Hisashi Iwakuma struggles in his final outing of the spring for the Mariners

Hisashi Iwakuma struggles in his final outing of the spring for the Mariners

Mariners 3 , Dodgers 3 at Peoria Stadium  Notable

When it comes to pitching, and probably poker, Hisashi Iwakuma is usually a stoic machine that never seems to display emotion regardless of the situation, good or bad. But on Wednesday, the normally collected Iwakuma couldn’t help himself. He was that frustrated with his outing. With his mechanics a mess and his rhythm non-existent, Iwakuma struggled in his final outing of spring, pitching just 1 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on three hits with four walks and no strikeouts. He threw 52 pitches with just 26 strikes.

“It was my last start going into the season and you obviously want good results, but that wasn’t the case,” Iwakuma said through interpreter Antony Suzuki. “I had a hard time focusing against the hitters. I was more worried about my mechanics and I couldn’t find my balance at all. That’s something I need to work on in the next five days.”

After a slew of wayward pitches and uncharacteristic walks, Iwakuma would shake his head, look skyward in frustration and stalk around the mound while talking to himself. He also had a couple icy glares at home player umpire Roberto Ortiz after not getting some borderline calls.

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“He was not happy at all,” manager Scott Servais said. “He was really out of sync mechanically and he knew it even from his warm up in the bullpen. He couldn’t get it going in the game. It was best to get him out of there when we did. He wasn’t supposed to go long today anyway. Normally he doesn’t show that much emotion, but he was a little frustrated.”

Seattle scored two runs in the first inning against Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw. Nelson Cruz doubled to right field to score a run and Kyle Seager followed with a RBI single.

The Dodgers broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning, Mike Ahmed doubled to center just out of the reach of a diving Leonys Martin to score a run.

Seattle tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. Guillermo Heredia led off the inning with a walk and later scored on Ryan Casteel’s one-out, line-drive double to left-center. The game ended tied when Ben Gamel and Ian Miller couldn’t score pinch runner Anthony Jimenez from second.

Player of the game

Dylan Unsworth has done nothing but get outs and pitch scoreless innings this spring. The right-hander, who hails from South Africa, was brilliant in relief, pitching five shutout innings, giving up three hits and striking out three. For the spring, Unsworth has made four appearances and hasn’t allowed a run, tossing 14 scoreless innings. He allowed just five hits and struck out 14 batters with two walks. He will likely pitch in the rotation for Class AA Arkansas to start the season.


“Nice job by Unsworth to move the game along. We appreciated that. He threw the ball well. He’s had a great spring. He really has no fear and believes in his stuff. It’s not overpowering, but he knows how to pitch. He’s got a great changeup. It was much appreciated after the last couple of days for him to settle us down and get us into a normal ballgame.”


On Tap

The Mariners will be off on Thursday and then return to action on Friday evening when they host the Colorado Rockies at Peoria Stadium. Lefty James Paxton will make the start for Seattle with lefties Dillon Overton, Marc Rzepczynski, James Pazos and right-handers Evan Scribner, Nick Vincent and Edwin Diaz scheduled to pitch. The game will be televised on Root Sports and MLB.TV and broadcast live on ESPN 710 AM and mariners.com



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