3/15/2013 6:54 P.M. ET
Morban crushes two homers as Mariners top Halos
By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak broke an early tie with an opposite-field homer in the fourth inning, and a split Seattle squad topped the Angels, 8-5, on Friday afternoon in Tempe.
Angels starter Tommy Hanson only allowed two hits in his four innings of work, but both were hanging sliders that wound up in the seats. The first Seattle homer came off the bat of right fielder Julio Morban in the top of the second when Hanson grooved a 2-2 pitch on the inside corner of the plate. He crushed it off the Angels' batting cages behind the right-field fence. Morban hit his second two-run shot of the game in the top of the eighth off the Angels' Billy Buckner.
"I still feel like I've got some work to do," Hanson said. "I'm not getting impatient [for the season to start]. I'm going in the right direction, so I'll try and use these last couple of weeks to my advantage."
The Halos answered back in the bottom second, when left fielder Vernon Wells notched the first of his two hits and was promptly doubled home on a gapper by Chris Iannetta. Luis Jimenez's groundout scored Iannetta later in the frame to even the game at 2.
Those were the only two runs allowed by Mariners starter Jeremy Bonderman, who is in the hunt for a rotation spot. He had previously struggled -- six earned runs in six spring innings -- but aside from the beginning of the second, Bonderman looked relatively sharp on Friday.
"I was just trying to stay down," Bonderman said. "Use the bottom part of the zone and make them swing the bat. I only really made one mistake on that double, but I'll take it.
"I've gotten better every outing, so keep working, trying to get quick outs and get in and out."
Seattle tacked on three more runs in the top of the sixth off the Angels' Chad Cordero. Michael Saunders started the Mariners off with a double, and he scored on a single from Nick Franklin. Raul Ibanez and Jesus Montero also drove in runs that inning.
The Halos got one back in the bottom of the sixth with a homer from Peter Bourjos, making the score 6-3.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Angels mounted a rally, loading the bases and scoring two runs on three hits and a walk, but it fell short.
Up next for Mariners: Jon Garland is the second of the two pitchers making comeback bids on Friday. Garland, who had shoulder surgery in 2011, faces the Netherlands in a 7:05 p.m. PT exhibition game at Peoria Stadium and is scheduled for four innings. Garland has been outstanding this spring, allowing one run and five hits in six innings. Tune in to Gameday Audio to listen to the game live.