Alexei contributes key plays in Padres debut

Shortstop combines RBI single with solid defense against Mariners

Alexei contributes key plays in Padres debut

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres got a glimpse of what new shortstop Alexei Ramirez is capable of during Thursday's 6-5 loss to the Mariners.

"It was a heck of a game for him," manager Andy Green said. "He made some great plays out in the field, swung the bat ball. He brought an energy and a smile to the field. He loves playing. I thought he was great today."

Ramirez, who signed a one-year deal with an option for 2017 this offseason, lined out to center field in his first at-bat and then had an RBI single in the third inning, on another crisply-hit ball.

Defensively, Ramirez made a nice play on a ball hit toward the hole between third base and second by Seattle's Steve Clevenger in the fourth inning, making a diving stop before throwing to second base to get the force on the lead runner.

"I try to give 100 percent, whether it's Spring Training or any other game," Ramirez said through a translator. "I think it's important for everyone else to see the way in which I play."

Ramirez, who arrived a few days before the rest of the position players last month in order to get acclimated to his new team, said the adjustment has gone well.

"It's been great. They've made me feel part of the team. We've got a great team," he said.

On Thursday, in the second spring game for the Padres, Green paired Ramirez with second baseman Cory Spangenberg for the first time. The two have worked closely in drills and will continue to build their relationship moving forward.

"It's been going well. We practice together, we rotate together. I still think we need to get a feel for it, making throws," Ramirez said.

• The Padres cut the lead to 6-5 in the ninth inning when new catcher Christian Bethancourt drilled a two-run home run off the batter's eye in straightaway center field. Bethancourt was down, 0-2, in the count and then fouled off three more pitches, hitting the homer on the ninth pitch of the at-bat.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.