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Originally published March 14, 2013 at 7:49 PM | Page modified March 14, 2013 at 7:48 PM

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Maurer still in there pitching for Mariners | Mariners Notebook

On a day when top pitching prospects James Paxton, Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker were sent to the minors, Brandon Maurer remained with the club.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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PEORIA, Ariz. — There was apparently some substance to all the pre-camp talk that Brandon Maurer was the most big-league-ready of Seattle's minor-league pitching prospects.

On a day the best-known of those arms were cut, Maurer turned in four scoreless innings for the Mariners in an 8-7 comeback win Thursday over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Mariners announced after the game that two of their heralded "Big Three" minor-leaguers — James Paxton and Danny Hultzen — had been optioned to Class AAA, and the third member, Taijuan Walker, had been reassigned to minor-league camp.

The Mariners also optioned struggling starter Hector Noesi to AAA.

But Maurer stays, for now, trying to complete a jump from AA to the majors as part of Seattle's rotation.

Mariners manager Eric Wedge said he's looking for several things from Maurer as he decides where he fits.

"I think, one, how he handles himself, being a young pitcher," Wedge said. "Two, how his stuff plays against big-league hitters. And then, you just look at how he continues to climb and how we build him up and how he continues to handle different situations."

Maurer allowed three hits and walked two of 15 batters he faced. But he escaped the jams with four strikeouts and a timely double-play ball in the eighth inning with two on and the score tied.

Morse belts

two home runs

Michael Morse led Seattle's comeback from a 7-1 deficit with a pair of home runs. He doubled and scored his first time up, hit a scorching two-run homer in the fifth, and had a tying three-run shot to left in the sixth.

"My at-bats are starting to become quality at-bats in a row," Morse said. "Early in spring you have one quality at-bat, maybe a couple of bad ones. But I'm starting to get a nice rhythm and a good feel. And for me, it's a feel that I don't think about. It's just something that happens."

Note

• Mariners starter Joe Saunders yielded seven runs — five earned — while allowing nine hits over 3-2/3 innings. He was pitching with a painful blister on the toe of his left (push-off) foot, which began forming during pregame warm-ups.

Saunders said he was in pain throughout the outing, but pushed through and was pleased he could build up some arm endurance with the regular season less than three weeks away.

Cincinnati Seattle
AB R H BI AB R H BI
Heisey cf 4 1 2 0 Seager 2b 3 0 0 0
F.Perez cf 1 0 0 0 B.Miller 2b 1 0 0 0
Cozart ss 4 1 2 2 C.Wells cf 2 1 0 0
D.Lohman ss 1 0 0 0 F.Martinez cf 1 0 1 0
Votto 1b 2 1 0 0 K.Mrales dh 4 2 2 1
N.Soto ph-1b 3 0 1 1 Morse rf 3 3 3 5
Phipps rf 3 2 2 1 Thames rf 1 0 0 0
D.Lutz ph-rf 1 0 0 0 Smoak 1b 3 0 2 1
D.Rbinsn lf 3 1 1 1 Jacobs 1b 1 0 0 0
S.Selsky ph-lf 1 0 0 0 C.Peguero lf 4 0 0 0
Burriss 3b 2 0 0 0 J.Sucre c 3 0 0 0
Hnnhn ph-3b 1 0 0 0 Zunino c 1 1 1 1
Donald 2b 3 0 2 1 Triunfel 3b 4 0 1 0
H.Rodrigz 2b 1 0 1 0 Ryan ss 3 1 1 0
Mesoraco c 2 0 1 1 C.Taylor ss 1 0 0 0
Hanigan c 1 0 0 0
Paul dh 1 1 0 0
Olivo ph-dh 2 0 0 0
Totals 36 7 12 7 Totals 35 8 11 8
Cincinnati 022 300 000 7
Seattle 010 240 01x 8
E — Cozart (3), Ryan (1). DP — Cincinnati 1, Seattle 1. LOB — Cincinnati 6, Seattle 4. 2B — Heisey (3), N.Soto (2), Phipps 2 (4), H.Rodriguez (3), Morse (3). HR — Morse 2 (5), Zunino (2). SB — D.Robinson (1), Ryan (1). CS — Mesoraco (1). S — Burriss.
Reds IP H R ER BB SO
H.Bailey 4 6 3 3 0 1
Hensley BS,1-1 2 3 4 4 1 5
W.De La Rosa 1 1 0 0 0 2
D.Hayes L, 0-1 1 1 1 1 0 1
Mariners IP H R ER BB SO
J.Saunders 3 2/3 9 7 5 1 2
Farquhar 1/3 0 0 0 0 1
B.Maurer W, 2-1 4 3 0 0 2 4
O.Perez S,1-2 1 0 0 0 0 1
T — 2:40. A — 6,504.

