M’s, Yankees Split Four-Game Series in The Bronx

Seattle’s tough road swing began in Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. Their one win in the series was sandwiched by two losses. Didn’t get any easier as they commuted North to the Big Apple to take on the first-place New York Yankees for stop two of three on the trip.

Here’s how it all went down against Juan Soto, Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees.

Game one of four featured a seasoned-vet in Marcus Stroman and young right-hander Logan Gilbert. In his one other start in Yankee Stadium, Gilbert gave up six earned in the later half of 2022.

The Yankees broadcast team on YES Network was very confident going into the series opener, as New York had won seven consecutive ballgames going into Monday night. They mentioned that as long as Marcus Stroman was able to post a zero in the top half of the first against Josh Rojas, Julio Rodriguez, and Cal Raleigh, that the Yanks’ offense would get to work.

The over-confidence actually played out for New York. After Stroman got the M’s to go 1-2-3 in the first, New York indeed got to work, early. Logan beaned Anthony Volpe to lead off the game, and then Aaron Judge missed a two-run home run by a few feet but found himself at second with a double. Former-Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo laced a ball past Ty France into the right field corner, and in the blink of an eye, it was 2-0 Yankees.

Seattle couldn’t get anything going against Stroman. It was actually the first time this season that an opposing starting pitcher was able to go more than six innings. An impressive feat was accomplished Monday by Stroman.

NYY added one to their already two-run advantage thanks to Verdugo again in the fifth, who brought home Juan Soto for his third RBI of the game.

Seattle’s Luke Raley had the M’s only two hits off of Stroman until the eighth. It was Dominic Canzone who finally got ahold of one and belted a solo home run over Judge in center field, kicking Stroman out of the game.

Starting pitching lines Monday:

L. Gilbert: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, BB, K

M. Stroman: 7.1 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 6 K

New York added an insurance run off of Eduard Bazardo in bottom eight to again extend the gap to three runs. Not much hope was given to Seattle, especially with closer Clay Holmes lurking…

Seattle needed a rally and a half with three outs to play with. After Rojas grounded out to start the inning, Julio chopped an infield single. Cal Raleigh followed with a walk, and suddenly there was a glimmer of light. Luke Raley then chopped one himself over the head of Holmes, and his sneaky speed forced a throwing error by second baseman Gleyber Torres, where Julio scored on the play.

Now with two ducks on the pond, Mitch Haniger dug in with one out. Keep in mind here… Holmes hadn’t given up an earned run ALL SEASON.

Mitch, on a Holmes’ sweeper, parachuted a single in front of Judge and Soto, scoring the Big Dumper. With still just one out, a deep fly ball would score Raley who was at third, and it was Canzone’s turn after Dylan Moore walked.

On an inside slider, Dom cranked a 44-degree launch angle shot deep to right. He just missed a grand slam but did tie the game up with a sacrifice fly.

The improbable became quite possible. Seattle, down three going into the ninth tied it up, and they weren’t quite done. Ty France followed Canzone with a very Ty France-esque RBI single the other way and the M’s took the lead. A pitching change was made, and finally the ongoing rally was over after J.P. Crawford flew out to Judge in center.

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees

Ty France showed its not all about "Dad Strength". He went the other way, through the four-hole, to drive home Seattle's fifth run of the ninth inning Monday.Photo: Sarah Stier / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Now with a one-run advantage for the first time all night, it was up to “Senor Smoke”, Andres Munoz, facing Volpe (working on a 13-game hitting streak), Juan Soto and Aaron Judge…

Munoz got Volpe to go down on three pitches, but Soto singled to left, putting the game-winning run at the plate for the most-recent American League Player of the Week, Aaron Judge.

After ball one, Munoz went slider, slider, and 101-MPH fastball painted on the outer-half to get Judge. Two down, and the man with three of the Yankees’ four RBIs of the night stepped in. Andres, on the fifth pitch of the AB, got Verdugo to roll over to Dylan Moore at second base.

The win of the season to date, as Seattle shockingly stole the opener in dramatic fashion by a score of 5-4.

Game two of the four game stint in The Bronx showcased 24-year-old Bryan Woo making his third start of the season against Clarke Schmidt, who in his prior two starts, did not allow a single earned run over 14+ innings.

Utilityman Dylan Moore said to hell with the Schmidt shutout streak, and in the top half of the third, pulled an outside cutter 386 feet into the left field seats. With Josh Rojas aboard, this two-run homer gave Seattle the lead, as Woo was dealing.

Bryan Woo, with his family in attendance, was dominant Tuesday. Just two hits, and seven strikeouts over six shutout innings in his first ever start in the concrete jungle.

Top seven, and it was Ty France who lengthened the then-two-run lead to three on his fifth home run of the season, a solo blast to left. Then Dylan Moore checked in again with a two-out RBI single later in the inning.

Woo was taken out of his third start of 2024 after 77 pitches, and then things got interesting. Lefty Gabe Speier walked Judge and hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch. Righty Trent Thornton relieved Speier, but after getting Giancarlo Stanton to pop out to Cal behind the dish, he left a full-count fastball right in Gleyber Torres’ wheelhouse.

4-0 Seattle became 4-3 Seattle on one swing of the bat.

