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Smyly's first outing pleases Mariners

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- First games of a Cactus League season aren't hugely important, but first impressions can be. So Drew Smyly, the Mariners new left-handed starter, emerged from his initial outing with a smile after tossing a pair of scoreless frames in Seattle's 7-4 victory over the Indians on Wednesday.

Acquired by trade from the Rays to bolster the Mariners rotation, the 27-year-old looked sharp in his debut while zipping through a 31-pitch outing with two strikeouts, one walk and the minimum batters faced.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- First games of a Cactus League season aren't hugely important, but first impressions can be. So Drew Smyly, the Mariners new left-handed starter, emerged from his initial outing with a smile after tossing a pair of scoreless frames in Seattle's 7-4 victory over the Indians on Wednesday.

Acquired by trade from the Rays to bolster the Mariners rotation, the 27-year-old looked sharp in his debut while zipping through a 31-pitch outing with two strikeouts, one walk and the minimum batters faced.

"There's always a little bit of urgency, especially with a new team," said the five-year Major League veteran. "You want to impress everybody, show the coaching staff and the players behind me what I'm capable of.

Video: Smyly looking forward to 2017 season, lauds Dipoto

"I've faced and competed against most of them, but you still want to start off on a good note and show them it's a good trade for me to be over here, and I'm here to help the team. I want to do everything we can to win. It's just fun. I'm glad baseball is back and I'm able to play."

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Smyly didn't post imposing numbers with the Rays last year (7-12, 4.88 ERA), but he's been a quality starter with the Tigers and Rays, and the Mariners expect him to fit nicely into their plans as a flyball-oriented pitcher at Safeco Field.

He worked quickly in his debut with a 1-2-3 first on 12 pitches, then maneuvered around a one-out walk to Yan Gomes in the second when catcher Mike Zunino threw out Gomes trying to steal.

Video: Catch a bullpen through Mike Zunino's eyes

Smyly appreciated Zunino's efforts at several levels.

"He's great. I'm really looking forward to working with him," Smyly said. "It was eye-opening to me the first time I threw to him how well he was able to receive and make balls look like strikes. That's huge from a pitching standpoint."

But Smyly did most of the work in his debut, throwing all his pitches and looking sharp in the process.

"That was the whole plan, just attack, fill up the strike zone. mix up my pitches and come out of it healthy," he said. "And I did that today."

Which was exactly the first impression the Mariners wanted to see.

"He was very crisp," manager Scott Servais said. "He went right after them, good breaking ball. It was nice to see. First time out in a Mariners uniform, he looked very comfortable."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Seattle Mariners, Drew Smyly