PEORIA, Ariz. – The Seattle Mariners won their eighth straight Cactus League game, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-5 in front of 7,580 fans at Peoria Stadium Saturday. The eight-game winning streak matches the club’s longest ever in a single spring in the Cactus League. The only other year Seattle won eight straight Cactus League games was to close out the spring of 1993.
Franklin Gutierrez was 2-for-3 with a double, a home run (#3) and four RBI to lead the offense. Mike Zunino (#1) also homered, giving Seattle 20 home runs in nine games this spring, the most in baseball (Cactus or Grapefruit League). Zunino finished 2-for-3, as well.
After falling behind 3-0, Seattle tied the game in the third inning on a solo homer from Zunino and a two-run laser to left field by Gutierrez. With two outs in the fourth inning, Gutierrez doubled home Robert Andino and Carlos Triunfel for a 5-3 lead. Raul Ibanez doubled to lead off the fifth, and scored from third on a Casper Wells sacrifice fly for a 6-3 Seattle lead.
Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma allowed back-to-back hits to start the game, then recorded six outs in his next five batters faced, including a double play to gut the Dodgers hope of a big inning to start the game. Jeremy Bonderman allowed a pair of two-out runs in the third, but bounced back with a three-batter fourth. Oliver Perez, Kameron Loe, Charlie Furbush and D.J. Mitchell all tossed scoreless frames. Chance Ruffin allowed a pair of runs but closed out the 9th.
Seattle closed out the scoring with a three-run seventh inning off the Dodgers Brandon League. Catcher John Hicks keyed the inning, driving a two-run double deep to right field, advancing to third on an overthrow by the Dodgers right fielder, and scoring on a League wild pitch.
The Mariners (8-1) are back on the road tomorrow, travelling up Bell Road to visit the Texas Rangers. The game will be broadcast live online via Mariners.com (subscription required). Left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders is scheduled to start for the Mariners against Rangers right-hander Justin Grimm.