Pauley gone, but not forgotten

The 3 1/3 scoreless innings he tossed against the Reds yesterday got right-hander David Pauley a spot on in the starting rotation — for Triple-A Tacoma.

The only player remaining on “Survivor Island” was re-assigned to the Minor League complex today.

“I told him that we have a belief system in him,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “I thought he did a tremendous job.”

Keep an eye on him. If anyone in the Mariners’ rotation stumbles out of the gate, the first call to the Minors might be for the right-hander.

Pauley signed a Minor League contract last December, has spent most of his career in the Minors, posting a 65-64 record and 3.98 ERA in 204 games since 2001. Sprinkled in were nine big-league appearances with the Red Sox in 2006 and ’08. He was 0-3 with a 9.53 ERA.

But he performed well for the Mariners this spring, going 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA in six outings.

A starter for most of his career, he will take a place in the Rainiers’ rotation when the regular season starts. Prior to that, though, Pauley will start WEdnesday’s Cactus League game against the Rangers in Surprise while ace right-hander Felix Hernandez makes his final spring tuneup in a Minor League game.

In today’s 3-1 loss to the Dodgers before a Cactus League-record crowd of 13,583 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, the sporadic offense sputtered again.

The Mariners were held scoreless until the ninth, when Matt Tuiasosopo smacked a leadoff home run to left field. Jose Lopez singled, but Ryan Garko grounded into a double play — missing by a few inches of a single — and Corey Patterson struck out.

Right-hander Ian Snell had one of his best outings of the spring, holding the Dodgers to four hits and three runs over six innings with three strikeouts and no walks.

“I thought Snell was pretty good overall,” Wakamatsu said. “He gave up the home run (in the third inning) and retired 10 straight after that. He started challenging guys after he got hurt a little bit.”

Snell was pleased with the 88-pitch outing.

“Some pitches were up and I paid for it,” he said, “but (overall) I made good quality pitches. I was using my offspeed more than I have in the past. I worked really hard on the curveball and kept that down, and I pounded the guys in.”

As for the home run pitch to Andre Ethier, Snell said: “Just up over the plate. Stupid pitch.”

He has one more spring start remaining before his regular season debut, expected to be the third game of the four-game series against the Athletics in Oakland.

— Closer David Aardsma bounced back from a rocky outing against the Padres on Thursday, retiring three of the four batters he faced in the seventh inning.

“I thought he had better down angle and more life to his pitches,” Wakamatsu said.

Aardsma will pitch another inning in tomorrow’s game agains the Cubs, the first time he has gone back-to-back this spring.

— Catcher Adam Moore took a shot above his left ankle, compliments of a foul line drive off the bat of Mike Sweeney in the seventh inning. Moore, who singled and advanced to third on consecutive walks, was a few feet from third base and in foul territory when Sweeney drilled the line drive.

Moore shook it off and remained in the game.

 “Yeah, it got banged up a little bit,” Wakamatsu said. “he took it above the ankle on the shin. I thought he was quicker than that.”

— Sweeney had a terrific at-bat before finally flying out to deep left field. “I missed it by one-eighth of an inch,” he said.

— Jim Street



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