The Mariners were defeated on Thursday afternoon by the now 38-35 Detroit Tigers in an unfortunate wild finish that had the M's on the losing side of things for the sixth straight game. The big story was RHP Adrian Sampson, who was scheduled to make his second start of 2016, but after a single warm up pitch he felt a pain in his elbow, so Mel Stottlemyre and Scott Servais made the safe decision to take him out before even throwing a single pitch in the game. With the loss the Mariners have fallen to a W-L record of 36-37 and are a game behind the Houston Astros, 10 games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West.
Offensively the Mariners put up 8 hits on the day in Detroit. All four of the Mariners' runs came by way of solo HR. RF Nelson Cruz (.285 AVG) who has recently been in a slump at the plate went 2-4 with 2 solo blasts (fourth inning, sixth inning). Cruz now has 18 homers on the year, and 48 RBI. Also contributing offensively for the Mariners was 2B Shawn O'Malley (.204 AVG) who went 2-4 at the plate with 2 hits. CF Leonys Martin (.254 AVG) went 1-4 with a solo shot in the fifth inning, and now has eleven HR and 26 RBI on the season. C Chris Iannetta (.239 AVG) went 1-3 at the plate with a solo HR in the fifth inning for his seventh of the year.
On the mound, RHP Adrian Sampson (7.71 ERA) was unable to make his second career MLB start. Because of this, LHP Vidal Nuño (2.90 ERA) stepped up and made the start. Nuño went 3.1 innings giving up 4 runs on 4 hits (all earned) while walking 3 and striking out 2. RHP Edwin Diaz (1.86 ERA) went 1.2 innings giving up 0 runs on 2 hits while striking out 4. Diaz has 17 strikeouts in 10.1 career innings pitched this year. Also relieving Nuño was RHP Tom Wilhelmsen, recently signed from Texas, making his 2016 Mariners debut. Wilhelmsen (10.07 ERA), went 1.0 inning giving up only 1 hit. RHP Nick Vincent (3.15 ERA) also went 1.0 inning giving up a walk and striking out 1 Tiger. RHP Joaquin Benoit (3.57 ERA) went 1.0 inning striking out the side with 3 strikeouts. RHP closer Steve Cishek (2.70) then tossed the last 1.2 innings of the ball game into the tenth inning. Cishek gave up 1 run on 1 hit (earned) while walking 3 and striking out 1 in his outing. Unfortunately, Steve threw a wild pitch in the bottom of the tenth inning with the bases loaded to give the Tigers of Detroit the 5-4 series finale win.
The M's will look to turn things around on Friday night with the opening of a 3-game weekend inter-league play series with the St. Louis Cardinals. LHP Wade LeBlanc (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his Mariners debut (Acquired from TOR). LeBlanc and the M's will face STL RHP Carlos Martinez (7-5, 2.02 ERA). Be sure to catch this one on ROOT Sports NW, or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle. First pitch start time- 7:10 PM PAC, 10:10 PM PAC.
This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue.