M's sweep pair of split-squad games

M's sweep pair of split-squad games
Cincinnati Reds' Billy Hamilton, left, slides safely into second base as Seattle Mariners shortstop Brad Miller can't handle the throw during an exhibition baseball game in Goodyear, Ariz., Monday, March 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) - Billy Hamilton bunted for a single - the biggest focus of his offseason - and stole another base for Cincinnati on Monday before a split squad of Seattle Mariners rallied for a 6-5 victory over the Reds.

Hamilton worked on becoming a better bunter to prepare for his role as Cincinnati's new leadoff hitter. He started a four-run rally in the third with his bunt hit. The Mariners had two errors in the inning behind starter Erasmo Ramirez and made five errors in all.

Hamilton walked, stole and scored on Skip Schumaker's sacrifice fly in the fifth for a 5-1 lead.

Alfredo Simon pitched three hitless innings for Cincinnati. Closer Aroldis Chapman went two innings, giving up a run and three hits while fanning three.

Brad Miller hit a solo homer in the sixth off Cincinnati's Chad Rogers. Chris Taylor had a grand slam in the seventh off Rogers, a minor leaguer.

"It is a funky game," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's not often when the opposing team makes five errors and you lose."

STARTING TIME

Ramirez made his second start of the spring. A biceps injury forced him to start last season on the disabled list.

The right-hander pitched 2 2-3 innings and was charged with three runs, one earned, and four hits.

"I didn't walk anybody," Ramirez said. "No matter who is batting, I want to get the first-pitch strike. When runners got on base, I want to get a ground ball. I got them but they found holes."

Simon has pitched exclusively in relief for Cincinnati in the last two seasons. He's getting more innings this spring as the Reds get him ready to start in case Mat Latos is still recovering from knee surgery when the season begins.

"Even if we had all five starters healthy, the goal in the spring was to stretch Alfredo out as a starter about two-thirds of the way through spring training," Price said. "He has earned the right to have an opportunity to start, if there is an opportunity. He has been so good pitching out of the bullpen. He has a starter's background. He is big and durable."

Simon is excited to get the chance. He hasn't allowed a hit in five innings of two starts.

"I'm really happy. Let's see what happens," Simon said. "My breaking ball was really good today. I was a starter in Baltimore (in 2011). I put in my mind that I was going every five days. I am trying to think the same way now."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager has been sidelined for a couple days by a jammed finger on his right hand, but he is expected to play again on Tuesday.

Latos and Mike Leake are scheduled to throw on Wednesday. Latos had surgery on Feb. 14 to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. Leake suffered an abdominal strain during offseason workouts and missed his first scheduled start of the spring as a precaution. ... Left-hander Sean Marshall has a sore left shoulder. ... Outfielder Jason Bourgeois has an injured right hamstring.

STREAKING REDS

Neftali Soto doubled twice. He has hit safely in five straight games. Soto has volunteered to catch to improve his chances of making the team. ... Schumaker was 2 for 2 and has hit safely in three of his four appearances. ... Zack Cozart singled twice. He has hit safely in all four of his appearances.

COAST TO COAST

Outfielder/first baseman Logan Morrison came to the Mariners in a trade with Miami. Morrison has impressed his new team by hitting in all three spring games, batting .625 (5 for 11).

STRETCHING

Price is giving Chapman a chance to pitch more than one inning at a time during spring training, which is in line with what the Reds have done with him the last few years in exhibition games. The left-hander went two innings on Monday.

"It gives us a chance to work on his slider," Price said. "The repetition is good for him. He really enjoys it."

Mariners (ss) 8, Rockies 1

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Robinson Cano had two hits and an RBI and Dustin Ackley's had a three-run double among his two hits, as a Seattle Mariners split-squad beat the Colorado Rockies 8-1 Monday.

Cano, who signed a $240 million, 10-year contract, with Seattle this winter, had an infield single as one of his hits.

In four games, Ackley is hitting .600 with a home run, three doubles and six RBIs.

Ackley gave his a team a 6-1 lead in the fifth inning when he ripped a bases-loaded double off Rob Scahill over the head of center fielder Brandon Barnes.

"He's a very talented young man," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. "I think our challenge is to get him in one place and leave him there and let him flourish."

Seattle starter Blake Beavan allowed a run and four hits in three innings.

Colorado starter Brett Anderson threw two scoreless innings, allowing four hits and a walk, while fanning two.

Anderson was traded to the Rockies during the offseason and said he felt nerves when he took the mound for the first time with his new team.

First outing in a new organization, it was good," he said. "Usually there aren't too many nerves in a spring training game, but I kind of had a little adrenaline going."

STARTING TIME

Rockies: Anderson used his Cactus League debut to get a benchmark on where he's at this far into spring training.

"Didn't give up any runs, felt good, so that's a positive," Anderson said. "Walked a guy, which you never like to do, but was trying to gauge where I'm at. Threw a 3-2 slider with two outs and nobody on that I probably wouldn't throw in a regular season game."

Mariners: Making his second outing of spring training, Blake Beavan gave up one earned run on four hits in three innings.

"He's a command guy," McClendon said. "He's not a stuff guy, he's not a guy who's going to light up the radar gun. He has to control the strike zone, he's got to stay down in the zone, move it in and out. He did a fine job of doing that today."

Beavan is one of a handful of Mariners competing for a spot in the back end of Seattle's starting rotation. Last year, he was a starter coming out of training camp, but lost his spot after pitching poorly in two starts.

"This is a big year for me," he said. "Last year not being 100 percent healthy and playing through it, coming in this year being 100 percent healthy I think is going to make a big difference."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: Third baseman Kyle Seager sat out for the third straight game because of a jammed index finger on his throwing hand. McClendon said Seager will start Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sitting Seager is a precautionary move.

"It's nothing major," the third baseman said. "It wouldn't even be an issue if this was the regular season."

HERE COMES THE KING

Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is scheduled to make his first start of spring training on Tuesday when Seattle faces the Los Angeles Dodgers. McClendon said Hernandez will throw two innings.