SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs gave former teammate Joe Saunders a rude welcome on his return to Salt River Fields as they roughed him up for eight runs en route to a 8-4 victory over the Mariners on Sunday in front of a record crowd of 12,864 at Salt River Fields.
Arizona starter Wade Miley, who had been scratched from his last start due to a tired arm, did not fare much better as he allowed four runs on seven hits before departing with one out in the fourth. Miley did record three of the 14 strikeouts logged by D-backs pitchers, who retired 16 of the last 17 batters faced in the game. Endy Chavez doubled with two outs in the ninth to snap a string of 15 Mariners retired in a row.
Franklin Gutierrez started the game off with his fourth homer of the spring, to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.
"It was good to see him drive it the other way like he did that first AB, that ball jumped off his bat," manager Eric Wedge said. "And he did a lot of things right there."
The D-backs tied the game in the bottom half of the inning, when Aaron Hill's sacrifice fly scored Gerardo Parra.
The Mariners once again used the home run ball in the third to grab a 4-1 lead courtesy of a three-run shot by Kendrys Morales.
Saunders, though, was unable to hold that advantage as the D-backs managed to score five runs in the bottom half to go on top, 6-4.
"He had some struggles early, but I felt like he righted himself as the game wore on," Wedge said of his starter. "And that was important to see."
Hill had an RBI single during the inning while Paul Goldschmidt had a two-run single and Cliff Pennington added a run-scoring double.
Goldschmidt added to his RBI total in the fifth with a two-run homer off Saunders.
Up next for the Mariners: The battle for one of two open spots in the Mariners' rotation will be the focus again on Monday at 1:05 p.m. PT, when Brandon Maurer makes the start against the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. Maurer has put up the most impressive numbers among the four remaining candidates, posting a 1.20 ERA in five outings, including two starts, spanning 15 innings.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.