M's to play spring training exhibition in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Seattle Mariners will play a spring training exhibition game against the Portland Beavers at PGE Park.

The March 31 game is the Mariners' first appearance in Portland since 2002, when Seattle played the San Diego Padres before a sellout crowd of 19,778.

"This game will be a great start to the 2006 season, and it will be a unique opportunity for fans to get an early look at the Beavers as they approach their home opener on April 6," said John Cunningham, president and general manager of the Beavers.

The Mariners finished the 2005 season with a 69-93 record and a last-place finish in the American League West Division.

The exhibition game will wrap up spring training for both teams. The Mariners open the regular season against the Los Angeles Angels at Seattle's Safeco Field on April 3.

The Beavers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Padres, open the Pacific Coast League season against the Sacramento River Cats at PGE Park on April 6.

The Mariners are 1-1 in Portland, with a 5-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at then-Civic Stadium in 1984 and a 3-1 loss to the Padres in 2002.

Portland beat the Padres 3-2 in an exhibition at PGE Park in 2003.