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Julio Rodríguez drives in Jarred Kelenic, lifting Mariners to walkoff win in spring opener

The Mariners’ top two prospects let their play do the talking Sunday afternoon in the team’s opener of Cactus League play.

Cactus League play – Mariners 5, Padres 4: Box score

Julio Rodríguez, the Mariners’ No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America, drove in Jarred Kelenic, Seattle’s No. 1 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, with a walkoff single to center field that delivered Seattle a 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres.

The 20-year-old Rodríguez entered the game in the fifth inning, replacing Ty France at designated hitter, and received three at-bats, going 1 for 3. Of course, the one hit he had off Padres pitcher (and former Mariner) Parker Markel was the most important one of the spring-opening exhibition with Seattle’s neighbors at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Ariz.

Kelenic, 21, came into the game in the fourth inning as a defensive replacement for Mitch Haniger in right field. He went to the plate three times, reaching on a single through the right side in his first at-bat and walking in the ninth.

Haniger, who saw his first game action in over a year and a half, singled in the first inning in the first of his two at-bats.

Marco Gonzales, Seattle’s expected opening day starter, opened the game with two innings on the mound, allowing one unearned run on two hits and a walk.

Relievers Anthony Misiewicz and Rule 5 Draft pick Will Vest had strong outings for the Mariners, each striking out two in a perfect inning of work.

Evan White doubled in the third inning to drive in two runs, one of which was scored by Dylan Moore, who had reached with an RBI single.

José Marmolejos hit a double after taking over at first base for White.

Kyle Seager opened the scoring for Seattle with an RBI single in the first inning after Haniger’s hit and a walk by Kyle Lewis, tying the game at 1-1.

Wil Myers had the offensive highlight of the day for San Diego, homering off new Mariners reliever Keynan Middleton to lead off the fourth inning.

The Mariners get a day off Monday before continuing Cactus League action by hosting Cleveland on Tuesday. The game will air on 710 ESPN Seattle at 7 p.m.

See the full Mariners spring training schedule on 710 ESPN Seattle here.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

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