PEORIA, Ariz. -- Many of the Mariners' best bats are missing this week with Seattle's stars headed for the World Baseball Classic, but catcher Mike Zunino kept things rolling with a big day at the plate in a 9-0 Cactus League victory over the Rangers on Monday at Peoria Stadium.Zunino
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Many of the Mariners' best bats are missing this week with Seattle's stars headed for the World Baseball Classic, but catcher Mike Zunino kept things rolling with a big day at the plate in a 9-0 Cactus League victory over the Rangers on Monday at Peoria Stadium.
Zunino homered, doubled and walked in a three-RBI day and teammate Taylor Motter added a two-run blast as Seattle jumped on Texas starter A.J. Griffin for six hits and six runs in 2 2/3 innings.
"It was just nice to get a pitch and barrel it up," Zunino said after launching his second homer of the spring deep to left-center in the second. "I think it helped the wind was blowing that way, too. I'm just trying to hunt pitches in a zone that I know I can handle, especially early in the count."
Left-hander Drew Smyly sailed through three scoreless innings in his second start for the Mariners, allowing one hit with one walk and three strikeouts. Max Povse followed with two hitless innings.
The Rangers' lone hit off Smyly was a third-inning single by shortstop Hanser Alberto. Adrian Beltre went 0-for-2 in his third game back from a strained calf as he continues preparing to join the Dominican Republic's Classic squad later this week.
Griffin, one of a small handful of pitchers in contention to be the Rangers' fifth starter, wasn't too focused on the results of his three-walk, three-strikeout afternoon.
"I was working on my offspeed stuff, and I feel really good about the action I'm getting on those. But I didn't establish the inside of the zone with my fastball and they got comfortable," Griffin said. "But for the most part I felt pretty good about [the outing]."
Rangers Up Next:Yu Darvish will make his second Cactus League appearance this Tuesday when the Rangers host the Rockies at 2:05 p.m. CT. Darvish walked two and gave up a hit in his first appearance against the Royals on Feb. 26. Also scheduled to pitch is Mike Hauschild, who will be looking to bounce back from his last outing as he competes for a possible fifth-starter job. Listen to a free, exclusive audio webcast on rangers.com.
Mariners Up Next: After their first off-day of the spring on Tuesday, the Mariners return with a Wednesday night game against the Indians at 6:10 p.m. PT at Peoria Stadium. Hisashi Iwakuma makes his second start for Seattle, with Ariel Miranda among the scheduled relievers. The game will be available on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio.
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Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Rangers on Monday.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [
@GregJohnsMLB]() and listen to his podcast.