Ackley looks sharp as Mariners beat Padres 13-7
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Dustin Ackley thinks the Seattle Mariners have the bats to improve an offense that finished last in the majors in runs last season.
They sure looked OK on Monday.
Ackley had three hits to lead the Mariners to a 13-7 exhibition victory over the San Diego Padres.
"We've improved up and down the lineup," Ackley said. "I think we're going to surprise a lot of people."
Carlos Quentin went 2 for 2 and walked in his spring debut for the Padres.
The Mariners averaged 3.43 runs per game last season, but they could turn it around in a hurry if Ackley puts together a breakout year.
But if Figgins falters, Ackley, who hit .273 with six homers and 36 RBIs in 90 games last season, could move into the top spot.
Ackley batted first on Monday and doubled to left-center against Dustin Moseley in the first inning. Ackley, who scored two runs, singled to right in the third and also tripled to center to start the fifth.
The second baseman said he doesn't care where he hits because he figures he'll be surrounded by good hitters, especially after the Mariners acquired Jesus Montero from the Yankees in January.
"I've hit in all different positions," Ackley said. "I feel comfortable and I'm not going to change my approach wherever I'm at. We've got a lot of great bats in the lineup. Wherever you look, we've got guys who can swing it. Getting Montero is going to help. He's a special hitter."
The Padres are hoping Quentin can do the same for their lineup. They acquired him from the White Sox for two minor leaguers on Dec. 31.
The slugger singled, doubled and reached in all three of his trips to the plate against Seattle.
"That's always good for the confidence," Padres manager Bud Black said.
Moseley felt confident after he made his first appearance since July 26. The right-hander, who was 3-10 with a 3.30 ERA in 20 starts last season, had surgery on Aug. 3 to repair the capsule in his left shoulder and missed the rest of the season.
Moseley yielded two runs and two hits over two innings but said his body felt good.
"It was good to get back out there," he said. "It felt like it's been so long. But my body felt good, arm felt great."
Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma wasn't as optimistic following his first spring start. The right-hander allowed a run and three hits in one inning. He also struggled in an intrasquad game last week.
Iwakuma agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with Seattle in January. The deal also includes a little over $3 million in possible incentives.
"I kind of regret too many pitches," Iwakuma said through a translator. "I'm getting better every time, but I have to pitch more innings next time."
Oliver Perez recorded four outs for Seattle and was charged with four runs, three earned, and two hits. The former Padres, Mets and Pirates starter hasn't appeared in a major league game since 2010.
NOTES: Padres 3B Chase Headley was a late scratch from the starting lineup with a tight lower back. . Padres OF Cameron Maybin was sent home with flulike symptoms and C John Baker missed a second straight day with the same ailment.
Updated March 5, 2012