Well, now, this is more like what the Mariners are hoping to see from veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo. Just one hit in three scoreless innings Saturday in a 4-3 victory over Colorado.
"The bullpen I had prior to this start really focused on throwing the ball over the plate," he said. "Having a good line to the plate. Having a good direction toward the plate, and it showed. Everything was under control.
"I was able to command the ball to both sides of the plate."
Gallardo gave up four runs in his only inning in a Feb. 27 start against Kansas City in his spring debut. This time, he retired nine of 10 batters, including three by strikeout. The only hit was a grounder past third base.
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"That’s kind of what we (wanted)," manager Scott Servais said. "He got in good rhythm today. He was locating with the fastball. It was good to see."
Infielder Zach Shank delivered two tie-breaking hits. His RBI single in the ninth inning provided the winning run after he broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh with an RBI double.
"Great at-bats," Servais said. "Our staff in (Triple-A) Tacoma all year last year said, `Hey, man, whenever you need a hit, this guy gets it.’"
Shank was one of 17 players on the Mariners’ game roster who gained one-day promotions from minor-league camp. He batted .290 last season in 120 games at Tacoma (81) and Double-A Jackson (39).
Mike Zunino’s two-out homer in the second inning opened the scoring, a 421-foot drive to the left of dead center.
The Mariners (6-2) extended their lead to 2-0 in the third inning when Leonys Martin scored from second on a wild pitch.
Colorado (5-4) pulled even on Ian Desmond’s two-run homer in the fourth against James Paxton, who was making his spring debut.
"I was going for the backdoor cutter and missed it kind of up and in," Paxton said. "I didn’t think it was getting out, but it did. It was just a pitch I didn’t make, and he got enough of it to get it out."
He threw 40 pitches over two innings.
"It was a good load," Paxton said. "I’ll definitely be ready for three innings next time. I felt a little bit off today. My timing wasn’t very good, but that will come."
PLAY OF THE GAME I: Martin, after a two-out double, scored from second on a wild pitch by Yency Almonte in the third inning when catcher Tom Murphy couldn’t locate the ball.
PLAY OF THE GAME II: Shortstop Jean Segura threw out ex-Mariner Chris Denorfia after fielding a grounder deep in the short-third hole.
Segura made a strong throw across his body as his momentum carried him into left field. The play addressed two concerns: Does Segura have the range and arm to play shortstop? On this play, plenty of both.
PLUS: Chris Heston escaped a runner-on-third jam with one out in the seventh inning by spearing Mike Tauchman’s chopper, trapping the runner between third and home, making the tag and then trapping Tauchman between first and second for a double play…Heston also had his second scoreless two-inning outing…Nelson Cruz had a double in three at-bats and is 7-for-15 with five extra-base hits.
MINUS: Segura was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and is hitless in 10 at-bats over three games since being added to the Dominican Republic’s roster for the World Baseball Classic.
STAT PACK: Five Mariners pitchers combined to issue one walk. That makes just 16 walks in 69 innings in eight games.
SPRING BATTLES: Utilityman Mike Freeman, back in camp, replaced Robinson Cano at second base in the sixth inning. Freeman was designated Wednesday for assignment but cleared waivers prior to the game.
QUOTABLE: Gallardo played with Segura for two-plus years in Milwaukee and wasn’t surprised by Segura’s web gem on Denorfia’s grounder.
"It’s pretty impressive the things he can do there at short," Gallardo said. "I had the opportunity to have him be the shortstop behind me quite a bit in Milwaukee. He’s a tremendous athlete.
"You see that play he got to in the hole, the arm strength and everything to get that throw off against a pretty decent runner."
SHORT HOPS: Its was 35 years ago Sunday — March 5, 1982 — that free-agent pitcher Gaylord Perry signed a one-year contract with the Mariners. He had 297 career victories at the time and would get No. 300 on May 6 in a 7-3 victory over the Yankees at the Kingdome. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991.
UP NEXT: The Mariners play the first of their three split-squad doubleheaders Sunday when they meet Oakland at Peoria Stadium and also travel to Camelback Ranch in Glendale to play the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Felix Hernandez will start the game against the Athletics, which marks the start of Root Sports Northwest’s 16-game spring broadcast schedule. Oakland plans to start right-hander Jharel Cotton.
Right-hander Andrew Moore will start against the Dodgers, who list lefty Julio Urias as their starter. The game in Glendale starts at 12:05 p.m. Pacific time; the game in Peoria starts at 12:10 p.m. Pacific time.
Also scheduled to pitch against the Athletics: Evan Scribner, Thyago Vieira, James Pazos, Chase De Jong, Casey Fien and Paul Fry.
Also scheduled to pitch against the Dodgers: Edwin Diaz, Pat Venditte, Dean Kiekhefer, Jonathan Aro, Dylan Unsworth and Micah Owings.
DAYS LEFT UNTIL OPENING DAY: 29
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners