Shawn O'Malley's 3-run home run on Saturday night was his third career HR
8/6 vs LAA by TOM HAYDEN
SAFECO FIELD, SEATTLE, WA. ----
Talk about fun. That's exactly what Saturday night was in Seattle as the Mariners took control of this 3-game series with a come from behind win in game 2 over the Halos. On a special night at Safeco, the Mariners retired Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.'s # 24 in front of a sold out crowd of over 40,000 fans. With this in mind, the Mariners came out ready to play and ready to take hold of a series victory. SS Shawn O'Malley, who has been replacing SS Ketel Marte (15-day DL with mononucleosis) was the story of the night, and my pick for the Mariners Player of the Game from Saturday night. O'Malley, born and raised in the state of Washington, idolized Ken Griffey Jr. On a night in honor of Jr., Shawn O'Malley delivered, connecting for a 3-run home run in which gave the Mariners a lead they had been chasing all game. RHP Taijuan Walker, also a good sign to have back, unfortunately was not sharp in the 8-6 win over the Angels. Of course, however, it is never easy to make a return after a lot of time off, especially if you are a pitcher. With the win on Saturday night the Mariners have climbed to 3 games over .500 with a W-L record of 56-53, a winning record over 109 games played this year. In the American League Western division standings, Seattle only trails the second place Houston Astros by 1/2 of a game! The Mariners trail the first place Texas Rangers by 7.0 games, and for a wild card spot, the M's only need to climb a ladder of 4 games at this point of the season.
On the mound on Saturday night, RHP Taijuan Walker made his first start since July the 5th, after he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in the foot. The start was Walker's 17th of the season, and unfortunately it was not one of his best. Walker went 4.0 innings giving up 6 runs on 7 hits (all earned) while walking 2 and striking out 0 Angels. Taijuan gave up a 3-run homer to LAA CF Mike Trout in the top of the first inning. Trout 3-run homered in the first inning of Friday night's game too off of RHP Felix Hernandez. Luckily, Walker's outing was a no decision, so he maintains a W-L record of 4-7 on the season. His ERA is now a 4.10. Relieving Walker were RHP Cody Martin(2.70 ERA) RHP Drew Storen (6.45 ERA), RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (7.49 ERA) and you know it, RHP closer Edwin Diaz (1.86 ERA)! Relief was fantastic on Saturday night, giving up no runs on only 3 hits. Drew Storen earned himself the win, giving up only a walk in 0.1 innings pitched. Storen now has an individual W-L record of 2-3 on the season so far. For Tom Wilhelmsen, he earned his 5th hold of the season as he tossed just an eighth inning's work, striking out 2 Halos. Edwin Diaz earned his 4th save of the season as he gave up only 1 hit in the ninth inning to secure the Mariners comeback victory!
Offensively on Saturday night, Seattle combined to put up a SOLID 8 runs on 10 hits off of LAA LHP Tyler Skaggs, RHP Jose Valdez, and RHP Deolis Guerra. RF Franklin Gutierrez (.247 AVG) had himself a NIGHT going 3-for-5 at the plate with a double and a home run for 2 RBI. Gutierrez's double was for his 7th of the season, and his 2-run BLAST to left-center in the bottom of the fifth inning was for his 11th HR of the season so far. For Guti, he now has a total of 28 RBI on the season. LF-RF Guillermo Heredia (.176 AVG) went 1-for-3 on the night while scoring 2 runs for the M's. Guillermo connected for his 1st career Major League home run on Saturday night in front of the sold out crowd, a solo shot to left in the bottom of the third inning! Heredia now has that 1 HR with a total of 2 RBI in just 17 at bats so far in his Major League career. Also contributing on Saturday night were 2B Robinson Canó (.295 AVG) and CF Leonys Martin (.246 AVG). Canó went 1-for-5 on the night, but did notch an RBI double for Seattle in this one. Robbie's double was for his 26th of the year and he now has 70 RBI on the season which is a team high. Leonys Martin went 1-for-3 on the night with a base hit for an RBI, his 34th on the season so far. 3B Kyle Seager (.279 AVG) went 2-for-3 with a pair of base hits. The story of the night came in the bottom of the seventh inning when SS Shawn O'Malley (.244 AVG) hit a 3-run BLAST to right field to give Seattle an 8-6 lead over the Halos, the eventual final score. The homer was for his 2nd of the season, and the 3rd of his major league career. The 3 RBI in a 1-for-4 night at the plate now gives Shawn a total of 13 on the season!
WHAT'S NEXT? :
The Mariners will go for a sweep of these 49-61 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Sunday afternoon, a 1:10 PM PAC, 4:10 PM ET start time to cap off a beautiful #GriffeyWeekend. LHP James Paxton (3-5, 3.53 ERA) and the Mariners will take on LAA RHP Matt Shoemaker (6-11, 4.01 ERA). Be sure to tune into ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle radio to catch James Paxton's 13th start of the season on Sunday afternoon!
MARINERS 365 NOTES:
•RHP Cody Martin and INF Luis Sardiñas have been optioned back down to AAA Tacoma.
•The Mariners have activated RHP Nick Vincent off of the 15-day DL, recalled INF Mike Freeman from AAA Tacoma.
•RHP Donn Roach has been designated for assignment.
•The Mariners have acquired switch-handed pitcher Pat Venditte from the Toronto Blue Jays. Venditte will report to AAA Tacoma.
•RHP Blake Parker has been designated for assignment.
•The Mariners have acquired RHP Arquimedes Caminero from the Pittsburgh Pirates for a PTBN, per reports.
This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue.