Mariners Game Notes: AJ Hitting Leadoff, Wilhelmsen Plays Catch


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The Seattle Mariners (6-9) will welcome the Minnesota Twins (6-9) for the opener of a 3-game series on Friday night at Safeco Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 tonight from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Felix Hernandez (2-0, 2.37 ERA) will try for his 3rd win of the season against the beleaguered Twinkies. Phil Hughes (0-3, 5.30 ERA) has had a miserable start to the season, but he will hope to get back on track in the series opener. Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on Root Sports Northwest, and subscribers can watch on connected devices.

The Seattle Mariners are inching their way back into contention in the American League West. The M’s are currently tied with the Texas Rangers for 4th place in the AL West. Seattle enters their weekend series with the Minnesota Twins 2.0 games back of the division leading Houston Astros.

Mariners’ skipper Lloyd McClendon and Twins’ manager Paul Molitor have released the following lineups for tonight’s opener:

Austin Jackson Back in the Leadoff Spot

McClendon opted to utilize Austin Jackson out of the no.2 hole during the past couple games, but he is once again penciled into the leadoff spot for tonight’s game in Seattle. I believe the M’s are at their best offensively when AJ is hitting at the top of the lineup. McClendon toyed with Dustin Ackley and Seth Smith hitting leadoff during the past 2 games, but Jackson’s plus speed sets him apart. I expect Jackson to do a great job setting the table for the Mariners’ 3, 4 and 5 hitters tonight against the Twins.

Tom Wilhelmsen Plays Catch

Tom Wilhelmsen has been out since April 13 with a hyper-extended elbow, however he appears to be on the road to recovery. According to Greg Johns of, the Bartender played catch today for the first time since sustaining the injury. Johns also notes that Wilhelmsen is expected to throw a bullpen session next weekend when Seattle is in Houston. If all goes according to plan, I would imagine the versatile reliever will be activated during the series in Anaheim against the Angels between May 4th and 6th.

Pick to Click

The M’s have had little trouble scoring runs in 2015, and I expect that trend to continue tonight against a struggling Phil Hughes. The heart of the Mariners’ lineup have accounted for much of the offense, but I am predicting a big game tonight from first baseman Logan Morrison. LoMo has been the victim of some awful luck at the plate this season. He has consistently hit the ball hard, and yet he sports a measly .176 batting average. Morrison has had a pair of homeruns robbed by acrobatic outfielders, but I believe tonight is the night he finally gets one over the wall. Look for LoMo to deposit a Hughes fastball into the right field seats at some point during tonight’s contest.

Final Score Prediction

King Felix has been phenomenal against the Twinkies over hi last 5 outings, and I cannot imagine this lackluster Twins lineup will cause many problems for the M’s ace tonight at Safeco Field. I expect the King will put on a dazzling performance in front of his loyal subjects in King’s Court. Phil Hughes has not pitched well during his first 3 starts in 2015, and I suspect the hot hitting Mariners will give him fits all night. I predict the M’s will blowout the Twins in tonight’s series opener, winning by a final score of 8-1.

Check back with SoDo Mojo following today’s game for a full recap of the Mariners’ victory over the Twins (fingers crossed!)

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