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Originally published Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 6:22 PM

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Garland continues to make strong case for Mariners rotation spot

Jon Garland, who missed last season following shoulder surgery, turned in a strong three-inning stint against the Dodgers on Saturday in Seattle's 3-2 loss.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jon Garland's bid for the Mariners' starting rotation is getting more serious.

Garland, who missed last season following shoulder surgery, turned in a strong three-inning stint against the Dodgers on Saturday in Seattle's 3-2 loss.

Garland gave up one run on two hits and a walk, but most importantly his arm keeps feeling better. Garland has won 132 major-league games and until his injury in 2011 had pitched 190 or more innings in 10 consecutive seasons.

"I can definitely tell the arm's getting stronger," Garland said after his third stint of the spring. "In between innings, nothing's tightening up. Good signs all around."

Garland said he feels tightness the day after starts, but nothing much different than he experienced in his prime. What's different is that, at age 33, he is battling for a job for the first time in a decade.

"It's a lot different," he said. "In the back of your mind, you know you're fighting for a spot. You're trying to make the team, so you're going out there with every intention of trying to put up as many zeroes and make as many pitches as you can.

"At the same time, you still want to try to work on some pitches and maybe throw a pitch in certain counts you normally wouldn't do. It's a little weird, but it's good. It's good to get the juices flowing and back in the swing of things."

So far, so good. Garland has given up just one earned run in six innings, and manager Eric Wedge said he is not regarding him as a player coming back from an injury.

"We're looking at him as a guy competing to make our club," he said. "He's been very impressive. Today was his best day, and he continues to push forward."

Romero derailed

What a roller coaster two days for infielder Stefen Romero. On Thursday, he had two homers, including a grand slam, and drove in seven runs against the Royals. And Friday, in his first at-bat in a game eventually rained out, he strained his left oblique while making a swing against the A's.

"It's so surreal," he said. "You're going from cloud nine to just the bottom."

Romero has been told to rest the injury, and it doesn't appear he'll be playing any time soon.

"I'll take it week by week, see how it feels," he said. "You don't want to rush these things, because it's so vital, especially in a baseball player. It's a muscle you use constantly as a baseball player. You want to rest it. If it happens again, you're back at ground zero. Just rest."

Wedge said he had a good talk with Romero on Saturday to try to boost his spirits.

"It's tough for a young man to have to go through something like that, but we've all had to do it," he said. "I told him it's just a bump in the road."

Notes

• Back in Peoria, the Mariners won a six-inning B game against the Padres, 6-3, with Jason Bay hitting a three-run homer in the first, and Jesus Montero getting a rare triple. It came on a drive off the wall in right-center that bounded away from the fielders.

"I was thinking three all the time," Montero said. "I was having fun running the bases. I haven't hit a triple for three or four years. Everyone was laughing. ... I was really happy to hit the triple. It's like a dream for me."

The triple gave Montero a chance to display the running form he worked to improve over the winter.

"I just want to get my knees a little higher, try to get quicker," he said. "I know, everyone knows, I'm slow, but I try hard to be a little faster."

Joe Saunders worked 2-2/3 innings, giving up four hits, three runs (two earned) with no walks or strikeouts in the B game.

• The Mariners didn't hit any homers for the first time this spring, against the Dodgers.

Jamie Moyer will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Mariners' home opener April 8.

Larry Stone: 206-464-3146 or lstone@seattletimes.com

Seattle Los Angeles
AB R H BI AB R H BI
F.Gutierrez cf 3 0 2 2 J.Moore cf 3 0 0 0
F.Martinez cf 2 0 2 0 E.Herrera cf 1 0 1 0
Seager 3b 4 0 0 0 M.Ellis 2b 3 0 0 0
K.Morales dh 4 0 0 0 Barden 2b 1 0 0 0
Frnklin ph-dh 1 0 0 0 Kemp dh 3 0 0 0
Morse rf 3 0 1 0 Pedrsn ph-dh 1 0 0 0
C.Peguero rf 2 0 1 0 Ethier rf 2 1 1 0
Ibanez lf 1 0 0 0 Puig rf 2 1 1 0
J.Morban lf 1 0 0 0 Hairston 1b 3 0 0 0
Smoak 1b 4 0 0 0 Van Slyke 1b 0 0 0 0
Jacobs 1b 0 0 0 0 Gwynn Jr. lf 2 0 0 1
Ackley 2b 4 1 1 0 Castllanos lf 1 1 1 2
J.Sucre c 3 1 2 0 Federowicz c 1 0 0 0
Zunino c 1 0 0 0 Flores c 1 0 1 0
Ryan ss 4 0 2 0 Uribe 3b 2 0 0 0
O.Luna 3b 1 0 0 0
Sellers ss 2 0 2 0
M.Rojas ss 1 0 0 0
Totals 37 2 11 2 Totals 30 3 7 3
Seattle 020 000 000 2
Los Angeles 010 000 20x 3
DP — Seattle 1, Los Angeles 1. LOB — Seattle 11, Los Angeles 4. 2B — Morse (2), E.Herrera (3), Ethier (1). HR — Castellanos (3).
Mariners IP H R ER BB SO
Garland 3 2 1 1 1 0
A.Fernandez 1 0 0 0 0 2
J.Arias 1 0 0 0 0 0
B.Moran 1 1 0 0 0 3
Y.Medina L, 0-1 BS, 1 1 3 2 2 0 0
B.LaFromboise 1 1 0 0 0 2
Dodgers IP H R ER BB SO
Harang 3 6 2 2 2 2
Sh.Tolleson 1 1 0 0 0 0
Jansen 1 0 0 0 1 1
League 1 2 0 0 0 1
Howell W, 1-0 1 1 0 0 0 0
Gregg 1 0 0 0 0 0
P.Rodriguez S,1-1 1 1 0 0 0 2
T — 2:44. A — 10,330.

