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Baker solid for three innings in Mariners' victory

Starter allows one run; Rodney allows one run in first Cactus outing

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- John Danks made his first Cactus League start in Thursday's 7-4 Mariners victory over the White Sox at Camelback Ranch.

It was start No. 2 of the spring for Seattle's Scott Baker.

Both pitchers are on the comeback trail, of sorts, and certainly didn't hurt their respective causes with these particular efforts.

Baker, who is trying to make the Mariners as a non-roster invite, allowed one run on three hits over three innings and 32 pitches. He's coming back from Tommy John surgery in '12, and pitched three games for the Cubs in 2013.

There's an excellent chance for Baker to make the rotation with a good spring, with Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker already out of action for at least the first few weeks of the season. The lone run he allowed came in the second, when Keenyn Walker stole home on the back end of a double-steal with Adam Eaton stealing second and John Buck's throw going into center field.

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Baker didn't have any problems bouncing back from his first outing, which is often a key step for pitchers on the mend from Tommy John surgery.

"He threw the ball well," said McClendon. "I was very pleased. I didn't see any setbacks of any kind."

Danks' roster spot is locked up, but he is trying to take another step forward in his return from season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery in August of 2012. Danks made 22 starts last season, but finished with a 4.75 ERA and 28 homers allowed in 138 1/3 innings.

On Thursday, Danks yielded one hit over three scoreless innings and struck out two. He threw 43 pitches, with 24 coming in the first inning.

"I was able to change speed with four pitches," Danks said. "The curveball is always a tough pitch out here, so I had trouble getting that over the plate. But I was real pleased with the cutter, and the fastball felt like it had some life on it and the changeup is where it's always been."

Eaton topped the White Sox offense with three hits to go with his stolen base, while Carlos Sanchez delivered a run-scoring single, stole a base and drove home two.

Fernando Rodney made his spring debut for the Mariners and gave up one run on two hits, with Sanchez singling home Dayan Viciedo, who had doubled. Kyle Seager, playing his second game since sitting out four games with a jammed finger that he hurt in the first inning of the Mariners' first game sliding into third, finished 1-for-2.

Seattle scored three in the seventh to take the lead against reliever Scott Snodgress, after the White Sox scored two in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie. In the ninth, Stefen Romero tripled home a run and Cole Gillespie singled in another against White Sox reliever Cody Winiarski.

Up next: Veteran lefty Randy Wolf makes his second start of the spring when the Mariners host the Reds on Friday at 12:05 p.m. PT, live on Gameday Audio, at Peoria Stadium. Wolf, 37, threw two scoreless innings on Sunday against the Indians in his first game since Oct. 20, 2012, as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery. He's scheduled for three innings, with Logan Kensing, Carson Smith, Dominic Leone, Nick Hill, Yoervis Medina and Ramon Ramirez also slated for one inning apiece.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
Read More: Seattle Mariners, Fernando Rodney, Jesus Montero, Scott Baker, Kyle Seager