PEORIA, Ariz. —The Mariners loaded the bases twice in the final four innings but failed to capitalize as they fell 6-4 to the Cleveland Indians at the Peoria Sports Complex.
Second baseman Dustin Ackley and left-fielder Corey Patterson both reached on singles in the ninth inning, but a double play slowed down the rally. First baseman Mike Carp followed with an RBI single, bringing up designated hitter Brad Nelson to the plate as the tying run, but he grounded out weakly to the pitcher to end the game.
Ken Griffey Jr. (who reached on an error) and Chris Woodward (hit by pitch). Gutierrez, who finished the game 2-for-2, also singled in the second inning.
Cleveland came back to score two runs in the fifth inning on a Wes Hodges two-RBI double, and three more in the sixth, including another Hodges two-RBI double high off the center field wall.
The Mariners threatened in the eighth inning, loading the bases with no outs, but were only able to push one run across (on a 5-4-3 double play) before catcher Luis Oliveros grounded out to second base to end the inning.
Left-handed starter Jason Vargas tossed 3.2 shutout innings, the longest outing by a Mariners pitcher this spring, leaving the game after reaching his pitch limit (49 pitches, 30 strikes).
RHP Mike Koplove (7th) and RHP Levale Speigner (8th) each tossed perfect innings, with Koplove striking out two of the three batters faced.
The club will play the Texas Rangers tomorrow (Wednesday, March 10) at Surprise Stadium at 12:05 p.m. PST. Left-hander Cliff Lee will make his first start of the spring for Seattle.