Canó, Cruz have nights at the plate to help Iwakuma sink the Pirates

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

6/28 vs PIT by TOM HAYDEN


What a game! These Mariners looked like they did back in April and May on Monday night in Seattle for Game 1 against a decent Pittsburgh Pirates team. Offensively, the Mariners were impressive putting up 12 hits on the Pirates pitching. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, in his sixteenth start of 2016, got himself a win in a powerful, solid performance. With the win, the M's are now a game above .500 with a W-L record of 39-38, but still trail the Texas Rangers by 11.5 games and the Houston Astros by 1.5 games in the American League West standings. Good news, however, LHP Wade Miley, RHP Felix Hernandez, RHP Taijuan Walker and LHP Charlie Furbush are all showing signs of improvement on the injuries and will be back soon. CF Leonys martin and SS Ketel Marte are also getting back in the swing of things offensively and defensively since their injuries. 

Offensively on Monday night the M's connected for 12 hits combined against PIT LHP Jonathon Niese, and PIT RHP Arquimedes Caminero. The #ASGWorthy candidate's; 2B Robinson Canó and DH Nelson Cruz played like all-stars on Monday night. 2B Robinson Canó (.303 AVG) went 3-4 at the plate with 3 hits, 2 runs, and an RBI. Robbie extended his hitting streak to 5 games, and now has 54 RBI on the season. DH Nelson Cruz (.284 AVG) who has been on fire lately at the dish connected for his 20th HR of the season, and upper-deck 2-run blast in the fifth inning. The 2 RBI now gives Cruz 53 on the year so far. Nelson's 20 HR now leads the team, and he has now hit for at least 20 HR every season for the past 8 years! Congratulations, Mr. Nelson Cruz, #VoteCruz! Also contributing offensively for the M's on Monday night was 1B Dae-Ho Lee (.290 AVG) who went 2-3 at the dish with 2 hits. Lee also attempted to score on a hit by Kyle Seager, but was called out at the plate. It was pretty awesome seeing the big man run, #DAEHO! 3B Kyle Seager was also impressive at the plate as he had himself a 3-hit night going 3-4 at the plate. Seager (.266 AVG), hit a single to the deepest part of Safeco yesterday. That just goes to show how impressive Pittsburgh's defense is. C Chris Iannetta (.227 AVG) connected for his 20th RBI of the season with a sac-fly to center in this one. 

On the mound, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma made his sixteenth start of the 2016 season on Monday night. Iwakuma went a strong 6.2 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hits (all earned) while striking out 4 and walking 1 Pirate. Iwakuma earned himself the win, and is now a game above .500 for himself with a W-L record of 7-6 in 101.2 innings pitched so far this year. Hisashi is currently tossing an ERA of 4.34. RHP Edwin Diaz (2.13 ERA) and RHP closer Steve Cishek (2.55 ERA) tossed the next 2.1 innings of the ball game. Diaz earned his 4th hold of the season giving up nothing and striking out 2. For Cishek, he earned his 18th save of the season in 1.0 inning of work, giving up only a single hit and nothing else. 

The M's will seek a quick 2-game sweep of the 37-41 Pirates and their second straight series win of this home stand on Tuesday night at Safeco Field in Seattle. LHP Wade Miley will make his first start back off of the 15-day DL (left shoulder) and will face a young PIT RHP by the name of Jameson Taillon (1-1, 4.50 ERA). Miley (6-3, 5.28 ERA) will make his fourteenth start of the 2016 season for the M's. Be sure to catch all of the inter-league Game 2 action on Tuesday night on ROOT Sports NW for watching, or 710 ESPN Seattle for listening. First pitch start time- 7:10 PM PAC, 10:10 PM ET!

Mariners 365 Notes

RHP Nathan Karns has been moved to the bullpen, and LHP Wade LeBlanc has taken his spot in the 5-man starting rotation. Karns as a starter this year went 6-2 with 4.56 ERA in 81.0 innings pitched. Karns had 84 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.46. 

RHP Felix Hernandez (on DL with right calf sprain) and LHP Charlie Furbush (60-day DL) both tossed bull pen sessions on Monday, June 28th. Expect to see Hernandez make his first appearance back from the DL after the All-Star Break, and LHP Charlie Furbush towards the end of the season. 

Don't forget to #VoteMariners for the 2016 All-Star Game in San Diego. Vote at up to 35 times! #VoteCano, #VoteCruz, #VoteSeager. Be sure to do it fast, because the polls are closing soon. 

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue.