What a fun night it was at Safeco Field in Seattle as the Mariners opened up a 3-game weekend inter-league series with the Milwaukee Brewers! The Mariners were able to sneak past the Crew in the start of Star Wars Weekend at Safeco Field by a final score of 7-6. It took 4 innings for either teamto make noise with the bats, as there wasn't a hit up until that point of the ball game. When the bats woke up, however, offense was booming for the rest of the night. For the second night in a row, the Mariners combined to put up 3 home runs. On Friday night, LHP Wade LeBlanc took the ball for another start, and with the win, the Mariners are now 7-1 W-L record wise when LeBlanc has pitched. With the win the Mariners have advanced to 65-56 on the season. Seattle is 7.0 games in back of the first place Texas Rangers in the American League Western division standings, and now just 2.0 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Wild Card race. The Orioles currently sit in the second Wild Card spot.
On the mound on Friday night, LHP Wade LeBlanc took the hill for his 9th appearance of the 2016 season. LeBlanc continued to work that off speed breaking ball, pounding the strike zone for the Mariners. In his last 8 appearances, the Mariners have a W-L record of 7-1. On Friday night, Wade went 5.1 innings tossing 3.1 innings of no-hit ball. LeBlanc gave up 3 runs on 6 hits (all earned runs) while walking none and striking out 4 Brewers on the night. LeBlanc's only problem was giving up the long ball, as he gave up 3 solo home runs in his outing. Fortunately, Wade has yet to lose this season, and he earned himself his third win of the season on Friday night. LeBlanc now has a 3-0 record with a 4.72 ERA in 47.2 innings pitched so far this year. In relief on Friday night were RHP Drew Storen (5.77 ERA), RHP Arquimedes Caminero (3.42 ERA), RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (6.35 ERA), and RHP closer Edwin Diaz (2.31 ERA). Storen earned his 10th hold of the season in 0.2 innings of work as he gave up 1 hit, struck out 1 and walked 1. Caminero earned his 5th hold of the season as he gave up only 1 run on 2 hits (earned) in 1.0 inning of work. Tom Wilhelmsen earned his 10th hold of the season in 1.0 inning of work as he struck out 1 and gave up 1 hit. Closer Edwin Diaz was a little shaky again, but he still hasn't failed to close out a game yet this season as he earned his 9th consecutive save since being promoted to closer. Diaz gave up 2 runs on 1 hit (both runs earned) while walking 3 but striking out an impressive 3 in his 1.0 inning outing in the ninth.
Offensively on Friday night, the Mariners were able to 1 up the Brewers with 7 runs on 11 hits off of Harvard University alum, MIL LHP Brent Suter, and RHP Tyler Cravy, RHP Chase Anderson. The M's combined to put up 3 homers, for the second night in a row. 3B Kyle Seager (.287 AVG) had himself a night going 2-for-4 at the plate with a pair of hits, one of which for his 23rd home run of the season, a solo blast in the bottom of the fourth inning for the first Mariner hit of the night. Seager now has 80 RBI even on the season, which leads the ball club. 2B Robinson Canó (.293 AVG) also had a night at the dish, and is my pick for the Mariners Player of this game. Canó went 1-for-4 on the night with a 2-run blast in the bottom of the fifth inning for his 28th homer of the season! The 2 RBI night now gives Robbie a total of 77 to date, which is second on the team. DH Nelson Cruz (.286 AVG) went 2-for-4 on the night with an RBI single to left field in the bottom of the sixth inning. Cruz's 76 RBI trails Canó and Seager on the RBI list for the ball club. 1B Stefen Romero (.235 AVG) went 1-for-2 at the plate in his first game with the Mariners since June the 5th at the Texas Rangers. Romero was recalled from AAA Tacoma in exchange for 1B Dae-Ho Lee who has been struggling as of late. Romero connected for an RBI single to center field in the bottom of the fifth inning, putting the M's up 4-1 over Milwaukee. Stefen now has 3 RBI on the season in just 9 games played. 1B Adam Lind (.235 AVG) who pinch-hit for Romero, went 1-for-2 as well, and launched his 18th homer of the season in the bottom of the eighth inning to pad a lead for Seattle. Lind now has a solid 48 RBI on the season. SS Ketel Marte (.257 AVG) plated another run for the Mariners in the bottom of the seventh inning as he doubled on a line drive to left field, scoring Leonys Martin. The double was Ketel Marte's 18th of the season and he now has a total of 22 RBI in 82 games played this season for Seattle.
WHAT'S NEXT? :
Our 65-56 Seattle Mariners will now look to jump to 10 games over .500 as we play Game 2 baseball with these Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night at Safeco Field. With a win, the M's will grasp hold of another series victory. Looking to help the Mariners do so will be "The King", RHP Felix Hernandez, who won his last start (August 15th at LAA). Hernandez (7-4, 3.34 ERA) and the M's will take on MIL RHP Wily Peralta (5-8, 6.00 ERA). Be sure to tune into ROOT sports NW for watching or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle radio as King Felix is set and ready to make his 17th start of the 2016 season on Saturday night! First pitch start time- 6:10 PM PAC, 9:10 PM ET.
This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue as our Mariners #KeepFighting!