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees

New York's Gleyber Torres knew it off the bat. His three-run home run on Tuesday got the Yankees right back into the game.Photo: Sarah Stier / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

After the M’s got out of bottom seven, Luke “Nuke” Raley wasted no time adding on some insurance after NYY made it a one-run game. On the first pitch he saw from left-hander Clayton Andrews, Raley deposited it into the short porch in right.

Ryne Stanek’s name was called to get through the eighth, and he did such that against the meat of the Yankees’ order.

Tuesday was a Dylan Moore masterclass. In the top of the ninth, D-Mo hit his second home run of the night, and his fourth RBI, on a solo home run the other way.

Munoz again got the nod in another save opportunity. After two quick outs, the Yankees put two on via a single and a walk. With the game-tying run at the plate, Andres got Oswaldo Cabrera to punch out swinging and Seattle won their second game in a row over a team that hadn’t lost two in a row at home all season. Final from Tuesday: SEA 6, NYY 3.

No one said that it’d be easy to take the series from New York, in New York. But after two wins in a row against the team with the best record in the American League, Seattle looked to make it three-straight with Bryce Miller against “Nasty” Nestor Cortes.

Miller was hit hard, especially in B1 by, you guessed it, Aaron Judge. After Anthony Volpe reached on a dribbler infield single, Judge crushed his 14th of the season the opposite way. It was his eighth home run against Seattle in the last 13 games… The Yanks got out to an early two-run lead.

Seattle made Nestor Cortes throw a boat-load of pitches, and early, but could not capitalize on any runs. A combination of that, and current-MVP favorite Juan Soto cranking his 12th home run of the year in third was not ideal for the first-place Mariners. Matters got worse as Soto replicated his home run hitting style in the bottom of the sixth, again off of Miller. This gave the Bronx Bombers a 5-0 lead.

Nestor Cortes was able to complete five innings despite the high pitch count. He did not give up a run and punched out six. Bryce Miller went six complete, allowing five ER on the three combined homers.

Seattle found their glimmer of hope late Wednesday. Following Cortes was Tommy Kahnle, then Michael Tonkin out of the Yankees’ bullpen. Tonkin walked J.P. Crawford and Mitch Garver to put two on for the Big Dumper. Manager Aaron Boone made another pitching change ahead of Cal, but it made no difference for the powerful catcher. He mashed a lower-half changeup 109 MPH off the barrel into the right field seats, and suddenly the M’s were only down two. Could this be another miraculous come-from-behind win like Monday?

Well, NYY got some insurance back against Seattle’s Austin Voth. The Yanks’ fourth home run of the night came courtesy of Alex Verdugo, re-extending the New York lead to four on a two-run blast.

The Mariners went down 1-2-3 in their last ups and fell for the first time in the series by a score of 7-3.

Looking to grab the series win Thursday morning, Seattle’s Luis Castillo faced off against young right-hander Luis Gil.

For the vast majority of the first three games, Seattle’s offense was nowhere to be found. That occurred to be the case again throughout the series finale.

It was the Yankees who got on the board first again. This time, it was Giancarlo Stanton who obliterated a Castillo four-seamer almost 450 feet, landing above “Monument Park” in center. His right-hand man Aaron judge followed in the next inning with a solo nuke as well, 111-MPH off the bat, into the Yankee bullpen. New York again had an early 2-0 advantage.

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees

These two pictured above combined for 859 feet of pure muscle on Thursday. It was Giancarlo Stanton's 12th, and Aaron Judge's 15th home run on the season.Photo: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

J.P. had a single in the top of the fourth. That alone was the M’s offensive highlight through eight of the nine innings Thursday. 2x All-Star & Silver Slugger Julio Rodriguez was moved to sixth in the batting order ahead of the finale. He finished the ballgame 0-4 with two K’s. Though the base hits have been there for J-Rod (on occasion), he is slugging just .306 … which ranks in the bottom 15 for qualified hitters this season.

Luis’ day was done after five innings. He was wild, walking three, allowing two earned runs on the two solo home runs early in the game. Outside of Andres Munoz this series (and as of late), the M’s bullpen has been scuffling. That was again the way things shook out Thursday at Yankee Stadium. Trent Thornton and Gabe Speier, who followed Castillo, gave up three combined on four hits.

Seattle mustered off just three hits throughout the contest and got shutout 5-0.

Going into Baltimore and New York, would you have taken 3-4 in those seven games?

Well lucky for the M’s, their in-division rival, and 2023 World Champion winners, the Texas Rangers, were swept away by the Philadelphia Phillies, and have allowed Seattle to stay atop the West.

One more stop on the east coast road trip… Washington DC. The Nationals will play host to Seattle for three beginning Friday afternoon in the nation’s capital. Jesse Winker, CJ Abrams and the Nat’s find themselves in third place in the NL East. They are coming off of a series loss at home against the Minnesota Twins.

George Kirby will get the start Friday, Logan Gilbert on Saturday, and Bryan Woo gets the nod in the finale Sunday before the M’s head back to the PNW.

American League West standings as of Thursday 5/23 @ 2:00 PM PT:

  1. Seattle Mariners (27-24), -- GB
  2. Texas Rangers (24-27), 3.0 GB
  3. Houston Astros (22-28), 4.5 GB
  4. Los Angeles Angels (20-30), 6.5 GB
  5. Oakland Athletics (20-31), 7.0 GB

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