Spring Training statistics

Batting G AB R H HR RBI SB Avg
Hicks 9 10 3 6 0 4 0 .600
Romero 7 14 4 7 2 8 0 .500
Ryan 8 20 3 9 1 3 1 .450
Ibanez 9 23 7 9 2 6 0 .391
Smoak 10 32 4 12 2 7 0 .375
Gutierrez 7 19 6 7 3 10 0 .368
Morse 11 31 8 11 5 10 0 .355
Montero 7 20 4 7 1 2 0 .350
Shoppach 7 20 1 7 0 3 0 .350
Morales 10 32 8 11 2 5 0 .344
Ackley 7 21 3 7 0 1 0 .333
Peguero 15 37 8 12 3 4 0 .324
Martinez 14 22 4 7 0 0 0 .318
Bay 9 24 6 7 2 4 0 .292
Triunfel 10 29 5 8 1 1 0 .276
Catricala 10 22 4 6 0 4 1 .273
Jacobs 15 26 3 7 1 5 0 .269
Morban 12 27 7 7 0 2 0 .259
Thames 13 28 4 7 0 5 1 .250
Zunino 12 20 6 5 2 3 0 .250
Wells 9 29 7 7 2 12 0 .241
Andino 9 25 5 6 1 1 0 .240
Miller 12 30 2 7 1 2 0 .233
Sucre 8 13 1 3 0 0 0 .231
Seager 10 32 6 7 1 5 0 .219
Saunders 7 21 3 4 2 5 0 .190
Franklin 11 20 3 3 1 2 1 .150
Liddi 7 20 1 2 1 3 0 .100
Paulino 6 14 1 1 0 1 0 .071
Almonte 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 283 681 127 199 36 118 4 .278
Pitching W L Sv IP H BB SO ERA
Arias 0 0 0 4.0 3 1 2 0.00
Bawcom 0 0 1 4.0 6 0 5 0.00
Hultzen 1 0 0 4.0 2 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 6.0 4 1 5 0.00
Smith 1 0 0 4.0 2 0 5 0.00
Maurer 2 1 0 10.0 10 5 11 0.90
Garland 1 0 0 6.0 5 4 1 1.50
Wilhelmsen 0 1 0 6.0 5 3 9 1.50
Capps 0 0 0 5.0 5 2 6 1.80
Perez 0 0 1 4.1 1 2 2 2.08
Iwakuma 1 0 0 10.0 7 0 4 2.70
Pryor 0 0 0 6.0 4 2 6 3.00
Hernandez 0 1 0 5.0 3 1 5 3.60
Mitchell 0 0 0 4.1 1 3 2 4.15
Luetge 0 0 0 6.0 11 2 10 4.50
Walker 1 0 0 7.0 7 5 4 5.14
LaFromboise 0 0 1 5.0 6 3 9 5.40
Beaven 1 0 0 8.0 10 0 7 5.63
Furbush 0 1 0 6.1 10 2 5 5.68
Medina 0 1 1 5.0 8 1 6 7.20
Kinney 0 0 0 3.2 5 3 2 7.36
Farquhar 0 0 1 3.1 4 0 5 8.10
Bonderman 1 0 0 6.0 8 2 3 9.00
Carraway 0 1 0 6.0 10 1 3 9.00
Fernandez 0 0 0 4.0 4 2 5 9.00
Ruffin 0 0 0 3.0 6 2 3 9.00
Saunders 1 0 0 6.2 13 2 2 9.45
Paxton 0 0 0 3.2 6 4 1 14.73
Noesi 0 1 0 4.2 12 8 5 17.36
Nunez 0 0 0 2.0 5 2 2 18.00
Totals 12 7 5 165.2 192 63 154 5.18

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