The Mariners held on to beat the Reds 7-6 in a Cactus League game on Sunday.
Mariners 7, Reds 6 at Goodyear Ballpark
The starting pitching of Drew Smyly in his last extended start of spring training Sunday was a day he’d just as soon forget.
The five innings of bullpen work for the Mariners against the Reds, though, was the kind of day they wouldn’t mind seeing repeat itself again and again and again during the 2017 regular season.
After Smyly allowed five runs on six hits in four innings — including three solo homers — six relievers combined to allow just three hits and a run in the final five innings to allow the Mariners to rally for a 7-6 win.
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“Good day for our bullpen,’’ said manager Scott Servais.
The bullpen goodness included the first appearance this spring for Tony Zych, who is attempting to make it back from off-season shoulder surgery, and the first appearance since returning from the World Baseball Classic for closer Edwin Diaz.
Zych was a little shaky, allowing a single on a ball hit back to the mound on the first batter he faced that caromed off his ankle, and also allowing a walk. But while he allowed an inherited runner to score, he ultimately escaped without allowing an earned run. Diaz, meanwhile, was his typical electric self, allowing a hit but also striking out two in a scoreless eighth to hold the lead after Seattle had rallied to take a 7-5 lead in the top of the eighth.
Zych said his first few pitches “got away from me a little bit. I could tell I was a little excited.’’
But the good news was that he reported he made it through the inning with his arm feeling just fine.
It’s unlikely he’ll be ready for the start of the season but he may be able to return not too deep into April if he’s needed.
“A little rusty I think,’’ Servais said. “That’s going to happen. His stuff looked fine. Just got to…