Ramirez throws 4 shutout innings, Mariners beat Athletics

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Erasmo Ramirez, making a bid for a spot at the back end of the Seattle rotation, pitched four shutout innings and the Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 4-0 Wednesday.

Ramirez gave up one hit, walked one and struck out one.

''The command was there. I just missed one pitch,'' he said.

Jordan Pries tossed three shutout innings in relief of Ramirez. Seattle reliever Tyler Olson pitched a perfect inning and has retired 20 of the 21 batters he's faced this spring.

A's starter Drew Pomeranz struck out five in four innings. He gave up four hits and a walk.

Pomeranz has struck out 15 and has a 2.00 ERA in three spring training starts.

''I'm trying to throw in the zone, trying to throw strikes, trying to go deep in the game and get guys out,'' he said.

Justin Ruggiano drove in Kyle Seager with a two-out single in the fourth inning, and the Mariners tacked on three insurance runs in the eighth. James Jones and Stefen Romero had RBI singles.

Seattle shortstop Brad Miller turned a double play in the first inning, snaring a sinking line drive hit by Marcus Semien and getting Craig Gentry at third base.

''I told Brad he's been playing winning baseball in a lot of different ways,'' Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''He's playing very instinctive-type of baseball and that's good.''

DENTAL DILEMMA

Rickie Weeks led off for the Mariners, which isn't typical. But McClendon said there was good reason to put the veteran at the top spot in the order.

Weeks had a dentist appointment scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and McClendon wanted to get three at-bats.

''That's the only reason he's up there,'' McClendon said.

Weeks' day was over by 2:22 p.m. after his third plate appearance.

Austin Jackson, who batted second, is in no danger of losing his leadoff spot, McClendon made clear.

FELIZ CUMPLEANOS, FERNANDO!

Mariners closer Fernando Rodney turned 38, and two custom-decorated cakes awaited him the clubhouse.

Rodney posed with teammates Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz, Yoervis Medina and Franklin Gutierrez for a photo with the cakes during the game. Reliever Tom Wilhelmsen then joined in for a piece of cake, frosting on his face.

STARTING TIME

Athletics: Manager Bob Melvin said Pomeranz has the stuff to get strikeouts.

''He's got a real tough curveball to track. His fastball probably plays a little better than the velocity, it's got some late movement to it,'' Melvin said.

Mariners: Ramirez said all he can do is wait and pitch well while the Mariners decide who will be in the starting rotation.

''Just throw strikes, keep the ball down and work on my stuff and wait,'' Ramirez said. ''It's hard.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: 1B Ike Davis is dealing with a sore back but will be a designated hitter in one of Friday's split-squad games. ... OF Josh Reddick took swings without facing pitches as he comes back from a strained right oblique.

Mariners: James Paxton, whom the club hopes will be in the starting rotation when the season starts, will get his first spring training game action Sunday. Paxton has dealt with forearm soreness. ... Starting pitcher J.A. Happ threw a simulated game.

UP NEXT

Athletics: The A's are off Thursday, then have opening-day starter Sonny Gray going Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Mesa and Jesse Chavez facing the Colorado Rockies in Scottsdale in split-squad games.

Mariners: Taijuan Walker, unscored upon in eight innings and three starts this spring, opens against the Cleveland Indians Thursday night in Peoria.

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