March 17, 2015

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Hisashi Iwakuma threw four scoreless innings and the Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox played to a 5-5 tie Tuesday.

Iwakuma, the Mariners' No. 2 starter, allowed five hits while striking out two.

''I'm not 100 percent there yet, but I feel like I'm close to getting there,'' Iwakuma said through a translator. ''I'm in game mode now. It will pick up another notch.''

Jeff Samardzija, the White Sox's likely opening day starter with Chris Sale sidelined, allowed two runs and four hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out three.

The White Sox, trailing 5-2 in the eighth, scored three to tie it, Trayce Thompson hit a two-run homer off Rafael Perez.

''He's got a ton of talent,'' White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Thompson, brother of the Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson. But he said Thompson sometimes puts ''a lot of pressure on himself.''

''He should just go out and play with confidence that he should have. He can do everything on the field.'' Ventura said.

Logan Morrison hit a full-count pitch from Samardzija in the fourth over the right field fence to start the scoring.

Robinson Cano singled in a run for the Mariners.

The Sox had a chance to push across the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. But Mariners third baseman Carlos Rivero speared a hard shot by Matt Davidson down the third base line with two outs on and two on to preserve the tie.

Robinson Cano singled in a run for the Mariners.


Mariners: Iwakuma's command ''got better as the game went along,'' manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''He threw a lot of very good two-strike strikes. He did a nice job.''

Iwakuma said he felt strong at the end.

''I still had some gas left in me.''

White Sox: Samardzija said he and catcher Tyler Flowers are just getting to know each other, that their work will be a key for the rest of spring training.

''That was the first chance we've had to get in a real game and work. We were kind of joking between innings. He's trying to figure out what my go-to pitches are in situations, how I like to put guys away.''


White Sox manager has been reluctant to make his plans clear for opening day, though Samardzija's schedule lines up exactly that way.

''Our opening day closer is going to be (David) Robertson,'' he joked. ''We got that one ironed out.''

More seriously, Samardzija said, ''I care about 33. For me that's the most thing: 33 starts in the season, anyway, anyhow.''


Mariners: James Paxton, who has not pitched in a Cactus League game while recovering from forearm injuries, threw in a minor league game Tuesday.

White Sox: Chris Sale will not be ready for opening day as he recovers from a foot injury sustained at home on Feb. 27. ... Jesse Crain, who has not pitched in an MLB game since 2013, is set to pitch in a minor league game on Wednesday. He threw batting practice Sunday and reported no issues.


Mariners: Left-hander Drew Pomeranz will start vs. Oakland at home in Peoria on Wednesday.

White Sox: Left-hander Jose Quintana will start against Cincinnati in Goodyear on Wednesday.

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