Sunny, Swift and a Series Win Against Toronto in Seattle

Despite the loss on Sunday afternoon, momentum was on the M’s side these past couple of days. The questions remain though… Will this series win against (rivals?) a really good Toronto team be the jolt Seattle needs to progress past hovering around the .500 mark? If the M’s get hot on the road trip, are they sellers, buyers or neutral before the August 1st trade deadline?

The road trip kicks off Monday evening in the twin cities. Three against the Twins, three in scorching hot Phoenix to face the Diamondbacks for the first time since September of 2021, and then back home at the end of July.

Before we look ahead, here’s an in-depth recap of all three 42,000+ American and Canadian-attended games inside of beautiful T-Mobile Park.

Rookie Bryce Miller stood tall on the mound in game one against the Blue Jays. His competition was former Mariner, lefty Yusei Kikuchi.

Miller struck out six to keep Toronto off the board through the first four innings. It was Danny Jansen’s solo home run off of Bryce in the fifth that got the scoring going Friday.

The young righty’s day was done after 5 1/3 innings, where he allowed just the one run on the solo shot and striking out six Blue Jays. Following Miller was a parade of M’s relievers, and first out was Justin Topa.

Prelander Berroa, making his MLB debut was thrown into the fire right away. With one on, and two outs, Berroa spiked an off speed pitch to Tom Murphy behind the dish, who couldn’t handle it, and Daulton Varsho scampered home to lengthen the lead for Toronto. Seattle did respond for the first time in the bottom of the seventh.

Facing former Mariner Erik Swanson, Mike Ford blooped a single into left field that scored Ty France. Unfortunately for Seattle, yet predictable, they only managed to score the one run despite having two runners in scoring position with no outs.

Following Berroa, it was lefty Taylor Saucedo trying to get out of a jam in the eighth. He did that and more, getting pinch hitter Alejandro Kirk to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the bases-loaded Blue Jays’ threat.

Seattle carried the momentum of a shaking T-Mobile Park in the bottom half, where Tom Murphy scored all the way from first on a Ty France double into the corner in left field. It was up to Paul Sewald to get it to the ninth at the same tied score. He got AL-batting leader Bo Bichette to strike out, and it was up to the Seattle bats to win it in the bottom of the ninth.

Jose Caballero walked on four pitches. J.P. sacrificed his at-bat to bunt Jose to second. Julio was intentionally walked, and it was up to Teoscar Hernandez against his team from last season. On the first pitch he saw from Jordan Romano, Teo laced a 104-MPH line drive over George Springer’s outstretched arms to score Jose from second. A storybook ending for a game Seattle didn’t have much life in until the last three innings. Final from Friday: SEA 3, TOR 2.

Toronto Blue Jays v Seattle Mariners

Paul Sewald, Tom Murphy, and Cal Raleigh express their emotions after Teoscar Hernandez won it in the ninth on a walk off base hit against his former team Friday night.Photo: Steph Chambers / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

T-Swift Saturday was upon Seattle. A midday matinee inside, once again, of a jam-packed T-Mobile Park. The thin man, Logan Gilbert toed the slab against righty Kevin Gausman.

Both Logan and Gausman went 1-2-3 in the first two innings. That run was over in the bottom of the third, as the Blue Jay-killer Cal Raleigh dug in. He mashed a 1-1, lower-half fastball over the fence in right center. Not wasting a pitch, it was Dylan Moore who skyrocketed a middle-middle fastball off the top of the left field foul pole to extend the lead. Fast forward a few outs in the inning and it was Julio Rodriguez who received the invite to the third inning home run party. J-Rod smacked a Gausman splitter off of the out-of-town score board above the bullpens. Three solo shots had Seattle up three after three.

Toronto did reply with one of their own in the fourth, thanks to Matt Chapman’s base hit that scored Vladdy Jr.

The third inning wasn’t the only three home run inning. Toronto accomplished the challenge in the top half of the fifth inning, it was Kevin Kiermaier, Brandon Belt (two-run) and Vladdy Jr that mashed dingers off of Gilbert. This gave the Jays a 5-3 lead.

It was time for the second dump of the afternoon. Cal Raleigh’s second home run of the ballgame came in the fifth. It was his 14th of the season, and now in 13 games versus the team north of the border, Raleigh’s home run total was eight after Saturday’s matchup.

Toronto Blue Jays v Seattle Mariners

Ty France cools Cal Raleigh off postgame on a warm Seattle Saturday afternoon. Photo: Alika Jenner / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Lefty Gabe Speier was called from the ‘pen to follow Gilbert. Logan was hit around a bit, giving up five earned runs over five innings, striking out five.

