79-71, 9.5 GB in AL WEST, 3.0 GB in AL WILD CARD ----
The Mariners were narrowly defeated on Monday night at Safeco Field in Seattle in what was the start of a crucial 3-game mid-week series with these Toronto Blue Jays. To be honest, there may have been more Blue Jays fans at Safeco Field on Monday night than there were Mariners fans in the 3-2 loss. Offensively, the Mariners struggled in solving TOR RHP Marco Estrada, as Estrada had a no-hitter going on the M's through 6.0 innings full. On the mound, RHP Taijuan Walker had himself a decent start, battling through a sore hand from being hit by a line drive there in the first inning of the ball game. With the loss, Seattle has fallen to a W-L record of 79-71 on the season, now 9.5 games in back of the first place Texas Rangers of the American League Western Division. For an American League Wild Card spot, the Mariners are still right there at 3.0 games in back of these Toronto Blue Jays. The next 2 games of this series are crucial for our Seattle Mariners.
On the mound on Monday night in the great Pacific Northwest, RHP Taijuan Walker took the ball for his 23rd start of the season. Coming off of a GEM in his last start, Walker looked to keep things rolling against a red hot Toronto Blue Jays offense. By no means did Walker struggle, but he did give up 3 runs on 5 hits (all runs earned) while walking 4 and striking out an impressive 6 Blue Jays in his outing. Walker gave up a 2-run home run to TOR DH Edwin Encarnacion in the top of the third inning of the ball game. Unfortunately, Taijuan suffered a loss and now has an individual W-L record of 6-11 on the season with an ERA of 4.32 in just over 120.0 innings pitched to date. In relief on Monday night was RHP Drew Storen (5.70 ERA) who went 1.0 inning giving up 1 hit and striking out a solid 3 Jays in his outing. RHP Evan Scribner (0.00 ERA) went 1.2 innings giving up nothing but a walk and also striking out an impressive 3 batters in his outing. RHP Dan Altavilla (1.13 ERA) then tossed the entirety of the ninth inning for the Mariners giving up just 2 hits and nothing else.
Offensively, things were very quiet on Monday night until the last inning for Seattle. The M's combined to put up just 2 runs on 3 hits off of Blue Jays' pitching. 2B Robinson Canó (.293 AVG) went 1-for-3 on the night with a single up the middle to center field to break up TOR RHP Marco Estrada's no-hit bid in the seventh inning. 1B Adam Lind (.233 AVG) connected for a single in this one in a 1-for-4 day at the plate for him. It was CF Leonys Martin (.249 AVG) who brought the power in the ninth inning, putting up his 15th home run of the year, a 2-run blast to right-center to cut Toronto's lead to 1 at the time. Martin went 1-for-3 at the plate in this one the 2-RBI night now gives him 44 on the season.
WHAT'S NEXT? :
The Mariners will now look to take that ninth inning action and bring it into Tuesday night's game in what will be Game 2 of this 3-game mid-week series with the Toronto Blue Jays. It will be a pitcher's duel for sure, as RHP Hisashi Iwakuma will take the ball for us facing former Mariner LHP J.A. Happ (19-4, 3.27 ERA), who the Mariners will try to prevent from achieving his 20th win of the season on Tuesday night. Iwakuma (16-11, 3.87 ERA) will make his 31st start of the season on Tuesday night, the most by any Mariners' pitcher this season. Be sure to catch all of the Game 2 action on ROOT Sports NW for watching, or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle Radio! First pitch start time is scheduled for- 7:10 PM PAC, 10:10 PM ET!
This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue as our M's #KeepFighting towards the PostSEAson!