PEORIA, Ariz. -- Miguel Olivo had a two-run single in the first inning to set the tone for the Seattle Mariners' 6-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a split-squad game Friday night. The fact that he played was more important for him and the club.
Olivo made a successful return from a groin injury that cost him almost three weeks of spring training games, playing six innings in his first game since March 5 and reporting no problems."Like I said earlier when I got hurt, when I want to come back, I want to come back and see if I'm 100 percent. That's what I did and I feel great," Olivo said.
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Olivo is slated to be the Mariners' everyday catcher."In that situation, you need to be real positive," Olivo said of his rehabilitation from the injury sustained running down the third-base line in a game March 5. "I showed the team I want to play. ... I feel really good because I didn't want to start the season on the disabled list. I worked hard for this."The Mariners scored four runs in the first inning off Dodgers starter John Ely, two on Olivo's hit and two more on RBIs from Matt Tuiasosopo and Josh Wilson.Ely began the night in good position to be the Dodgers' fifth starter when the regular season opens after co-candidate Tim Redding suffered a back injury in a game earlier Friday. But Ely was hit hard from the start, as all four Seattle hits in the first were well-struck.Ely was finished after giving up six runs on eight hits in four innings. The Dodgers are looking for a replacement for injured starter Jon Garland, who will miss perhaps his first couple of starts of the season due to an oblique injury."It's nothing I'm really thinking about," Ely said about the fifth spot. "I've got to pitch well no matter what, whether I'm competing for a spot or whether I'm just trying to keep a job."Mariners starter Erik Bedard allowed three hits over 5 1/3 innings. He has a 1.13 spring ERA."Right at 85 pitches, I believe, free and easy," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.Tuiasosopo also hit a two-run home run as he makes a late push for a roster spot.
Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez, the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, will make his final spring training start in a minor league game Sunday afternoon. ... The Mariners returned RHP Jose Flores, a Rule 5 draft pick this past December, to Cleveland on Friday. By rule, Flores had to either remain on the Mariners' major league (25-man) roster all season or be passed through waivers and offered back to the Indians prior to being optioned to the minors. Flores had a 12.27 ERA in four games this spring. ... OF Franklin Gutierrez had more tests done Friday on the stomach problem that has kept him out for a week, and the club hopes to get results Saturday. ... Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw is scheduled for a final spring training start Saturday, keeping him on schedule to start on Opening Day of the regular season next Thursday.