The Jays put up two more in the seventh on singles by Daulton Varsho and Alejandro Kirk off of Matt Brash and rookie Isaiah Campbell. The away team was not the only team to put up numbers in the seventh inning.

After Ty France was hit by a pitch from Nate Pearson, Dylan Moore doubled to put two in scoring position with one out. Hawaii-native Kolten Wong ripped an RBI single to right. He then stole second with J.P. Crawford at the dish, who dribbled a double just fair past the sliding Guerrero Jr at first base. This scored Moore and Wong, tying the game at seven.

Yimi Garcia replaced Pearson in the seventh for Toronto, but that didn’t slow down the Mariners’ momentum. J-Rod was hit by a 95-MPH sinker on Garcia’s first pitch, and once again it was up to former-Jay Teo Hernandez. The right fielder lined a sharp shot into the left field corner, scoring J.P. from second and Julio from first, who was able to just slide in safely, giving Seattle a two-run advantage. Teo let out a big emotional scream as he was the hero for the second straight game.

Justin Topa was in for the save Saturday, where after giving up a run on a Cavan Biggio single, he got George Springer to ground out to Wong at second to end the thrilling game by a score of 9-8.

Sunny Sunday finale, as Seattle was looking to sweep the Blue Jays. Rookie Bryan Woo against the ever-so-struggling Alek Menoah.

It was Big Mike Ford who got the scoring going Sunday afternoon. His two-run moonshot off of the Hit It Here Café gave Seattle an early two-run lead. This was Ford’s fifth home run in the month of July, as he continues to settle in as the everyday Designated Hitter for the M’s.

Woo got out to a wonderful start, striking out five through three 1-2-3 innings. It was smooth sailing for the rookie until the fourth, where Vlad Jr scorched an opposite field, two-run homer to knot it up at two.

With the bases loaded and one out in the next Toronto at-bats, Woo got George Springer to dribble a comebacker, starting a 1-2-3 double play. He was as animated as M’s fans have seen out of the young man, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, in the sixth, it was the veteran Brandon Belt who homered for the second straight game. A dinger in just 1/3 of the ballparks around the league, but nevertheless, it gave Toronto a one-run advantage.

Toronto Blue Jays v Seattle Mariners

Brandon Belt and Luis Rivera acknowledge each other after Belt's home run off of Seattle's Bryan Woo Sunday afternoon.Photo: Alika Jenner / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Dylan Moore off of lefty Tim Mayza, pinch hitting for recently re-called Taylor Trammell, brought home catcher Cal Raleigh in the seventh to again tie it up.

Taylor Saucedo came in for Woo after he walked Whit Merrifield to start the seventh. Unfortunately, that runner came around and scored on single by pinch hitter Santiago Espinal. Woo’s final line: 6 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, BB, 7 K.

The Mariners had multiple chances to re-tie and even win this game in the seventh and ninth. With Julio on at second in the seventh, old friend Erik Swanson got Eugenio Suarez to strike out swinging and Teo to pop out to George Springer. In the ninth, the M’s had two in scoring position with one away, where closer Jordan Romano struck out Julio, and ended it after Geno flew out to left. A tough loss to end an exciting series as the Jays took the finale by a score of 4-3.

Up next is a rematch with the Minnesota Twins, but this time at Target Field in Minneapolis. Expect another strikeout palooza for the next three days beginning tomorrow evening/night.

Pitching probables for SEA @ MIN:

  • Monday 7/24, 4:40 PM PT: RHP Luis Castillo (6-7, 3.04 ERA) vs. RHP Kenta Maeda (2-5, 5.10 ERA)
  • Tuesday 7/25, 4:40 PM PT: RHP George Kirby (9-8, 3.23 ERA) vs. RHP Pablo Lopez (5-6, 4.22 ERA)
  • Wednesday 7/26, 10:10 AM PT: RHP Bryce Miller (6-3, 3.50 ERA) vs. RHP Joe Ryan (9-6, 3.88 ERA)

American League West standings as of 5:00 PM Sunday:

  • 1.Texas Rangers (59-41)
  • 2.Houston Astros (56-44), 3.0 GB
  • 3.Los Angeles Angels (51-49), 8.0 GB
  • 4.Seattle Mariners (50-49), 8.5 GB
  • 5.Oakland Athletics (28-74), 32.0 GB

Check out the “Talkin ‘Ners with Rory and Ders” podcast. More in-depth series recaps, trade deadline talk, Ohtani watch and more! Available wherever you listen to podcasts:

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