After a thrilling comeback to avoid the sweep in Toronto, Seattle was able to keep their positive momentum (…kind of? I’ll let you decide…) against the Oakland Athletics. Consecutive poor hitting games, lead to late and extra-inning victories thanks to AJ Pollock in the first two, and a series-sweeping victory on Sunday to close the series out. Seattle will have to be able to produce at the plate way better with their upcoming schedule, starting Friday against last year’s World Series champions, the Houston Astros. But before we look forward to the upcoming homestand, here’s a look at the series against the Oakland Athletics.
Like mentioned above, the bats were quiet for Seattle until late Tuesday. But let’s not avoid the fact that it was Bryce Miller’s debut, and he showed the same strong stuff that he portrayed in Peoria. Seattle’s #2 prospect was nothing short of spectacular.
Miller was able to hold the A’s to just two hits, one run, while striking out ten through six strong innings. Unfortunately for Miller, like Easton McGee last week, he received the “Felix Treatment”... If your a long-tenured M's fan, you know this saying. The Mariners were held hitless up until AJ Pollock delivered on a two-out solo home run in the eighth inning, tying the game at one.
A few batters later, and Jarred Kelenic hit a scorching double, missing a three-run home run by a few inches, that gave Seattle a 2-1 lead.
Trevor Gott, Gabe Speier, Justin Topa and Paul Sewald collectively held the A’s to just that one run, and Seattle took the opener. Bryce Miller’s terrific MLB debut ended in a no-decision.
Game two was delayed by about an hour or so, and the Oakland Coliseum faithful shrunk to what it seems could be counted on two hands. Safe to say, the louder of the fans were certainly being heard by both teams throughout Wednesday's contest.
After the delay, it was time for Logan Gilbert to face JP Spears, and it was another snooze fest offensively for both squads until late.
Oakland jumped on Gilbert in the sixth to put some numbers on the scoreboard. Speedster Esteury Ruiz and known Mariner-killer Tony Kemp both hit one-run doubles to give the A’s a 2-0 lead.
Gilbert, despite giving up those two runs: six hits, and six strikeouts, allowing only three hits.
Jose Cabellero finally got the M’s on the board with a line-drive single scoring AJ Pollock in the seventh. Pollock, who entered the ballgame after Jarred Kelenic was tossed after arguing missed calls, came though again, this time with just a few outs to spare in the ninth. Another solo home run, which knotted this game up a two apiece.
Matt Brash was able to get five outs over two innings, as this late, rainy game was heading to extras in The Bay.
After a Julio Rodriguez walk, Ty France and Sam Haggerty struck out swinging, leaving it up to Eugenio Suarez to produce. He did that, and then some, with an opposite field, three-run home run. Following Geno’s bomb, the M’s weren’t done. A double, and two walks set up bases loaded for JP Crawford, who laced a two-run single, to give Seattle a 7-2 lead. After three quick outs by the A’s in the home half, the game and the series went to the Mariners.
Thursday, get-away day was upon us, and it was George Kirby vs Drew Rucinski.
JJ Bleday got the A’s on the board in the second on a rocket solo home run. A half inning later, and Seattle’s Taylor Trammell responded with a home run of his own, but in double the size of Bleday’s.
Oakland was able to get two more in the third on a triple and double, but again, the Mariners responded in the next half, this time in a bigger way.
After Rucinski walked four batters in the inning, Seattle left the fourth with a 5-3 lead after a two-RBI single by Kolten Wong.
George Kirby did his job on Thursday, ending his outing after seven innings, allowing three runs, and putting the Mariners in position for a series sweep of the Athletics.
This score after Seattle’s three-run fourth inning remained throughout the rest of the game, as Seattle is headed back to the PNW with four consecutive wins under their belt.
Friday is the debut of the Mariners’ Nike City Connect On-Field jerseys, with rain in the forecast as the Astros are headed to T-Mobile Park for three games…their first time since the series-sweeping 18-inning game three of the ALDS back in October.
Starting, it’ll be Luis Castillo (2-0, 1.82 ERA), Marco Gonzales (2-0, 4.74 ERA) and Bryce Miller (0-0, 1.50 ERA) for Seattle. Houston’s Christian Javier (2-1, 3.28 ERA) will face Castillo on Friday. Dusty Baker has yet to announce who will go for the Astros on Saturday and Sunday.
AL West Standings as of Thursday evening:
- 1.Texas Rangers (18-12)
- 2.Los Angeles Angels (18-14)
- 3.Houston Astros (16-15)
- 4.Seattle Mariners (15-16)
- 5.Oakland Athletics (6-26)