M’s Fall to Braves to Wrap up Road Trip, Look to Bounce Back vs A’s at Home

Seattle finished the three-team road trip with a record of 4-5 after their series loss to the 2021 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves. For the M’s faithful that may be freaking out about their current sub-500 record, here is a look at a comparison through 46 games this season and last:

2022: 19-27, -24 run differential.

2023: 22-24, +18 run differential.

Yes, the 2022 Mariners went on a 14-game winning streak after the Jesse Winker vs. Angels brawl, but to look at this season so far as a failure is an overreaction. The M’s will need to find their offensive production from Julio, the DH position and with RISP to back their strong pitching. They will look to get back on track here now with ten straight at home, without an off-day mixed in. The first four of ten are against MLB’s worst team, the Oakland Athletics. But before we preview pitching matchups with the series starting tonight, let’s recap the last three games in Atlanta, starting with Friday’s series-opening loss in Truist Park.

It was an Apple TV+ exclusive, that featured a battle of the 24-year-old Bryce’s – Miller and Elder.

This was by far Bryce Miller’s toughest test to date in his rookie season… and that showed early in this one. The first three at-bats for Atlanta: Ronald Acuna double (11.3 MPH EV), Matt Olson RBI double (105.4 MPH EV), Austin Riley lineout (108.7 MPH EV). Olson’s double gave the Braves a 1-0 advantage after the first. But following the first, Miller picked up where he left off in previous starts, retiring nine straight.

A 1-0 ballgame until the seventh, and Seattle’s bats picked up Miller. A Julio Rodriguez oppo-double ended up in a game-tying run thanks to Eugenio Suarez’s RBI single. One batter later was Cal Raleigh, who was robbed of extra bases on a web gem by RF Ronald Acuna. But Seattle was able to plate Geno on a Teoscar Hernandez single. A 1-0 deficit was turned into a 2-1 lead after the top of the seventh.

A half inning later, and Miller allowed a single to Austin Riley and issued a walk to Ozzie Albies. Trevor Gott tried to avoid the traffic on the base paths following Miller’s exit, but Marcel Ozuna and Orlando Arcia each drove in one to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead. Bryce Miller finished with 6+ innings, three earned on four hits and four SOs.

Seattle wasn’t able to bounce back like they did in the seventh, and Atlanta added three more insurance runs in the eighth. In the battle of the Bryce’s, Atlanta prevailed with a 6-2 win, leading to Seattle’s third straight loss.

Saturday night was the thin man, Logan Gilbert facing a Braves’ bullpen day.

A Matt Olson two-run home run in the first gave Atlanta a quick lead, but then Logan strapped in and rattled off five straight shutout innings. Gilbert finished with six strong innings, allowing two earned, with nine strikeouts.

A bases-loaded RBI single by Taylor Trammell brought the M’s within one in the fourth. Jose Caballero tied it with a sacrifice fly, and then a J.P. Crawford lined a single to right to give Seattle a one-run lead.

An inning later, and Seattle wasn’t done. A Geno Suarez sacrifice fly and Teo Hernandez single gave the M’s a bit of a cushion with a 5-2 advantage. Speaking of Suarez, in the seventh, he belted a two-run homer over the center field wall to lengthen the lead.

Seattle Mariners v Atlanta Braves

Eugenio Suarez points to the Atlanta sky as he rounds the bases after his two-run home run Saturday night. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Logan Gilbert earned his second win on the season, as the Mariners won Saturday night’s game by a score of 7-3.

Rubber match + get-away Sunday, and Seattle had their guy in George Kirby on the bump.

Like both games prior, the Braves got on the scorecard first, thanks again to Matt Olson, who doubled in the first, scoring Acuna. Jarred Kelenic’s ninth home run of the season followed the next half inning, knotting this one at one apiece.

Fast forward a few innings, and George Kirby is ahead of Atlanta’s Eddie Rosario with runners on first and third. His 0-2, two-out changeup was delivered in the perfect low, and away spot, by Rosario was able to go down and muscle an RBI single into center field, which gave the Braves the lead again. After missing more than half of the season so far, Braves’ catcher Travis d’Aranaud crushed a solo home run to lead off the sixth.

Seattle Mariners v Atlanta Braves

Travis d'Arnaud launches his first home run of the season to give Atlanta a 3-1 lead Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

What seems to be Seattle’s starting second baseman for the foreseeable future, Jose Caballero, got Sunday’s game within one on his first career home run, 103 MPH EV rocket off of righty Nick Anderson. But after the homer by “Cabby”, Anderson and Raisel Iglesias shut it down for the Braves to lock up Sunday and the series. Kirby’s line: L, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 6 K.

Following Sunday’s loss, the M’s were headed straight to home. They now welcome in the struggling Oakland A’s for four games in four days starting tonight.

OAK @ SEA pitching matchups:

  • Monday 5/22, 6:40 PM PST: RHP Luis Castillo (2-2, 3.31 ERA) vs. LHP Kyle Muller (1-3, 7.71 ERA)
  • Tuesday 5/23, 6:40 PM PST: LHP Marco Gonzales (3-1, 6.10 ERA) vs. RHP Luis Medina (0-2, 6.88 ERA)
  • Wednesday 5/24, 6:40 PM PST: RHP Bryce Miller (2-1, 1.42 ERA) vs. TBD
  • Thursday 5/25, 6:40 PM PST: RHP Logan Gilbert (2-2, 3.81 ERA) vs. TBD

American League West Standings as of Monday morning:

  • 1.Texas Rangers (29-17)
  • 2.Houston Astros (27-19), 2.0 GB
  • 3.Los Angeles Angels (25-23), 5.0 GB
  • 4.Seattle Mariners (22-24), 7.0 GB
  • 5.Oakland Athletics (10-38), 20.0 GB

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