GET OUT YOUR BROOMS! The Mariners have completed a 4-game sweep of a first place 47-34 Baltimore Orioles team. It all happened on Sunday afternoon in Seattle as the M's donned their cream, blue, and yellow jerseys on a beautiful day for series finale baseball. It was LF Seth Smith who was the story of the day as he connected for his first career GRAND SLAM in the third inning of the ball game off of BAL RHP Ubaldo Jimenez. Another impressive thing about Smith's HR was that it was his fourth straight game with a home run, all against the Baltimore Orioles in this 4-game series. Smith is definitely my pick for the Mariners Player of the Game, 7/3 vs BAL and my pick for Player of the Series vs BAL. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma's performance on the mound also earned him his eighth win of the season, and kept the Mariners in good shape throughout the ball game. With the win, Seattle is now 43-39 on the season and 4 games above .500. The M's now only trail the Texas Rangers by 8.5 games and are tied with the Houston Astros for a second place spot in the American League West standings.
Offensively on Sunday afternoon, Mariners offense combined for 10 hits. 3B Kyle Seager (.270 AVG) went 1-3 at the plate with 2 RBI. Kyle connected for his 22nd double of the season, and now has 54 RBI on the season, trailing Nelson Cruz who has a team high 56 RBI. 1B Adam Lind (.246 AVG) connected for his 8th double of the season in a 1-4 day at the plate, also plating a run for an RBI. Lind now has 36 RBI on the season. 2B Robinson Canó (.304 AVG) went 2-4 at the plate with a pair of hits, one of which for his 20th double of the season. SS Ketel Marte (.274 AVG) also went 2-4 at the plate with 2 hits and an RBI. Marte connected for his 15th double of the season on Sunday afternoon. Ketel now has 16 RBI on the season as well. The story of the afternoon of course was LF Seth Smith (.280 AVG) went 1-4 at the plate with the most important hit of the ball game, a GRAND SLAM in the third inning, for his first career grand slam. Smith has also homered in 4 consecutive games, all against the Baltimore Orioles in what was the 4-game series. Smith now has 10 HR on the season and 38 RBI!
On the mound on Sunday afternoon, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma made his 17th start of the 2016 season going 6.0 innings giving up only 4 runs on 10 hits (all runs earned). Iwakuma struck out 1 Oriole, walked none and gave up only 1 HR. Kuma earned himself the win with the solid performance and now has a W-L record of 8-6 on the season with an ERA of 4.43. Relieving Hisashi on Sunday afternoon were RHP Edwin Diaz (1.76 ERA), RHP Joaquin Benoit (5.03 ERA) and LHP Vidal Nuño (3.27 ERA). Diaz earned his 7th Hold of the season. Relief combined to give up only 2 hits, 0 runs, and 1 walk while striking out 5 Orioles! Impressive.
The Mariners will look to keep this win streak of 4-games rolling as we get set and ready to play some INDEPENDENCE DAY BASEBALL on Monday, July the Fourth of 2016! The MLB will be celebrating the fourth by wearing special red, white, and blue "Stars and Stripes" themed hats and jerseys. The M's will be donning these in Game 1 of what will be a 3-game series with our AL West Rivals, the Houston Astros, also with a W-L record of 43-39 on the season. LHP Wade Miley (6-4, 5.58 ERA) and the M's will face HOU RHP Lance McCullers (3-2, 3.91 ERA) for a Fourth of July SHOWDOWN! This will be Miley's 15th start of the 2016 season. Be sure to catch all of the 4th of July Game 1 action on ROOT Sports NW for watching, or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle radio! First pitch start time- 11:10 AM PAC, 2:10 PM ET!
This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners, and have a HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! Stay #TrueToTheREDWHITEandBLUE!