Robinson Cano closes spring training strong as Mariners down Rockies

Apr 2, 2016, 5:47 PM | Updated: 5:50 pm
Robinson Cano’s RBI double helped the Mariners beat the Rockies 8-5 in their spring training ...
Robinson Cano's RBI double helped the Mariners beat the Rockies 8-5 in their spring training finale. (AP)


Associated Press

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Robinson Cano hit an RBI double in his at-bat of spring training and Nathan Karns was sharp over six innings as the Seattle Mariners beat the Colorado Rockies 8-5 on Saturday.

Cano went the opposite way off right-hander Jordan Lyles in the third to score Kyle Seager, who had walked. Cano left an inning later with a .368 average in exhibition play.

Nolan Arenado singled and scored and Ben Paulsen added an RBI double off Karns in the second inning. But the Mariners’ No. 5 starter didn’t allow another run and struck out eight.

“Got his curveball going in the third inning,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “That’s how he needs to pitch. He can’t just get locked in on the fastball.”

Arenado fanned on an off-speed pitch in his final at-bat against Karns. The All-Star third baseman closed the spring hitting an MLB-best .542 (32 for 59).

Lyles, who will start Colorado’s home opener Friday against San Diego, allowed one run and two hits with three walks over three innings. He finished with a 7.11 spring ERA.


Mariners: Karns, who retired 12 straight after the second inning, was stretched out because he won’t make his first regular-season start until next Saturday against Oakland.

“I was trying to do too much at the beginning,” Karns said of his slow spring start “I kind of found my rhythm and settling into my own right now.”

Rockies: Manager Walt Weiss announced before the game Lyles would start the home opener for the first time his career.

“My first two opening days in Denver I was just sitting there watching and it was electric,” Lyles said. “It’s fun when you can’t see any empty seats. Honored, blessed and it’s going to be a fun day.”


Mariners: OF Seth Smith (groin) sat out a second straight day as a precaution, but is expected to play in Monday’s season opener. . CF Leonys Martin returned after a trip to Miami for the birth of his son.

Rockies: RHPs Jon Gray (abdominal), Jason Motte (shoulder) and Jairo Diaz (Tommy John surgery), LHP Tyler Anderson (oblique) and INF Daniel Descalso (hand) will start the season on the disabled list. Gray is eyeing a minor league rehab start Friday.


The lefty Seager batted second and walked twice. Servais said that’s where the third baseman will likely hit against right-handed pitchers.


The Rockies reassigned LHP Yohan Flande to minor league camp. They also released OF Kyle Parker from minor league camp. Parker, a former Clemson quarterback, was Colorado’s first-round draft pick in 2010.

The Rockies were waiting until an organizational meeting after the game to set the final roster, determining the fates of OF Brandon Barnes, RHPs Scott Oberg and Gonzalez Germen and LHP Jason Gurka.


Weiss gave his regulars only two at-bats in the spring training finale. Weiss has been worried about injuries even before Arizona All-Star CF A.J. Pollock broke his right elbow in a game Friday night.

“For the last week I’ve been watching games like this,” Weiss said. “At this point, you just want to get out of here unscathed. That’s a shame for Pollock.”


Mariners: They’ll hold a workout in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday. Ace Felix Hernandez then starts the season opener for the eighth straight year Monday against the Rangers.

Rockies: Since the Rockies had only one spring training off-day, they’re not allowed to hold a workout Sunday. LHP Jorge De La Rosa starts the opener Monday night in Phoenix against new Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke.

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Robinson Cano closes spring training strong as Mariners down Rockies