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02/23/2013 6:56 PM EST
Bay, Smoak homer for Mariners in 8-6 win
SEATTLE 8, SAN DIEGO 6

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -- Jason Bay signed with the Seattle Mariners
looking to resurrect a career derailed by injury and
ineffectiveness.



Bay regained health and reworked his swing in this offseason,
and it's already paying dividends.



Bay hit a two-run homer in his first spring at-bat and the
Mariners went on to beat the San Diego Padres 8-6 Saturday.



"I tried a million things to get my swing back and to save
face," said Bay, who signed a one-year $1 million contract this
offseason. "Nothing was working, and I got so far away from
where I was before that I forgot how to do it. The goal heading
into this spring is to get back to doing what I've always done."



"When you get instant feedback like that first-inning home run,
that speaks volumes that you're on the right track," he said.



Bay redirected a 95 mph fastball from Padres starter Tyson Ross
over the left-field wall. He also walked twice.



A big hitter earlier in his career, Bay floundered after signing
a four-year, $66 million deal with the New York Mets. The
outfielder was physically hobbled and mentally drained during
his time in New York, but Seattle gave him a chance to start
fresh.



Bay must play his way onto the 25-man roster with a solid
spring, an odd predicament the three-time All-Star doesn't seem
to mind.



"I understand that there are people for a limited number of
roster spots, but I'm not concerned about a competition," Bay
said. "I'm concerned about me. I want to make a good impression
here, and I know I still have to make the team. I kind of like
that because, if I make this team, it means I deserve it."



Seattle first baseman Justin Smoak, a switch-hitting cleanup
hitter who underwhelmed with a .217 average in 2012, homered
from the left side of the plate.



Reserve shortstop Jeudy Valdez homered, doubled and drove in
three runs for the Padres. San Diego scored five times in the
ninth.



Highly touted Seattle pitcher Taijuan Walker gave up a hit in
his one-inning spring debut, which featured a fastball that
reached 97 mph.



Mariners prospect Danny Hultzen struck out two in an inning.



Ross, a contender for a spot in the Padres' rotation, allowed
three hits and a walk in two innings.



"They were throwing consistent strikes and getting in
pitcher-friendly counts," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We
were doing the opposite, which led to some of their early
offense. We played better late in the game, but we didn't get
much going early."



NOTES: Padres 3B Chase Headley will make his spring training
debut on Sunday, Black said. Also set to play for the first time
are OF-1B Mark Kotsay and CF Cameron Maybin, who has been
limited in early spring due to wrist soreness. ... Padres P
Edinson Volquez is scheduled to start Monday against Milwaukee
at Maryvale, Ariz., the first of two outings prior to joining
the Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic. ...
Seattle will start Erasmo Ramirez on Sunday against the Padres,
and Jeremy Bonderman on Monday against the Los Angeles Angels.

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