After a subpar homestand to kickoff the 2023 season, Seattle bounced back to their winning ways against some familiar foes. The M’s took the first two games and the series but lost a 13-inning back-and-forth battle in the finale on Easter Sunday. After seven of their first ten games against the Guardians, Seattle will not have to face Cleveland the rest of the regular season.
Game one was Logan Gilbert up against Aaron Civale in Cleveland’s home opener. On a cold Friday afternoon, Gilbert (four innings, three earned runs, six Ks) got some help from the bullpen and the offense.
After Seattle fell down by three, JP Crawford made his presence known at the plate. Two RBI doubles, paired with a Ty France RBI single tied the game at three a piece. Superstar CF Julio Rodriguez smacked a two-run bomb to left center – including a beautiful jump-shot bat flip, which gave the M’s a 5-3 lead. The bullpen came in and shut it down, as the Mariners quieted the rowdy Cleveland fans, and took the opener by that same score.
The Saturday middle game was as classic as it gets when it comes to recent Cleveland vs Seattle show downs.
Seattle jumped out to an early three-run lead through two innings on two Eugenio Suarez RBI singles, and a Jarred Kelenic RBI base hit. Both Suarez and Kelenic went 3-4 on the day, as they are both two of the M’s hottest bats in the lineup to open the season.
Marco Gonzales took the ball for the second time of the 2023 campaign. He went five plus strong, striking out five, while only allowing one earned run. The bullpen once again backed Gonzales and the early offense, the M’s took game two of three from the Guardians, a 3-2 final.
As Seattle locked down the series win, Easter Sunday was upon us. George Kirby was looking to bounce back after struggling in his first start, and he did such that. Six innings, five hits, one run, no walks and four Ks. Cal “Big Dumper” Raleigh went yard for the first time in 2023 to get things going for Seattle in the first.
Just like game two, another nail-biting battle. Before the game, Andres Munoz was placed on the 15-day Injured List with a shoulder strain. In a spot where he’d normally come in, bottom nine, Matt Brash gave up a two-run double to Will Brennan which knotted the game up at three as this one headed to extras. After the M’s middle of the order couldn’t get it done in the top of the 10th, neither could Cleveland’s against just-brought-up RHP Justin Topa.
Jarred Kelenic missed a two-run homer by a foot, but did bring home Cal Raleigh in the 11th on a mashed double. A Kolten Wong sacrifice fly brought home JK. Cleveland, of course, tied it in the bottom half, but J.B. Bukauskas escaped a bases-loaded 3-2 count with a ꓘ of Ahmed Rosario.
Teo Hernandez brought home Julio on a two-out base hit in the 12th to give the M’s a 6-5 lead. But in the home 12th, a Penn Murfee pickoff error helped Cleveland tie it up, and a Josh Bell fielder’s choice brought home Jose Ramirez as Cleveland walked it off, a 6-7 final from Progressive Field.
After taking two of three from the Guards, Seattle heads to the Windy City, and will face the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley for three before heading back home.
Pitching matchups for SEA @ CHC series:
- Monday 4/10: Luis Castillo (1-0) vs Drew Smyly (0-1)
- Tuesday 4/11: Chris Flexen (0-1) vs Hayden Wesneski (0-0)
- Wednesday 4/12: Logan Gilbert (0-1) vs Marcus Stroman (2-0)
AL West Standings as of Sunday afternoon:
- 1. Los Angeles Angels (5-3)
- 2. Texas Rangers (5-4)
- 3. Seattle Mariners (4-5)
- 4. Houston Astros (4-6)
- 5. Oakland Athletics (2-7)