GOODYEAR, Ariz.: For the second game in a row, Indians bats were mostly silent, as they lost a 5-1 decision to the Seattle Mariners at Goodyear Ballpark on Wednesday.
The only notable occurrence was Brett Myers becoming the first Tribe pitcher of the spring to go three innings. Myers sailed through two innings, allowing only one hit. But in the third, he gave up the first of Carlos Peguero’s two home runs; he also hit a batter and walked another.
“The ball was slipping out of my hand,” Myers said. “The first two innings, the balls were rubbed up pretty good.”
When baseballs come out of the wrapper, they are very white and very slick. Clubhouse attendants rub them with dirt to remove the sheen and allow pitchers to get a better grip.
Aside from Corey Kluber’s two innings, Tribe pitchers kept the Mariners at bay. Rich Hill, Cody Allen, Nick Hagadone and Matt Langwell each threw one inning and together allowed only two hits and one run. Kluber gave up three runs and five hits but struck out two.
The offense was held to six hits. Yan Gomes, who hit safely twice, produced the only extra-base hit, a double.
With one out in the top of the eighth, the game was interrupted for five minutes by an alarm, followed by a recorded voice telling everyone in the ballpark to vacate because of an emergency. It turned out to be a false alarm triggered by a child.
“The fourth time he said to walk [out], I was ready to run,” Indians manager Terry Francona said, smiling.
A few dozen fans did leave before the announcement came that there was no danger.
Francona wasn’t around the Tribe the past two years, when Zach McAllister made the transition from tentative rookie to confident starter. But McAllister already has made an impression on the manager.
“I heard so many good things,” Francona said of the 6-foot-6 right-hander. “I feel like every time I see him, he’s grown. When he lets go of the ball, it seems that he’s right on top of you, and that’s not a good feeling for a hitter.”
Giovanni Soto’s numbers look bad after two outings (7 runs, 6 hits, 4 walks, 1? innings pitched) but Francona isn’t concerned.
Soto pitched for the Double-A Aeros last year, which means he hasn’t yet pitched at Triple-A. In addition, Soto is only 21 years old but was picked to pitch for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
“We really like him,” Francona said. “We’re not seeing the best of him yet, but we will. The last time he pitched, he really looked down in the dugout. The kid is trying to do too much.”
In 2012, he posted a 6-9 record and 3.93 ERA for the Aeros.
Getting their work in
Three starters — Carlos Carrasco, T.J. House, Danny Salazar — will throw a simulated game today as a way to get their work in and enable Francona to find enough innings for all of the starters in camp.
Joe Smith (strained oblique) graduates today from throwing bullpen sessions to throwing live batting practice
The Indians travel to Surprise,. Ariz., to play the Texas Rangers today. McAllister will start against Derek Holland.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at email@example.com.