Liddi belts another slam in Mariners' win

Liddi belts another slam in Mariners' win

Liddi belts another slam in Mariners' win
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Third baseman Alex Liddi launched his second grand slam in two days Thursday as the Mariners beat the Angels, 10-5, in Cactus League action at Peoria Stadium.

Liddi, 22, hit 15 home runs last year for the Mariners' Double-A team in West Tenn. He's a long shot to land a job with Seattle this year but has certainly created a buzz with his back-to-back slams.

The native Italian cleared the bases in the seventh inning Wednesday with a home run against the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch, then did the same to ignite a seven-run fifth inning Thursday against Angels reliever Ryan Chaffee.

Liddi said that he's hit two grand slams in his entire five years in pro ball, both coming in 2009 for High Desert in the Class A California League.

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"I heard fans saying, 'Do it again,' but I was just trying to hit something over the second baseman's head so I could get some RBIs for the team," Liddi said.

Center fielder Peter Bourjos went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a stolen base for the Angels, who came to Peoria with a split-squad lineup. Bourjos is now hitting .364 for the spring.

Right-hander Matt Palmer, making his first start for the Angels, gave up two runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings. Chaffee surrendered seven runs in the fifth, but six were unearned. He gave up just two hits, but issued two walks, hit a batter and wasn't helped by two errors by shortstop Jean Segura.

The Mariners got another good start from Erik Bedard, who gave up one run and three hits -- his first of both this spring -- in 2 2/3 innings as he continued building on his return from a pair of shoulder surgeries that sidelined him the past 18 months.

Bedard has now thrown 5 2/3 innings in three starts with two walks and eight strikeouts. He threw 55 pitches Thursday and said his command wasn't as sharp as his first two outings, but he's encouraged by the continued strength of his arm.

"It feels real good," said the 31-year-old lefty. "Results are second. The arm is first. It feels good, so it's a positive. Hopefully, it continues like that."

Catcher Kevin Richardson hit a solo home run in the eighth for the Angels off Mariners reliever Justin Miller, while outfielder Gabe Gross cleared the left-center-field wall in the second off Palmer. After going seven straight games without a home run, the Mariners now have five in the past two days.

Up next for the Mariners: Top rookie pitching prospect Michael Pineda will make his third appearance for the Mariners when they travel to Goodyear to face the Indians in a 12:05 p.m. PT game Friday on Gameday Audio. The powerful 22-year-old has given up just one hit and two walks in four innings this spring. He's pitching on three days' rest after going two innings Monday against the A's, as the Mariners want to get him on a different day from Felix Hernandez for the rest of spring. Veteran lefty Nate Robertson, also competing for a rotation spot, will follow Pineda. Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez will miss his second straight game as he's flown to Florida to be with his father-in-law, Luis Gonzalez, the Braves' coach hit in the face with a line drive on Wednesday.

Up next for the Angels: D-backs lefty Joe Saunders gets another shot at his former teammates on Friday when he engages Jered Weaver at Tempe Diablo Stadium at 12:05 p.m. PT on Gameday Audio. Saunders sailed through two innings last Sunday before a walk and four consecutive hits ended his day with a loss. Weaver is making his third appearance, looking to go four innings. He's 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA, striking out five without a walk in five innings. Hisanori Takahashi, Fernando Rodney and Tyler Chatwood will follow Weaver.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.