Archived Story

Morse leads Seattle past Cincinnati

Published 3:03am Friday, March 15, 2013

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Michael Morse made the Mariners out of camp five years ago thanks to big offensive production in spring training. Now he’s back, and even though he’s a big league regular, he’s still having another fruitful spring for Seattle.

Morse hit two home runs and drove in five runs to lead the Mariners back from a six-run deficit for an 8-7 win over the Cincinnati Reds Thursday in spring training.

Morse’s 3-for-3 afternoon included a double and run scored in the second inning. He hit a two-run shot in the fourth off Reds starter Homer Bailey and connected for a three-run shot in the fifth off reliever Clay Hensley. Morse is 11-for-31 in spring training and leads the team in home runs with five.

“Didn’t try to do too much, and got good results,” Morse said. He was most satisfied with his double, an at-bat in which he made an adjustment to a two-strike curveball.

“I’m always working. I’m always trying to fine-tune my swing, fine-tune my defense or offense, whatever it could be,” Morse said. “It’s good to get results, no matter what time of year it is. My at-bats are starting to become quality at-bats in a row.”

Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak added two hits and an RBI each for Seattle, which snapped a four-game losing streak.

“Too much Morse,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Those balls were hit like a 2-iron.”

Catcher Mike Zunino, the Mariners’ first-round draft pick in 2012, hit a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning.

Bailey allowed three runs on six hits in four innings. Zack Cozart had two hits including a two-run single in the fourth inning and Chris Heisey had two hits for the Reds.

“Got a lot of ground balls, which is something we were looking for,” Bailey said. “One pitch, kind of left it middle, and it hasn’t landed yet.”

All-Star first baseman Joey Votto went 0-for-2 with a run scored before being replaced after three innings. Manager Dusty Baker said Votto has been feeling ill and because Votto gets Friday off, Baker decided to take him out early.

NOTES: Votto will make a guest appearance on “The Cleveland Show,” an animated series on Fox, on Sunday night. … No. 1 starter Johnny Cueto is scheduled to make his fourth spring training start Friday for the Reds against Colorado. On a split squad Saturday, RHP Mike Leake starts against Milwaukee and LHP Aroldis Chapman gets the call against San Francisco. RHP Mat Latos is the scheduled starter against Cleveland on Sunday.

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