Walker stays sharp for homer-happy Mariners

Miller belts 2 solo shots, Zunino also connects

Walker stays sharp for homer-happy Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker threw three scoreless innings Monday in his second Cactus League start of the spring as he ramped up his bid for a rotation spot in Seattle's 4-3 victory over the Indians.

Walker, 22, gave up a leadoff single to Jason Kipnis but faced the minimum nine batters in his 33-pitch stint with the help of a double-play grounder in the first. Walker struck out four and now has six strikeouts with no walks and no runs allowed in five frames this spring.

"Everything felt good," said Walker, who is competing with Roenis Elias for the fifth starting spot in a deep Seattle rotation. "I feel confident, healthy and strong."

Brandon Moss made his Indians debut at designated hitter and went 1-for-3 with a home run in the seventh off lefty reliever Lucas Luetge. Moss was acquired by trade from the A's and is returning from right hip surgery in October.

Miller's mammoth solo shot

Seattle cranked out three home runs of its own -- two from shortstop Brad Miller and one from catcher Mike Zunino.

Miller hit a solo shot to right-center in the third for the Mariners' lone run off Indians starter Carlos Carrasco, then did the same in the fifth against veteran lefty Bruce Chen. Zunino took Chen deep earlier in the same frame.

Zunino's homer

Carrasco allowed two hits with two strikeouts and no walks in three innings in his Cactus League debut. The veteran right-hander threw two innings in a 'B' game last week.

Yan Gomes got Cleveland on the board with a two-run double off Carson Smith in the sixth before Moss tied the game the following inning.

Lefty relief candidate Tyler Olson continued his impressive spring by striking out the top of the Indians lineup in order in the fourth. A seventh-round Draft pick out of Gonzaga in 2013, the non-roster invitee has thrown three perfect innings with five strikeouts in two Cactus League outings.

Up next for the Mariners: Ace Felix Hernandez makes his Cactus League debut when the Mariners travel to Scottsdale to face the Rockies at Salt River Fields on Tuesday (1:10 p.m. PT, Gameday Audio). Hernandez is expected to throw two innings, then be replaced by Elias, who will be making his second spring outing and is on target for three frames. Reliever Dominic Leone is also slated to pitch.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.