Notes: Mariners working the kinks out
Hargrove says offense, arms slowly rounding into form
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre slugged a two-run home run to left field in the sixth inning Sunday, ending the Mariners' 22-inning scoreless drought, and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt added a solo shot in the seventh, but the M's still dropped a 5-4 decision to the Giants in a split-squad game in Scottsdale.The other split-squad team lost, 6-4, to the Diamondbacks in Tucson, leaving the Mariners with an 0-4 Cactus League record. In Scottsdale, starter Jeff Weaver worked two shaky innings, surrendering five hits and three runs. "My timing was off in the first inning," he said. "I was trying to use my legs a little bit more but I was landing a little bit later than I was hoping. I fell behind in the count a lot and that's [three runs] what happens. But my arm feels good." Weaver, the likely No. 3 starter this season, said he has been working in the bullpen trying to use his legs more to remove some of the stress off his shoulder and arm so he could work into the seventh or eighth innings more often. He threw 50 pitches, just 24 of them for strikes. "Everything was up in the zone because I couldn't get my timing down," he said. "We got more offensive today, but we didn't pitch well," manager Mike Hargrove said. "When Jeff kept the ball down, he was effective. But he tried to force everything and his rhythm was off. It was a typical first outing." Hargrove said the Mariners hitters are "for the most part doing what we're telling them to do. We want them to get into good counts and they're doing that. It's just a matter of them getting their timing down." Smooth Parque: Left-hander Jim Parque, pitching against big-league hitters in an MLB game for the first time in two years, worked two scoreless innings. "That was kind of fun to watch him pitch, especially in the first inning when he had good command of his pitches," Hargrove said. "You know he had to be excited and the adrenaline was rushing, but he controlled it well. He struggled a little in second, but pitched well." Three of the four Seattle losses have been by one run. "I'm tired of coming up the wrong end of the stick," Hargrove said, "but it was a good game and I'll take games like this early in Spring Training."
Trying to follow a rule: Every team is supposed to have at least four regular players in its lineup for a Spring Training game, but that can be a tough task in split-squad doubleheaders.The Mariners sent one team to Tucson and another to Scottsdale on Sunday and deciding who would go where presented Hargrove with a challenge.
"You have to ask for indulgence from the other team," Hargrove said. "You try to have a minimum of four, but with the injuries we have, it was difficult."Second baseman Jose Lopez remains sidelined with a sprained ankle, although he could be ready to see his first Cactus League action on Wednesday. Catcher Jeff Clement has an injured finger; infielder Oswaldo Navarro has been slowed by a sprained knee suffered in winter ball and Minor League infielder Matt Tuiasosopo spent the past few days away from camp to attend the wedding of his brother. Six of the projected Opening Day starters were in Scottsdale to face the Giants while two likely starters -- catcher Kenji Johjima and designated hitter Jose Vidro -- went to Tucson to face the Diamondbacks. Hargrove said a couple of players he originally had pegged for Tucson duty ended up going to Scottsdale instead because of personal reasons -- picking up or dropping off family at the airport. "It's one of those things that when you let them do that, everything is cool and if you don't let them do it, it's a burr under the saddle for a long time," Hargrove said. "A needless burr." Notes: Aaron Small's back has improved but he is expected to be out for three or four more days. ... The first round of roster cuts could occur by the end of the week. There currently are 61 players in camp. The first full-scale Minor League workout is Saturday. ... The 1-0 loss Saturday was Seattle's first by that score in Spring Training since March 23, 1986, against the Giants. ... Left fielder Raul Ibanez tweaked a shoulder on a check-swing in the sixth inning, but Hargrove said he didn't think it was anything serious.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.