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Mariners offense silenced as Pirates split the two-game series

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

7/27 at PIT by TOM HAYDEN

PNC PARK, PITTSBURGH, PA. ----

Mariners offense was simply silenced on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh for the series finale of the quick 2-game series. PIT RHP Gerrit Cole allowed only 3 Seattle hits on the day. LHP James Paxton came off of an impressive start last week in Toronto, but he was not as sharp on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. With the loss, the M's have fallen to 51-49 for a W-L record so far on the season. Seattle is 6.5 games behind the first place 59-44 Texas Rangers and 3.5 games behind the second place 55-46 Houston Astros in the American League Western division standings. For a wild card spot, the M's need to climb a 4.0 game ladder. The New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, and Houston Astros are the only teams ahead of Seattle in the race for a wild card spot. 

On the mound on Wednesday night, LHP James Paxton took the ball for his 11th start of the 2016 season so far. Paxton wasn't terrible, but he did give up 3 runs on 6 hits (all earned) while striking out a solid 6 Pirates and walking 1 in his outing. Unfortunately, Paxton was dealt the loss and he now has a W-L record of 3-5 on the season with an ERA of 4.27. Relieving James were RHP Drew Storen (7.01 ERA, Seattle Mariners debut, acquired last week via trade with the Toronto Blue Jays), RHP Nathan Karns (4.78 ERA), and LHP David Rollins (7.04 ERA). In his Mariners debut, Storen started off with a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth inning, but came out in the seventh inning and had a rough time. In 1.1 innings of work, Storen gave up 4 runs on 3 hits (all earned) while striking out 1 and walking 1 Pirate in his outing. In 0.2 innings of work for Nathan Karns, he gave up only 2 hits, no runs, and struck out 1. David Rollins gave up 3 runs on 3 hits (all earned) in an eighth innings work. Rollins gave up a 3-run HR to PIT CF Andrew McCutchen. David also struck out 1 and walked 1 in his outing. 

Offensively for the Mariners on Wednesday night, it was tough to watch. The Mariners connected for only 1 run on 3 hits on PIT RHP Gerrit Cole. Cole brought some good stuff, and threw his first complete game of this season against the M's. It was LF Nori Aoki (.253 AVG) who connected for 2 of the 3 Mariner hits on Wednesday night. Aoki also scored the only Mariners run. Nori connected for 2 doubles in a 2-for-4 night at the plate, and he now has 11 doubles on the season so far. 3B Kyle Seager (.287 AVG) connected for the other Seattle hit in the top of the fourth inning, a single up the middle on a soft line drive. 2B Robinson Canó (.301 AVG) drove in the only run of the day for the M's by way of a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth inning. With the RBI, Canó now has 63 on the season. 

WHAT'S NEXT? :

The Mariners will now head to Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL for just the second time in franchise history (last time was 2007) to take on a very good ball club, the 61-40 Chicago Cubs. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (11-6, 3.96 ERA) will look to win his sixth straight start. Iwakuma and the M's will face well-known CHC LHP Jon Lester (10-4, 3.09 ERA). Be sure to catch the rare occasion that our Mariners head to the beautiful Wrigley Field on ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle radio! This game will also be available nation wide (out of market only) on MLB Network! First pitch start time- 11:20 AM PAC, 2:20 PM ET.

Mariners 365 Notes: 

The Mariners have recalled OF Guillermo Heredia from AAA Tacoma in exchange for LHP David Rollins. This is Heredia's first ever call-up to the majors. In 26 games played this season with Tacoma, Heredia batted a .340 AVG with 36 hits and 13 RBI. 

RHP Taijuan Walker is set to make a rehab start on Monday, August 1st in Tacoma. 

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

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