seattle Times staff reporter
PEORIA, Ariz. — Not even their ninth straight multihomer game could extend the Mariners' winning streak, which ended at 10 games on Wednesday with a 7-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Mariners seemed on their way to their 11th straight victory after they scored four runs in the fifth, fueled by a two-run homer from Kendrys Morales, to take a 6-3 lead. But the Brewers scored three in the seventh off Josh Kinney, then won it on an eighth-inning homer by minor-leaguer Cole Garner (wearing No. 95) off Charlie Furbush.
"We hit the ball good today, but we didn't do a very good job with runners in scoring position," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Michael Morse also homered for the Mariners and expressed the belief that, spring or not, something positive is developing with their offense, which has produced 26 homers in 12 games.
"No matter what it is, you can say it's spring, you can say it's whatever, but you still have to hit the ball, you still have to play the game," he said. "I think half of the way we're playing is because the guys are relaxed, confident and believing in their abilities. And everybody's playing within their abilities.
"It's something we have to remember, bottle up and carry over to the season."
Erasmo Ramirez stood out with his three-inning scoreless stint (one hit, three strikeouts) after Blake Beavan — a possible rival for a starting berth — gave up six hits and three runs (two home runs) in his three innings.
"He looked really good today, using all his pitches," Wedge said of Ramirez. "His stuff was really crisp. He's still working on a couple of things just to tighten up his game a little bit, but I thought he threw the ball well."
Ramirez has shown no hesitancy to work the inside corner, which impresses Wedge.
"It's great, especially for a young pitcher," he said. "He's able to expand the plate that way. He's a command guy. He throws the ball where he wants to. For him to be able to make sure those hitters don't get too comfortable ... that's only going to help him."
Beavan, meanwhile, was lamenting his inability to put away the Brewers. In each of his three innings, he got two quick outs, then ran into trouble.
"There's a lot of positive, and a couple of negatives," he said. "I could sit here and say it's early and everything — excuses. But just some bonehead pitches, at times. Especially with two outs. It makes you cringe when you give up something with two outs and you're almost through the inning. It's something to look at and keep in mind for the next time I go out there."
Morse comfortable in right field
Morse played right field, as he has done frequently this spring, and said he's actually more comfortable in right than left. His biggest challenge?
"Don't get in Guti's way," he said, referring to center fielder Franklin Gutierrez. "That's my challenge."
On a more serious note, "The biggest thing in right field, the balls kind of fade to the line. Me not being the fastest guy ever, I have to make sure I can get to the line and let Guti get the gap."
Morse said he "cheats" toward the line to take away slicing hits, especially knowing how much ground Gutierrez can cover.
"I play the line more. I hate giving up those little hits, those little flares that get in. Especially on right-handed hitters. They get that little dunk flair. I try to take those away."
Wedge said he hasn't decided on his outfield alignment other than Gutierrez in center.
Gutierrez leads off
Gutierrez and Dustin Ackley were in the lineup together for the first time, and interestingly, Gutierrez led off with Ackley hitting second. Ackley was expected to be the leadoff hitter this year, but Gutierrez — who lined a double off the wall in center field — is under consideration.
"We've been looking at that," Wedge said. "We've been looking at multiple people up top. Obviously, the veteran presence of Gutierrez up there and the way he sees pitches, and of course the way he's been hitting the ball — all those things are positive for us. Ackley's looked good. I feel like he's using the field better this year."
• Ken Griffey Jr. arrived in camp and joined former teammate Jay Buhner in addressing the club's minor-leaguers.
|Aoki rf||3||0||0||0||F.Gutierrez cf||3||1||1||1|
|J.Prince lf||1||1||1||0||F.Martinez cf||1||0||0||0|
|Segura ss||3||0||0||0||Ackley 2b||3||1||1||1|
|D.Mrphy ss||2||1||1||2||S.Romero 2b||2||0||0||0|
|R.Weeks 2b||3||1||3||0||Morse rf||2||1||1||2|
|S.Gennett 2b||2||0||2||0||C.Peguero rf||1||0||1||0|
|K.Davis dh||3||1||2||2||K.Morales 1b||3||1||1||2|
|Halton ph-dh||2||0||1||1||Jacobs 1b||1||0||0||0|
|L.Schafer cf||4||0||1||0||Bay lf||3||0||1||0|
|N.Ramrz 1b||1||0||0||0||Thames lf||1||0||0||0|
|Crosby 3b||3||0||0||0||Ibanez dh||3||0||1||0|
|B.Macias 3b||1||0||0||0||Zunino ph-dh||1||0||0||0|
|C.Gindl lf-rf||3||0||0||0||J.Montero c||3||0||0||0|
|K.Davis ph-rf||2||0||0||0||J.Hicks c||1||0||0||0|
|H.Morris 1b||2||1||1||1||Catricala 3b||3||1||0||0|
|Garner cf||1||1||1||1||Ryan ss||2||1||1||0|
|R.Diaz c||3||1||1||0||B.Miller ss||1||0||0||0|
|Milwaukee||012 000 310||—||7|
|Seattle||001 140 000||—||6|
|A.Pena W, 1-0||1||1||0||0||1||2|
|Furbush L, 0-1||1 1/3||3||1||1||0||2|