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Danks works three shutout innings in first spring start

Lefty allows one hit, walks two and whiffs two; Eaton collects three hits

Danks works three shutout innings in first spring start

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- John Danks made his first Cactus League start in Thursday's 7-4 Mariners victory over the White Sox at Camelback Ranch.

It was start No. 2 of the spring for Seattle's Scott Baker.

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Both pitchers are on the comeback trail, of sorts, and certainly didn't hurt their respective causes with these particular efforts.

Baker, who is trying to make the Mariners as a non-roster invite, allowed one run on three hits over three innings and 32 pitches. He's coming back from Tommy John surgery in '12, and pitched three games for the Cubs in 2013.

There's an excellent chance for Baker to make the rotation with a good spring, with Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker already out of action for at least the first few weeks of the season. The lone run he allowed came in the second, when Keenyn Walker stole home on the back end of a double-steal with Adam Eaton stealing second and John Buck's throw going into center field.

Danks' roster spot is locked up, but he is trying to take another step forward in his return from season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery in August of 2012. Danks made 22 starts last season, but finished with a 4.75 ERA and 28 homers allowed in 138 1/3 innings.

On Thursday, Danks yielded one hit over three scoreless innings and struck out two. He threw 43 pitches, with 24 coming in the first inning.

"I was able to change speed with four pitches," Danks said. "The curveball is always a tough pitch out here, so I had trouble getting that over the plate. But I was real pleased with the cutter, and the fastball felt like it had some life on it and the changeup is where it's always been."

Eaton topped the White Sox offense with three hits to go with his stolen base, while Carlos Sanchez delivered a run-scoring single, stole a base and drove home two.

Fernando Rodney made his spring debut for the Mariners and gave up one run on two hits, with Sanchez singling home Dayan Viciedo, who had doubled. Kyle Seager, playing his second game since sitting out four games with a jammed finger that he hurt in the first inning of the Mariners' first game sliding into third, finished 1-for-2.

Seattle scored three in the seventh to take the lead against reliever Scott Snodgress, after the White Sox scored two in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie. In the ninth, Stefen Romero tripled home a run and Cole Gillespie singled in another against White Sox reliever Cody Winiarski.

Up next: The best news for Felipe Paulino after his first Cactus League start was that he felt nothing more than normal soreness the day after. The thing Paulino will work on Friday in Goodyear is putting hitters away after jumping ahead in the count, which he could not do Sunday against the Rangers, but hopes to do against the Reds in a 2:05 p.m. CT first pitch, live via Gameday Audio. New acquisition Maikel Cleto is also scheduled to pitch.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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