Following a 10-2 victory over the Yankees in New York, Seattle was looking to keep their offensive momentum going in Camden Yards against the Orioles this weekend. They did that and then some in their series-opening blowout win on Friday, but then proceeded to lose the next two, one via a walk off homer and the other by just one run Sunday. It was the Mariners’ second consecutive series loss on the two-team East coast road trip. The M’s, now two games under, are headed back to the PNW to begin a six-game homestand starting tomorrow night against the last-place Washington Nationals. But before we preview the upcoming homestand, here’s a look at how it all went down against Baltimore beginning with Friday night’s thumping of the Orioles.
Young righty Logan Gilbert was tasked with facing the O’s for the first time in his career to start the series. His competition was veteran righty Kyle Gibson, who was working an 8-4 record in the 2023 season prior to Friday.
Like Thursday, it was exactly what the doctor ordered offensively for Seattle.
After a rain delay postponed the start, there was no effect on the scorching hot bats from the finale against NYY and Friday against the O’s.
Seattle scored six runs in the first four innings, where four of those came in the second. Tom Murphy had three of those six RBIs, coming on a sacrifice fly in the first and a 418-foot two-run homer well past the newly extended (length and height-wise) left field wall in the third off of Gibson.
Not only was the offense clicking, but so was the thin man, Logan Gilbert. He shoved for seven innings, allowing only two hits, striking out five.
A 6-0 lead for the M’s was lengthened in a big way in the eighth. Six straight RBI base hits, and the Seahawks were up on the Ravens by two touchdowns. An all-around throttling in the opener led to a 13-1 Seattle victory, their second in a row, and back to .500 on the season.
Saturday’s midday start featured Seattle rookie Bryce Miller up against righty Dean Kremer.
A very back-and-forth game throughout. Baltimore got the scoring going in the bottom of the first thanks to an RBI single by 2022 Mariner Adam Frazier. But Seattle responded with two of their own a half inning later thanks to solo shots by Mike Ford and J.P. Crawford, who returned to the lineup for the first time since the opening game in New York.
Baltimore’s Anthony Santander knotted it back up at two with a 415-foot solo home run in the bottom of the third.
Bryce Miller was only able to 4 1/3 innings, as his pitch count was nearing triple digits. Command was an issue for the rookie, as he walked three and gave up three on six hits.
It was Santander again for Baltimore in the fifth inning, this time an RBI single off of Matt Brash. But again, Seattle responded, thanks to 2023 Home Run Derby participant Julio Rodriguez, who took Kremer deep to start the sixth. Former-Yankee and switch-hitter Aaron Hicks put the O’s back up by one in the home sixth on his first home run from the right side of the dish this season.
Oddly enough, a few innings of scoreless baseball occurred, especially thanks to Julio who took a home run away from Ryan O’Hearn, and then in the blink of an eye, Mike Ford was facing tough closer Felix Bautista with two down in the ninth.
Ford wasted no time and hit his second solo home run of the game off of a Bautista 100-MPH fastball, tying it at four. The O’s couldn’t walk it off in the ninth, but after Seattle couldn’t push across a run in the start of extras, Ryan Mckenna, who was a defensive replacement late in the game, dug in against Justin Topa.
All Mckenna had to do was hit a base hit for the speedy Cedric Mullins to score from second, but he did none other than put one in the right field seats as the O’s walked it off to take Saturday’s thrilling game by a score of 6-4.
Rubber match Sunday, and it was George Kirby facing righty Kyle Bradish. Bradish, who had faced the M’s once last year as a starter, was coming off of a win against the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays. Kirby was looking to help the M’s take the series against a very good Baltimore squad before heading home.
Bottom one and the home run robber became the home run “robbee”. Julio smacked a 377-foot fly ball off of Bradish, which was surely heading into the right field seats, but was ultimately snagged by Anthony Santander to keep the game tied early.
But Seattle did get on the board first after all. Cal Raleigh joined Sam Haggerty and Ken Griffey Jr. (yes…those two Mariner legends) on Eutaw St. beyond Camden Yards. It was a two-run shot that was 114 off the bat and carried 422 feet to give Kirby and the M’s an early cushion.
But then that Santander guy dug in and produced yet again. He tied it up with a two-run dinger off of a George Kirby curveball in the third. In the home fifth, Anthony Bemboom, the O’s backup catcher, gave Baltimore the lead on a bloop single that kicked off of Jose Caballero’s glove in right field that scored the speedy Jorge Mateo all the way from first base.
Kirby went six plus innings, allowing just two earned runs (the other on Caballero’s error), and striking out four. Matt Brash and Gabe Speier worked well out of the bullpen, but the offense subsided Sunday with just three hits throughout the contest.
Bautista came in again for the O’s and struck out the side leading to a 3-2 Seattle loss. This concluded a 2-4 road trip, where Seattle scored 23 runs in the two wins and 15 in the four losses combined.
Saturday’s game against Baltimore is a very good representation of the Mariners’ season so far. A lot of back-and-forth, with tough breaks and weak offense leading to more losses than wins. The M’s are now again two games below .500, as they are travelling across the country back to sunny Seattle and T-Mobile Park.
They will welcome in the Washington Nationals beginning Monday night, who surprisingly rank sixth in the majors with a team batting average of .261, but rank near the bottom in team ERA and overall record. They are last in their division and second to last in the National League with a record of 29-47.
A must win series for Seattle before Tampa comes to town next weekend.
Pitching probables for WSH @ SEA:
- Monday 6/26, 6:40 PM: RHP Luis Castillo (4-6, 2.89 ERA) vs. RHP Trevor Williams (4-4, 4.14 ERA)
- Tuesday 6/27, 6:40 PM: RHP Bryan Woo (1-1, 5.09 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Irvin (1-4, 4.71 ERA)
- Wednesday 6/28, 1:10 PM: RHP Logan Gilbert (5-4, 4.07 ERA) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (4-9, 5.32 ERA)
A.L. West standings as of Sunday evening:
- 1.Texas Rangers (47-30)
- 2.Houston Astros (41-36), 6.0 GB
- 3.Los Angeles Angels (42-37), 6.0 GB
- 4.Seattle Mariners (37-39), 9.5 GB
- 5.Oakland Athletics (20-60), 1-9 in L10