Spring Training statistics

Batting G AB R H HR RBI SB Avg
Hicks 8 9 3 5 0 4 0 .556
Romero 7 14 4 7 2 8 0 .500
Ryan 6 14 2 7 1 2 0 .500
Ibanez 7 17 7 8 2 5 0 .471
Shoppach 5 15 1 7 0 3 0 .471
Montero 6 17 4 7 1 2 0 .467
Bay 6 15 5 6 2 4 0 .400
Peguero 12 26 8 10 3 4 0 .385
Gutierrez 7 19 6 7 3 10 0 .368
Smoak 8 25 4 9 2 6 0 .360
Ackley 6 17 3 6 0 1 0 .353
Sucre 6 9 1 3 0 0 0 .353
Morales 8 25 5 8 2 4 0 .320
Martinez 10 19 3 6 0 0 0 .316
Morse 8 23 4 7 2 4 0 .304
Catricala 9 22 4 6 0 3 1 .273
Jacobs 11 22 2 6 1 3 0 .273
Triunfel 8 22 4 6 0 0 0 .273
Morban 9 19 5 5 0 1 0 .263
Wells 8 27 6 7 2 12 0 .259
Andino 7 20 4 5 1 1 0 .250
Miller 9 21 0 5 0 1 0 .238
Thames 10 22 3 5 0 4 1 .227
Saunders 6 18 3 4 2 5 0 .222
Zunino 10 18 5 4 1 2 0 .222
Seager 7 22 6 4 1 3 0 .182
Franklin 9 18 2 3 1 2 1 .167
Liddi 7 20 1 2 1 3 0 .100
Paulino 5 13 1 1 0 1 0 .077
Almonte 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 548 106 166 30 98 3 .303
Pitching W L Sv IP H BB SO ERA
Arias 0 0 0 4.0 3 1 2 0.00
Bawcom 0 0 1 3.0 5 0 4 0.00
Capps 0 0 0 4.0 3 2 5 0.00
Hultzen 1 0 0 3.0 1 2 6 0.00
Loe 0 0 0 5.0 5 0 7 0.00
Moran 1 0 0 4.0 3 1 6 0.00
Ramirez 1 0 0 4.0 4 1 5 0.00
Smith 1 0 0 3.0 1 0 2 0.00
Wilhelmsen 0 0 0 4.0 2 1 5 0.00
Garland 1 0 0 6.0 5 4 1 1.50
Iwakuma 1 0 0 6.0 3 0 3 1.50
Maurer 1 1 0 6.0 7 3 7 1.50
Furbush 0 1 0 4.1 6 0 4 2.08
Carraway 0 0 0 4.0 4 1 2 2.25
Luetge 0 0 0 4.0 6 1 6 2.25
Perez 0 0 0 3.1 1 2 1 2.70
Mitchell 0 0 0 4.1 1 3 2 4.15
Hernandez 0 0 0 2.0 2 0 2 4.50
Pryor 0 0 0 4.0 3 2 3 4.50
Walker 1 0 0 5.0 5 4 3 5.40
Beaven 1 0 0 8.0 10 0 7 5.63
Saunders 1 0 0 3.0 4 1 0 6.00
LaFromboise 0 0 1 4.0 5 3 7 6.75
Kinney 0 0 0 3.2 5 3 2 7.36
Bonderman 1 0 0 6.0 8 2 3 9.00
Farquhar 0 0 1 3.0 4 0 4 9.00
Fernandez 0 0 0 4.0 4 2 5 9.00
Medina 0 1 1 4.0 7 0 4 9.00
Ruffin 0 0 0 3.0 6 2 3 9.00
Noesi 0 1 0 3.2 11 6 4 14.73
Paxton 0 0 0 3.2 6 4 1 14.73
Nunez 0 0 0 2.0 5 2 2 18.00
Totals 11 4 4 133.0 145 53 118 4.33

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