It was a 12-3 win for the Mariners that was about 95% impressive hitting performance and 5% solid pitching. 12 runs on 12 hits and 5 walks, 7 for 12 with RISP; homers from Cano and Seager, doubles from Valencia and Seager. Heredia had 2 hits and 2 runs scored; Valencia had a bases-clearing 3-run double; Cano had 3 RBI and 3 runs scored; Seager had 4 RBI; Motter had a couple of hits and a really impressive sac fly. Just about everyone had a say in this, and the best part is that the Mariners racked up all their runs by the fourth inning, so it was a nice, relaxing coast to the finish line.
James Paxton was rock solid through the first three innings, but as the Mariners offense did their thing, leaving Paxton with longer and longer between-innings breaks, he got tripped up. He ended up going 5 innings, giving up 3 runs to get the win, but as I alluded to before, not a start to write home about.
Zych, Altavilla, and Vincent combined to go the final four innings, keeping the Twins off the board, which is all you could really ask for. The best part of this game, honestly, is how the Mariners forced them into using 5 relievers of their own. Here’s to hoping that sets things up poorly for them these next two games.
Nelson Cruz was pulled from this one pretty early with a tight calf – the same one that’s been nagging him for a while now. Considering the Mariners had amassed such a powerful lead, it didn’t bite us in the ass, but here’s to hoping he’s able to come back tonight.
The M’s are now 29-30, which is pretty great, all things considered. They’re 13 games behind the Astros – who are keeping pace with the 2001 Mariners of all teams, for Christ’s sake – but they’re just 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot. Remember when they were down around the Royals for last in the American League? Now there are only two teams between us and the Baltimore Orioles. Thankfully, like last year, the A.L. East has a lot of good teams, which means they should spend the majority of the season beating up on one another. You gotta figure one of those teams will take the brunt of the pounding, opening up that second Wild Card for a plucky little team from the Central or West. Why not us, right?
Well, Felix made his first rehab start in Tacoma last night and got pounded in his two innings of work. So … that’s neat. Mitch Haniger also DH’d for the first time in Tacoma and went 1 for 4 with a run scored.
In further good news, Jean Segura is improving by leaps and bounds. He might start doing baseball-like things in the next week or so! On top of that, there were reports all over Twitter last night that Segura is going to sign a 5-year, $70 million deal (effectively buying out his final Arb year next year), with a possible sixth option year for $17 million. Given the way contracts go in baseball, that’s a VERY reasonable figure for a guy with his skillset. So much for the idea of selling at the trade deadline, I guess.