MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Scott Kazmir pitched 2 2/3 innings in his first spring start and the Oakland Athletics rallied to beat the Seattle Mariners 4-3 Thursday.
Kazmir gave up two unearned runs and three hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Austin Jackson tripled and singled and Nelson Cruz, Justin Ruggiano and Jesus Montero each drove in runs for the Mariners.
“I’m just making sure I am staying consistent,” Jackson said. “I want to get my timing down and not focus on results too much.”
Jordan Pries, a Mariners minor leaguer, went three innings, giving up a run and one hit. He walked one and struck out four.
Funnyman Will Ferrell played shortstop for Oakland in the top of the first and later was at second base for Seattle. No balls were hit to the actor.
Ferrell planned to play for 10 teams in five games during the day, spending time at every position. The adventure was being filmed for an HBO special Ferrell is dedicating to fighting cancer.
THE OTHER GUY
Ferrell started his day as the A’s shortstop and was eventually “traded” to the Mariners in time to play an inning at second base.
“All I wanted to do was turn around and see what he was doing back there,” Kazmir said. “I heard him pretty much every pitch.”
Said Pries: “I knew he was out there. I never would have thought that Will Ferrell would play second base behind me. I threw a cutter and he yelled, ‘I like that . bleep.’ I looked at him and thought ‘OK, great.’”
Mariners: Pries will likely start the season in the minors but knows he can show the organization something with a good effort in his first major league spring training camp. “I take the approach that this is exactly the club to be with,” he said. “The chemistry and attitude feels right. I’m excited about this year and I want to be ready for whatever happens. I’m forming relationships on and off the field and I’m glad for the team to get to know me.”
Pries did not allow another hit after giving up a leadoff triple. “That’s something I take pride in,” he said. “If stuff starts to go wrong, and in this case it was the first pitch, to have the poise and just getting back on the mound.”
Athletics: Kazmir was happiest about being able to get the adrenaline going. He pitched three simulated games leading up to his first start. “You can pitch as many simulated games as you want, you don’t have that adrenaline going into a game,” he said. “I feel like I was amped up a little bit more than in the past. Whether if it was because Will Ferrell was there or not, I don’t know.”
Kazmir said he felt better as he went along. “In the beginning my delivery, everything, was a little off,” Kazmir said. “I felt good later on. The third inning I felt I was where I wanted to be.”
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma was slated to throw a simulated game in Peoria. The 34-year-old has appeared in one game, throwing two perfect innings, this spring.
Athletics: IF Rangel Ravelo will undergo right wrist surgery on Friday.
Mariners: LHP J.A. Happ makes the start when the Milwaukee Brewers go to Peoria on Friday.
Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt makes the start against the Kansas City Royals in Surprise on Friday while LHP Drew Pomeranz starts against the Chicago Cubs in Las Vegas.