PEORIA, Ariz. -- The final pitch right-handed closer David Aardsma threw in his one-inning Cactus League debut on Thursday afternoon caused some tightness in his groin and he might miss his next outing. "He had a little bit of tightness, but we don't think it is very serious," manager Don Wakamatsu said after the Mariners scored six runs in the eighth inning for a 9-3 victory over the Padres at Peoria Stadium. "He may miss one outing, and hopefully that's it." Aardsma was handed the closer's role almost seven weeks into the 2009 season and turned in a career year. He converted 38 of his 42 save chances after coming into the season with no career saves.
"It came on his very last pitch and he felt something in his groin and hopefully we catch it before it becomes anything serious." Other than that glitch, the second game of the Cactus League season went well for the Mariners. Starting pitcher Jason Vargas retired five of the six batters he faced, first basemen Ryan Garko and Tommy Everidge went a combined 3-for-4 with two home runs and six RBIs, designated hitter Mike Sweeney had two hits and Eric Byrnes provided many watts of energy in left field. Everidge delivered the door-slammer, a grand slam to cap the six-run eighth inning, a rally that started on Mike Wilson's run-scoring double to right-center. First-round Draft choice Dustin Ackley added an RBI single. Vargas is among four pitchers vying for the fifth spot in the rotation, and he did all the right things in his spotless two-inning stint. "I thought Vargas' tempo and everything were great today," Wakamatsu said.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.