M's Still Searching for First Series win of '24 Following Trip to Milwaukee

It’s been a rough go for the Mariners here early into the season. Their #1-projected starting rotation has been below average, the offense continues to scuffle out of the gates and the defensive strength and confidence is also as low as it has been in quite some time.

Certainly does not help that names like Jarred Kelenic (.625 BA, 1.479 OPS), Teoscar Hernandez (4 HR, 14 RBI), and Eugenio Suarez (.353 BA, 7 RBI) are absolutely smoking the baseball for their new teams.

If you’re looking for good news about your favorite team here in the PNW, I can’t even recommend looking elsewhere because it’s been an avalanche of poor ball. But with that said, if you missed any of the last three days where the Mariners visited American Family Field for the first part of their first road swing of the season, here’s how it all went down.

Friday night featured Logan Gilbert, coming off a strong first start, against hard-throwing Freddy Peralta. The now 27-year-old Peralta, signed with the Mariners as an international free agent back in spring of 2013 out of Moca, Dominican Republic. He was traded to Milwaukee in 2015, and has climbed through their farm to become a staple part of the Brewers’ rotation.

The game started in very typical 2024 Seattle Mariner-fashion. Peralta struck out four of the first seven he faced.

The Brewers jumped out to an early lead off of Gilbert in the bottom of the second. Shortstop Willy Adames cranked a hanging Gilbert slider the opposite way for a solo home run. Later in the inning, third baseman Joey Ortiz doubled home Sal Frelick and the Crew were up two after two.

It was hard for Seattle to get anything going offensively until later in the ballgame. Up until that point, rookie Oliver Dunn for the Brewers hit his first-career home run in the bottom of the fourth.

Top six is when the bats came to life for the M’s. After J.P. Crawford singled and Julio Rodriguez was hit by a Peralta fastball, outfielder Mitch Haniger singled home Crawford. Mitch Garver sacrifice flew home Julio and Cal Raleigh scored Haniger on a 110-MPH EV single off the base of the right field fence, tying the game at three apiece.

2018 National League MVP Christian Yelich destroyed another one of Logan Gilbert’s sliders 431 feet in the home sixth to give the Brewers lead again in the following half inning, 4-3.

Seattle Mariners v Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee's Christian Yelich crushed his third home run of 2024 off of Seattle's Logan Gilbert Friday night. Photo: John Fisher / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Neither starter could quite complete six full innings. Here were their lines:

  • L. Gilbert: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, BB, 7 K
  • Peralta: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, BB, 7 K

After Gilbert’s exit, it was Cody Bolton and Ryne Stanek out of the ‘pen. Bottom eight and Milwaukee strung together base hit after base hit off of Stanek, and eventually grew their advantage to two runs.

Last ups for Seattle down two runs came against hard-throwing reliever Abner Uribe. Surprisingly, he was no match for utility man Dylan Moore (line drive single), recent call-up Samad Taylor (sharp ground ball single) and platoon third baseman Luis Urias (RBI double). Julio brought home Taylor on a fielder’s choice and Seattle tied it in the ninth.

Manager Scott Servais turned to Andrez Munoz in an attempt to force Friday night into extras. Munoz was shockingly wild, which is quite uncharacteristic of him. He walked Frelick on five pitches, Jake Bauers on six pitches, and Brice Turang on five pitches.

In the blink of an eye, the bases were loaded with Brewers, and the winning run was 90 feet away with no outs in the inning. Munoz struck out rookie Jackson Chourio, but then walked home the winning run after five pitches to catcher William Contreras. It was certainly not Munoz’s best night to any of his normally-high standards as he walked four in the inning and the Brewers took game one by a score of 6-5.

Bryce Miller got the nod in the middle game Saturday night. His competition was lefty DL Hall, making his career first start against Seattle. It was also Miller’s first against the Brewers.

After two scoreless on both sides, Seattle got to work in the top of the third. Samad Taylor used his plus-speed to push bunt his way aboard, followed by a bloop J.P. single. Julio drove in Taylor on a single up the middle, which was his second hit of the game. Jorge Polanco scored Crawford via a force out on an attempted inning-ending double play. Garver laced a single off of Oliver Dunn at third and Seattle was up three.

It was Miller time on Saturday in Milwaukee, as Bryce was brewing up punch-outs and scoreless innings - one of, if not, his best-career MLB starts. Miller shoved for seven complete innings, allowing just three base hits, no runs and striking out seven. He was pulled by Scott after just 78 pitches.

