After a sweep of the Oakland A’s and a home series win against the Houston Astros, the Seattle Mariners had momentum behind them as they welcomed in the Texas Rangers for the first time in 2023.
The Mariners opened up against Texas with Logan Gilbert on the bump, and boy was he nails. Sadly, his counterpart Jon Gray matched Gilbert’s strong performance.
Ty France opened the scoring early for Seattle in the home first on an opposite-field solo home run. Logan Gilbert, from innings two to five, struck out seven Rangers in a row, matching the club franchise record. He was unstoppable for a majority of his start.
Unfortunately for Logan, after France’s early run, Seattle was not able to do much of anything against Jon Gray. Gilbert worked a perfect game into the seventh inning until Marcus Semien singled on a ground ball to Jarred Kelenic in left field.
After Semien’s perfecto-breaker, the Rangers got to Gilbert who seemed to lose a feel for his fastball towards the end. Josh Jung hit a sacrifice fly and Jonah Heim drove in Nathaniel Lowe on an RBI single to give Texas a 2-1 lead.
Jose Caballero had two of the M’s four hits, but the rest of the lineup seemed to have holes in the barrels of their bats. Seattle struck out a whopping 13 times Monday night as Texas took the opener despite Gilbert’s wonderful start.
Pitching has been a strong suit for the M’s early into this season, and that continued Tuesday night with second-year starter George Kirby up against lefty Andrew Heaney.
Once again, Ty France got the scoring going early for the M’s in this one, this time in the home third. His two-run single scored Tom Murphy easily, as well as Sam Haggerty as the throw in from Josh H. Smith ricocheted off of Ty’s bat at home plate.
Fast forward a few innings, and as Kirby is dealing on the mound, Tom Murphy smashed a two-run shot into Seattle’s bullpen to double their 2-0 lead to 4-0. Tuesday was “The Murph’s” first home run of the year, as he has been strong as of late at the plate.
Kirby went seven extremely strong, shutout innings, striking out nine, and not surrendering a walk. Following George was Justin Topa and newcomer-Juan Then, who shut it down and helped shut out Texas to take Tuesday night’s game by a final of 5-0.
Get-away-day for the M’s was also La Piedra day this afternoon. A struggling Julio Rodriguez was pushed back from the leadoff spot to the six hole…rightfully so as of late.
Ty France made it 3-3 on having the first RBI of the day, and this time his single scored J.P. Crawford in the first. Marcus Semien, a few innings later in the third tied this rubber match with his sixth home run of the year. Following Semien’s solo shot, a single and then double by Nathaniel Lowe gave Texas a 2-1 advantage. After consecutive strikeouts by Luis Castillo, a Jonah Heim double gave the Rangers a two-run lead.
Dane Dunning was on the bump for Texas Wednesday afternoon, and he was on his game. Castillo’s day was done after five, allowing three earned, striking out nine.
J.P. got to Dunning on a line drive scoring Julio, but it was Semien who countered with his second RBI of the ballgame to keep the margin at two runs in favor of the Rangers.
Bottom eight, and Seattle was running out of time. Speaking of running’s, Jose Caballero and Jarred Kelenic did such that around the bases after JK’s oppo-triple to get the M’s within one.
Unfortunately for Seattle, well-traveled veteran Will Smith continued to dominate the M’s in their final ups. After getting Julio and Teoscar Hernandez to strike out swinging, he then got AJ Pollock to ground out for the final out on today's sunny midday matinee.
4-3 final and a 2-1 series win for the American League West-leading Texas Rangers. Wednesday was Luis Castillo’s first loss of the season.
Seattle travels back east, this time to face the Tigers in Comerica Park for three beginning on Friday. Here is a look at the upcoming pitching matchups against Detroit:
- Fri 5/12 @ 3:40 PM: LHP Marco Gonzales (2-0, 4.70 ERA) vs LHP Matthew Boyd (2-2, 5.28 ERA)
- Sat 5/13 @ 10:10 AM: RHP Bryce Miller (1-0, 0.75 ERA) vs RHP Alex Faedo (0-0, 3.86 ERA)
- Sun 4/14 @ 10:40 AM: RHP Logan Gilbert (1-2, 3.79 ERA) vs LHP Joey Wentz (1-3, 6.09 ERA)
American League West standings as of Wednesday afternoon:
- 1.Texas Rangers (22-14)
- 2.Los Angeles Angels (20-17)
- 3.Houston Astros (18-18)
- 4.Seattle Mariners (18-19)
- 5.Oakland Athletics (8-30)