Montero helps Mariners beat White Sox
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Fernando Rodney gave up a run and two hits in his debut with the Seattle but Jesus Montero had two singles and an RBI to help the Mariners beat a Chicago White Sox split-squad 7-4 Thursday.
"He threw the ball very well," manager Lloyd McClendon said of the closer who signed with Seattle on Feb. 13. "The ball came out good. He made some good pitches and saw the small end of the bat a couple of times and they got hits, but I was happy with how the ball came out."
Montero's second hit came in the seventh to cap the Mariners' three-run, go-ahead rally. Montero is coming back from a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal and season-ending knee surgery.
Scott Baker continued to make a good impression in his bid for winning a rotation spot. He allowed one run and three hits over three innings in his second start.
White Sox left-hander John Danks yielded one hit, walked two and struck out two in his first three innings of the spring as he tries to bounce back from going 4-14 in 2013.
"We were actually throwing (his cutter) to both sides of the plate and it was effective," Danks said. "It was around the zone and had a sharp break on it. That's where I expected to be at this point.
Adam Eaton had three hits for the White Sox and Dyan Viciedo had a double and a run scored.
Mariners: Baker is nearly two years removed from Tommy John surgery and feeling strong after 11 totals starts, including three with the Cubs, last season.
Baker, 32, looked solid against the White Sox after he gave up one earned run on a double steal in three innings. In five spring innings, he has given up one run with one walk and one strikeout.
"He threw the ball good," McClendon said. "I didn't see any setbacks of any kind."
White Sox: Danks' final two innings were pretty smooth after having to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam in the first. The left-hander struck out two of the last three batters he faced to end the inning.
Mariners: Highly touted right-hander Taijuan Walker played light catch Thursday morning, the first time he has done anything since being diagnosed with bursitis in his throwing shoulder.
Walker, who 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three September starts with the Mariners, is expected to miss the first few weeks of the regular season. The next step will be to throw from 75 to 90 feet on Friday before moving to bullpen sessions.
White Sox: Reliever Nate Jones is slated to make his first appearance Saturday after coming through Wednesday's bullpen session with no setbacks from a left glute problem that cropped up early in camp.
Rodney had an up-and-down spring debut. The right-hander retired Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko before giving up and opposite-field double to Dayan Viciedo off the right field fence. Minor league shortstop Carlos Sanchez drove Viciedo in on a bloop single.
"I got down in the count a couple of times and I recovered back to get the guy out," he said. "I worked in a couple of sliders. My fastball is my priority pitch right now. I wanted to see my arm loose with fastball command."