Seattle Mariners v Milwaukee Brewers

25-year-old Bryce Miller got it done, and then some, for Seattle Saturday. He lowered his ERA to 3.00 on the season following start No. 2 of 2024.Photo: John Fisher / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Jorge Polanco, in the eighth, demolished his first home run in a Mariners’ uniform: 418 feet, 107 MPH off the bat, giving Seattle a 4-0 lead.

After Miller’s exit was when things got interesting. Austin Voth came in for relieving duties and automatically gave up a base hit and a home run to Chourio. Gabe Speier replaced Voth before he could get out of the inning, and with the bases loaded, allowed a deep sacrifice fly to Rhys Hoskins. It appeared as if Hoskins was just under the pitch, and if he had connected a tad better, it would have been a grand slam. Trent Thornton came into the high leverage two-out situation and got Ortiz to roll over on a ground ball to J.P. Crawford at short.

Now a one-run game, Seattle looked for a little breathing room in the top of the ninth. They received it thanks to Luis Urias’ first Mariner home run off of a changeup low and away.

5-3 was the score and Scott again turned to Munoz to close it out. Lucky for Andres, it couldn’t get any worse than the night before. He made quick work of the Brewers in the home ninth, going 1-2-3 with a game-ending strikeout. Thanks to Bryce Miller and the bats, Seattle won Saturday’s affair, and looked for their first series win of the season Sunday.

It was Emerson Hancock against veteran right-hander Colin Rea in the series finale at American Family Field Sunday.

Offense occurred early for both sides. Seattle jumped out to an early one-run lead thanks to a Jorge Polanco RBI single that scored J-Rod. Then in the bottom half of the first, the Brewers put up three on an RBI single by former-Mariner Jake Bauers and a double that scored two Brewers by Sal Frelick. The M’s got back within one on a Josh Rojas RBI single, scoring Dylan Moore in the second inning.

The Brewers were not done, or anywhere near it as a matter of fact. In the home second, they put up four more, capitalized by a William Contreras two-run blast. It was the 2023 NL Silver Slugger’s first home run of the season.

Seattle Mariners v Milwaukee Brewers

William Contreras had himself quite the series against Seattle: 7/12, 2 HR, 6 RBI. Here he is receiving high-fives in the dugout after home run one of two Sunday afternoon. Photo: John Fisher / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

A triple, RBI single and solo home run in the bottom of the fourth ended Emerson’s day on the bump. Plenty of loud contact off of Hancock throughout his start: Just 3 1/3 innings, 11 hits resulting in eight earned runs.

At this point the game was out of reach, especially with how bad the M’s offense has been to begin 2024. The Brewers continued to add insult to injury and put up a whopping 12 runs total in the game.

Final from Sunday – MIL 12, SEA 4.

Following their third consecutive series loss to start the season, here’s how Seattle ranks in team categories. Warning, it is ugly:

  • Offense - Runs: 25th, HRs: 25th, Strikeouts: 28th, Batting Average: 24th, OBP & SLG: 28th
  • Pitching – Hits & Runs: 23rd, HRs: 23rd, ERA: 24th

At 4-6 through the first ten games, Seattle heads north of the border to face off with the Toronto Blue Jays. The two teams set to play three games starting Monday have had very similar starts where the Jays rank in the bottom third in most categories, much like their friends from Seattle.

Pitching probables for SEA @ TOR:

  • Monday, April 8th 4:07 PM PST: RHP Luis Castillo (0-2, 6.75 ERA) vs. RHP Jose Berrios (1-0, 2.25 ERA)
  • Tuesday April 9th, 4:07 PM PST: RHP George Kirby (1-1, 5.23 ERA) vs. RHP Chris Bassit (0-2, 7.71 ERA)
  • Wednesday April 10th, 12:07 PM PST: RHP Logan Gilbert (0-0, 3.55 ERA) vs. LHP Yusei Kikuchi (0-1, 2.79 ERA)

American League West standings as of Sunday April 7th, (prior to conclusion of HOU/TEX Sunday):

  1. Texas Rangers (6-2), -- GB
  2. Los Angeles Angels (5-4), 1.5 GB
  3. Seattle Mariners (4-6), 3.0 GB
  4. Oakland Athletics (3-7), 4.0 GB
  5. Houston Astros (2-7), 4.5 GB

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