Cano keeps hitting as Baker impresses in Seattle debut
Second baseman drives in one, scores another as Mariners remain unbeaten in spring
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Veteran right-hander Scott Baker threw a pair of scoreless innings in his first start of the spring, and new second baseman Robinson Cano had two hits and drove in a run as the Mariners topped the Angels, 5-3, on Saturday. The game was called in the bottom of the seventh due to rain.
Seattle is off to a 3-0 start in Cactus League play for the just the sixth time in franchise history and the first since 1994, while the Angels fell to 1-1 while playing with a squad made up almost entirely of backups.
The Angels did bring lefty starter C.J. Wilson to Peoria Stadium, and he struck out the side in the first, getting Cano looking for the final out. Wilson, slated to be the Angels' No. 2 starter this season, allowed three runs on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts in two-plus innings.
The Mariners got to Wilson for pair of runs in the second after Justin Smoak led off the frame with a towering double off the center-field batter's eye. Wilson was replaced by Michael Morin after a leadoff single by Mariners right fielder Xavier Avery in the third, and Avery eventually came around to score as Seattle pushed across two more runs to make it 4-0.
"The sliders today, they didn't really swing at it, which was kind of weird," Wilson said. "They took all of them. That's why I got them to strike out with the fastball. It's kind of a cat-and-mouse thing, because you're like, 'Oh, I'm going to throw them this way during the season so I shouldn't throw them that way now. I should do something different so I save that.' But you start thinking about that type of stuff and you end up throwing a meatball."
Cano had his RBI single in the third and Dustin Ackley followed with a run-scoring double, his second in as many games this spring. Cano, who signed a 10-year, $240 million contract in December, finished 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and is now 3-for-4 with a walk in two games.
Baker, who pitched just three games for the Cubs last September after having Tommy John surgery in 2012, said he felt strong while throwing 32 pitches in his first outing of the spring. He'll have a good chance to crack the Mariners' rotation as a non-roster invitee if he proves healthy over the next month.
"I feel good," said the former Twins starter. "It's that two-year mark [after surgery]. You keep hearing it and hearing it. I'm coming up on that and now that I have experienced it, I see there's a reason people talk about that. I feel like I'm able to go out there and let the ball fly without any adverse affects, and that's a good feeling."
Smoak and designated hitter Logan Morrison each had two hits, including a double apiece, for the Mariners.
The Angels got on the board with an RBI double by shortstop Tommy Field in the sixth off James Gillheeney, and C.J. Cron followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2.
Up next: Veteran lefty Randy Wolf makes his debut as the Mariners face the Indians at 12:05 p.m. PT in Goodyear, Ariz. It will be Wolf's first action since Tommy John surgery in October 2012. The 14-year Major League veteran is trying to catch on with Seattle as a non-roster invitee. Also scheduled to pitch are Andrew Carraway, Danny Farquhar, Logan Kensing, Tom Wilhelmsen, Lucas Luetge and Logan Bawcom.