Winners of seven straight ballgames, the Seattle Mariners are as hot as the sun as they welcome in one of baseball’s best squads this season, the Baltimore Orioles. It was King Felix Hernandez’s Mariners Hall-of-Fame Induction Weekend at home. Baltimore claims that they have the new-age King Felix in closer Felix Bautista, and he certainly showed his electric stuff in the middle game on Saturday night. But before we bounce ahead, here’s an in-depth look at all three games against the O’s inside of a jam-packed T-Mobile Park this weekend.
Friday showcased Luis Castillo aiming to lead his team to eight straight victories and to earn his eighth win as a starter this season up against righty veteran Kyle Gibson.
After “La Piedra” sliced and diced the O’s in the first inning with two strikeouts, Seattle got ahold of Gibson early. Plenty of hard contact in the first, as Julio was robbed of extra bases by Cedric Mullins (certainly wasn’t the last time this series), Eugenio Suarez singled and Cal Raleigh dumped for the 20th time this season. His rocket, line drive home run to right was mashed 113-MPH off the bat and gave Seattle the early lead.
Castillo followed up his strong first by striking out the side in the second. Right fielder Anthony Santander did get Baltimore within one to lead things off in the fourth, thanks to a 414-foot solo blast to center.
That then one-run lead was immediately expanded a half inning later. A Jose Caballero sacrifice fly, followed by Josh Rojas’ first hit as a Mariner (RBI single), made it 4-1. Then it was Julio’s turn…J-Rod somehow hit a lower-half inside sinker the other way, just clearing the right field wall. His 19th of the season made it a blowout, 7-1 the score.
As Castillo continued to deal, Ty France extended the lead by one more on a solo blast into Edgar’s porch. Julio got his fourth RBI of the night on a laced double into the left field corner and at that point this one was way out of reach. Luis Castillo was able to go a full six innings, striking out eight, and earning his eighth win of the year, as he led the Mariners to their eighth-straight W. 9-2 was the final Friday night as the firework show followed.
Cole Irvin, who the Mariners have been extremely successful against historically, got the nod for Baltimore on Saturday night against All-Star George Kirby. It was Felix HOF induction night as Mariners’ legends surrounded the King on his throne pregame.
This was by far and away former-Oakland A Cole Irvin’s best start against “a team like that”. But on the other side of things, George Kirby also turned in a gem Saturday.
It was a true pitcher’s duel throughout. 0-0 was the score all the way until extra innings. Kirby allowed just three hits over NINE full innings and walked ZERO. He struck out seven Orioles, lowering his ERA to 3.11 and continuing to hold the historical lead in K/BB ratio this season.
Unfortunately, Seattle couldn’t get jack going against a plethora of Baltimore pitchers. The O’s scored the ghost runner in the tenth inning, and Baltimore closer Felix Bautista’s two-inning dominance (including striking out the side in the bottom of the tenth) put Seattle’s win streak at a halt. A 1-0 defeat – which is very reminiscent of many of Felix Hernandez’s outings throughout his lengthy tenure as a Mariner.
After momentarily holding a tie with Toronto in the final wild card position before the loss, the M’s sat a full game back prior to Sunday's midday matinee rubber match. It was rookie Bryce Miller’s attempt to lead Seattle to their seventh straight series victory up against righty Kyle Bradish.
Rookie Gunnar Henderson brought home a run for Baltimore in the third on a sacrifice fly, and in the bottom half of the same inning, Eugenio Suarez singled home Josh Rojas to knot it up at one.
After Josh Rojas reached on a single with two outs in the fifth, Julio lined one into the left field corner. His double scored the speedy second baseman all the way from first base and gave Seattle their first lead of the ballgame.
Looking for what was his last out, Bryce Miller allowed an RBI single to Austin Hays as this game was tied at two with two down in the top half of the sixth. Miller finished with two strikeouts, giving up just one earned run out of the two that Baltimore put on the board.
In the top half of the ninth, speedster Jorge Mateo came into punch run and certainly made his presence known. His antics forced Andres Munoz to balk, and then he slid in head-first under the glove of Cal Raleigh and scored on a ground ball back to Munoz. Andres was able to limit the damage to just one as he got Gunnar Henderson to ground into a 5-3 double play.
Luckily for the M’s, they did not have to face Bautista in their last ups Sunday. With one down, Cedric Mullins may have made the play of the year, robbing a sure-home run from Ty France. That didn’t matter at all to Dominic Canzone, who mashed a towering, game-tying solo shot off of the Hit-it-Here Café just two pitches later. This game was headed to extras for the second straight ballgame.
Not only did Mullins help save the game for the O’s, but in the top of the tenth he swatted a two-run shot to right to give Baltimore the lead again. Seattle, like most of the season, struggled to produce anything in extras as the game of Mullins stayed that way as he and the O’s took the finale and the series in an emotional rubber match. Final BAL 5, SEA 3.
Following their first non-series win since hosting the Twins in mid-July, Seattle heads east to Missouri to take on the last-place Kansas City Royals for four games beginning tomorrow night. The Royals trail the AL Central-leading Twins by 23.5 games, ranking near the bottom in all of baseball in both pitching and hitting. The M’s could-should bounce back with a series victory over an inferior squad in the next four days.
Pitching probables for SEA @ KC:
- Mon August 14th, 5:10 PM PT: RHP Logan Gilbert (10-5, 3.66 ERA) vs. RHP Brady Singer (8-8, 5.05 ERA)
- Tues August 15th, 5:10 PM PT: RHP Emerson Hancock (0-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (3-13, 6.13 ERA)
- Wed August 16th, 5:10 PM PT: RHP Luis Castillo (8-7, 3.14 ERA) vs. RHP Alec Marsh (0-6, 6.27 ERA)
- Thurs August 17th, 11:10 AM PT: RHP George Kirby (10-8, 3.11 ERA) vs. LHP Angel Zerpa (1-1, 7.71 ERA)
American League West Standings as of Thursday evening:
- 1.Texas Rangers (70-48)
- 2.Houston Astros (68-51), 2.5 GB, +2.5 WCGB
- 3.Seattle Mariners (63-54), 6.5 GB, 1.5 WCGB
- .Los Angeles Angels (59-60), 12.0 GB, 6.5 WCGB
- 5.Oakland Athletics (33-85), -284 DIFF
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