Cliff Lee accomplished his primary objective in his delayed spring debut, then began to work on the rest of his repertoire.
The Seattle Mariners' prized offseason acquisition threw 36 of 46 pitches for strikes over three solid innings in a 6-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
"I want to locate fastballs, that's the No. 1 thing for me right now. So I tried to do that more than anything," Lee said. "I was pleased with where that was at, so I was able to use more pitches than I anticipated."
Lee gave up a run and five singles, struck out one and walked one. The left-hander benefited from two double plays.
"I'm glad he's on our team," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "It's nice to have a guy that understands how to pitch out of some jams a little bit, a guy that doesn't lose his composure, that's been to the World Series, won a Cy Young. ... We're hoping the influence is even more for these other guys to learn from."
So intent on locating his fastball, the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner needed 12 pitches to finally retire leadoff hitter Pedro Borbon on a fly ball to start his outing.
"I felt like I probably could have thrown some off-speed and gotten him earlier," Lee said.
When the 31-year-old Lee reported to Mariners camp three weeks ago, his left foot was bandaged following surgery to remove a bone spur. Even though he said he was ready to pitch then, the Mariners were cautious with the ace they acquired from Philadelphia in the offseason.
"It's a non-issue. It's been a non-issue for a few weeks now," Lee said. "That's behind me."
Mike Sweeney, a 15-year veteran who signed a minor league deal with the Mariners right before camp, went 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles, one of them driving in three runs to put Seattle up 6-1 in the fifth. Sweeney is 10 for 13 (.769) in his four spring games with three doubles, a home run and six RBIs.
Milton Bradley had an RBI groundout in the first and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fifth before Sweeney's bases-clearing double.
C.J. Wilson, getting a chance to move from the bullpen to the Texas rotation, allowed a leadoff single to Ichiro Suzuki and a leadoff walk to Josh Wilson in the third. Both scored. Wilson struck out two, walked one and yielded one hit in his three innings.
"I ended up throwing my full allotment of pitches which is good," Wilson said. "The thing they have been stressing with me a lot is minimizing big innings and just going out there and challenging guys to hit the ball and put it in play."
Hard-throwing Neftali Feliz, who also could transition into the rotation, gave up four runs and four hits over two innings. All three of his strikeouts came in the fourth, and all the runs came in the fifth.
NOTES: Texas stars 3B Michael Young, 2B Ian Kinsler and CF Josh Hamilton got the day off. They are scheduled to make the two-hour trip to Tucson for Thursday's game against Colorado. ... Wakamatsu said LHP Erik Bedard, recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, is long-tossing with no problems. "He is still a ways away from getting on the mound, but everything right now is extremely good," Wakamatsu said. Bedard might be sidelined until June.