This series happens to be a very, very, important one for our Seattle Mariners. Why? Because the Mariners only trail a wild card spot by 2.5 games now, and the Detroit Tigers are right on top of them. On Monday night in Seattle for the start of this mid-week 3-game series, the Mariners took control and captured a 3-0 shutout win over Detroit. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma made his 23rd start of the season, and was impressive again, to say the least. Offense was able to pull through in this one, and back Iwakuma to capture the win. With the win, Seattle has advanced to a solid W-L record of 58-53 on the season, 5 games above a .500 winning percentage. The M's have won 6 of their last 7 games, and because of that, now only need to climb a 2.5 game ladder in the American League Wild Card race. In the American League Western division standings, the M's trail the 66-47 Texas Rangers by 7.0 games, and are now ahead of the 57-55 Houston Astros by 1.5 games!
Offensively on Monday night at the Safe, the Mariners combined to put up 3 runs on 7 hits off of DET RHP Michael Fulmer and RHP Mark Lowe. C Mike Zunino (.267 AVG) who has really been having himself a great season, went 1-for-3 at the plate on Monday night with an RBI. Zunino put Seattle up 2-0 with an RBI single to left in the bottom of the second inning. Mike Z now has 11 RBI on the season. 3B Kyle Seager (.282 AVG) put the Mariners on the board in the bottom of the second inning, also notching an RBI single, this one to center field. Seager now has a total of 68 RBI on the season with the 1-for-3 night at the dish. It was RF Guillermo Heredia (.222 AVG) who pinch hit for Seth Smith in the bottom of the eighth inning, adding a run to the Mariners lead with an RBI single to right field. Guillermo went 1-for-1 on the night with the single and now has 11 RBI on the season. LF Nori Aoki (.250 AVG) and CF Leonys Martin (.245 AVG) each had a hot on the night (Aoki- 1-for-4, scored a run for Seattle, Martin- 1-for-2 with a walk). DH Nelson Cruz (.279 AVG) went 2-for-3 at the plate on Monday night notching a pair of hits for Mariners offense, while also scoring 1 of the Seattle's 3 runs on the night.
On the mound, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma took the ball for the 23rd time this season, a team high for starts by a pitcher. Kuma, with the dominant, and fantastic performance, earned himself his 8th straight win at Safeco Field this season. Hisashi went 7.0 innings strong giving up 0 runs on 5 hits while striking out an impressive 8 Tigers on the night, and walking only 1. With the win, Iwakuma now has W-L record of 13-7 on the season and an ERA of 3.79 in 144.2 innings pitched so far this season. In relief on Monday night was recently acquired RHP Arquimedes Caminero (3.43 ERA), and RHP closer Edwin Diaz (1.80 ERA). Both Caminero and Diaz reached pitching speeds of over 100 MPH on Monday night for the M's. That's a GOOD sign! Caminero tossed an empty frame in an eighth inning's work, and Diaz tossed an empty frame in the ninth inning to seal the Mariners series opening win over the Tigers! Caminero now has 3 Holds on the season, while Diaz tossed his 5th save of the season on Monday night in Seattle.
WHAT'S NEXT? :
The Mariners will now look to have won 7 of their last 8, and extend their winning streak to 5 games on Tuesday night in game two of this series with Detroit. LHP Wade LeBlanc will take the hill for Seattle in his 7th start of the season. The Mariners have a winning record when LeBlanc pitches. LeBlanc (1-0, 4.31 ERA) and the M's will take on DET LHP Daniel Norris (1-0, 4.85 ERA) in game two. Be sure to tune into ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle radio! First pitch start time- 7:10 PM PAC, 10:10 PM ET.
MARINERS 365 NOTES:
The Detroit Tigers have claimed RHP Donn Roach off of waivers from the Mariners.
This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue.