PEORIA, Ariz. -- A win over the Angels in March might not have the same feeling as almost any month during the regular season, but Mariners manager John McLaren was a little more giddy than usual on Wednesday.
"That was like a Mariners-Angels regular-season game," McLaren said after Seattle held off its American League West rivals, 6-5, in a Cactus League game at Peoria Stadium. "It was good to win a game against them."
The Angels were AL West champs last season, largely because they were 13-6 against the Mariners -- including a three-game sweep at Safeco Field in late August that basically knocked Seattle out of the race.
The first of two Spring Training meetings between the teams expected to again battle it out for the AL West championship ended with right-hander Brandon Morrow striking out Hank Conger with one run in and the tying run on base.
"We need to find out what it's like to beat the Angels," McLaren said. "We wanted to shake hands after the game.
Not even the fact the Mariners gave the Angels two additional outs in the ninth inning -- one on a missed double play and the other on a foul popup that dropped untouched -- could put a damper on the outcome for the Mariners.
"It was a Spring Training game with a little regular season flavor to it," McLaren said. "They ran their 'A' team out there, too."
The Angels' starting lineup had a probable starter at every position except the starting pitcher, Nick Adenhart. The Mariners started seven players who will be on the field when the regular season begins on March 31 at Safeco Field, missing only third baseman Adrian Beltre (family matters) and designated hitter Jose Vidro (sore elbow).
Angels manager Mike Scioscia didn't get as caught up in the hoopla as his counterpart.
"It's all about getting our work in and getting where we need to get to, not anything else," he said.
McLaren had a different perspective.
"I'll sleep good tonight," he said.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.