Mariners Game Notes: Taylor Starts at SS, Kuma Shut Down


The Seattle Mariners (14-17) will play host to the San Diego Padres (17-16) on Tuesday night at Safeco Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. James Paxton (0-2, 5.08 ERA) will be charged with extending the Mariners’ winning streak to 4 games on this evening. Veteran right-hander Ian Kennedy (2-1, 5.03 ERA) will get the ball for the Padres in the series opener. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and subscribers can watch on connected devices.

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The Mariners played some quality ball this past weekend, and their ascent in the American League West has been staggering. The M’s have climbed all the way up to 3rd place in the AL West. Seattle trails the division leading Houston Astros by 5.5 games.

Mariners’ Skipper Lloyd McClendon and Padres’ boss Bud Black have released the following lineups for tonight’s series opener:

Chris Taylor Back at SS

Chris Taylor jammed his right pinky during Saturday night’s game, and subsequently missed Sunday’s series finale. Brad Miller got the start at shortstop against the Oakland A’s on Sunday afternoon, but Chris Taylor will play short tonight against the Padres. Taylor did a great job for Seattle in his rookie campaign, but he has failed to impress through his first 5 starts in 2015. He enters play tonight hitting .167. He is widely regarded as a plus fielder, but he has been just average with the leather since his call-up last week. With Taylor back at shortstop, Miller is once again hitting second and being used as the designated hitter on Tuesday.

Hisashi Iwakuma Shut Down

The Mariners placed Hisashi Iwakuma on the 15-day disabled list on April 23 with a lat strain. He was originally expected to miss 2-4 weeks, but according to Greg Johns of, Kuma is not progressing the way Seattle had hoped.

Iwakuma has been downright awful this season; allowing at least 4 earned runs in his first 3 outings. The Mariners are not going to rush the veteran right-hander back, and I think that is wise. He needs to recuperate his body and his mind before donning a Mariners’ uniform. I would not be surprised if Kuma does not return before mid-June.

Pick to Click

Apr 26, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter Seth Smith (7) rounds the bases after hitting solo home run in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Safeco Field. Minnesota beat Seattle 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners received solid contributions up and down their lineup and pitching staff this past weekend. There are a few candidates for tonight’s game. However, I am going to go with Seth Smith. The Mariners acquired Smith from the Padres this offseason, and I am calling for a big game against his former team. Smith hit .364 this weekend against the A’s with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Smith has had the most success of any Mariner against Ian Kennedy, posting a .300 batting average and adding a home run. I think he will go 2 for 4 with 2 RBI’s hitting leadoff for the M’s tonight. I predict at least 1 of Smith’s hits tonight will go for extra-bases.

Final Score Prediction

This weekend, the Mariners played the way we all expected they would this season. Unfortunately, the past 3 games may have been the first time the M’s lived up to the hype in 2015. Hopefully the good play continues this week against the San Diego Padres. A strong outing from James Paxton will be crucial tonight for Seattle. The Padres are a good hitting ball club, and Paxton has not looked like himself in the early going this season. However, Pax-man has posted a 2.41 ERA over his last 3 starts. I think he will have another successful outing tonight, and the M’s will cruise to a 5-2 victory in the series opener.

Next: Mariners Host 'Vedder Cup' With Padres

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