GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Nick Swisher is excited to be back – even if it is only early March.
Swisher made his spring debut for the Indians, recording an RBI on a fielder’s choice, and left-hander Randy Wolf made his first start since having Tommy John surgery in 2012, throwing two shutout innings in Cleveland’s 6-3 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
“Nice to be out there, man,” Swisher said. “Just be out there with the guys and playing. It’s super early in spring training, but just to be able to get out there, get a few hacks off. It felt good.”
Last week, Swisher handed out T-shirts to teammates that read “Unfinished Business,” setting the tone to improve on the Indians’ brief playoff run last season.
Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor belted a three-run homer over the right field wall, his first of the spring.
“It was a good swing, it’s exciting for us to see that,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We get a kick out of that every day when one of our young kids does something. It just makes the games more fun.”
Left fielder Michael Brantley added three hits and second baseman Jason Kipnis had an RBI triple.
Mariners left fielder Dustin Ackley knocked a two-run homer off Trevor Bauer. Robinson Cano had an RBI on a groundout in the first.
Mariners: With the recent injuries to Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker, Wolf has a great opportunity to make Seattle’s rotation. He had the elbow-ligament replacement operation on his left elbow in October 2012 and hadn’t pitched since Sept. 22, 2012.
“In spring training games you never really have that many nerves,” Wolf said. “But when you haven’t been out there for 17 months, you realize you miss the game a lot.”
Indians: Aaron Harang is part of a crowded group vying to be Cleveland’s fifth starter. He gave up one run in his two innings of work.
“Once I got in the stretch, I felt like my timing was a little off,” Harang said. “I was rushing a little bit. Once I kind of got that under control, I was all right. I was making pitches when I needed to.”
Indians: Infielder Jose Ramirez (thumb surgery) will be eligible to get into a game on Tuesday. . Pitcher Frank Herrmann (right elbow reconstruction) was scheduled to throw a simulated game on Sunday. . First baseman/outfielder Bryan LaHair (left wrist debridement) is progressing and is expected to play this spring.
Mariners: Third baseman Kyle Seager was given a few days off after jamming his right index finger sliding into third base during Seattle’s opener Thursday. … Taijuan Walker rested his sore shoulder. . Iwakuma is not expected to throw for at least three more weeks and both he and Walker are candidates to open the regular season on the disabled list.
Carlos Santana is battling with Lonnie Chisenhall to be the Indians’ third baseman while still adjusting to the position, and in the first inning, he threw a ball wide of first base on a Corey Hart grounder, allowing Hart to reach safely on the error. It was the first ball hit to Santana this spring.
“I think coming out of his glove, he just didn’t have it,” Francona said.
THE LONG BALL
Logan Bawcom, making his first appearance of the spring, gave up the Mariners’ first home run of the Cactus League season on Lindor’s three-run homer.
ADJUSTING ON THE FLY
Justin Masterson was originally supposed to pitch against Seattle, but because of Saturday’s rainout, was instead scheduled to throw a simulated game, along with Austin Adams, Frank Herrmann and Mike Zagurski.