Mariners Game Notes: Brad Miller to Make 1st Career Start in LF
The Seattle Mariners (15-18) will welcome the Boston Red Sox (16-18) to town on Thursday night in the opener of a 4-game weekend series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Roenis Elias (0-1, 3.86 ERA) will get the ball for the M’s tonight. Joe Kelly (1-2, 6.35 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Red Sox. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game locally, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch on connected devices.
Despite the loss last night, the Mariners still sit in 3rd place in the American League West. Seattle is 5.5 games back of the division leading Houston Astros, and 3.5 games back of the wildcard.
Mariners’ Skipper Lloyd McClendon and Red Sox manager John Farrell have released the following lineups for tonight’s game:
Brad Miller Makes First Career Start in LF
The order of the Mariners’ lineup is identical to the one they employed last night. However, while the order has not changed, there has been major shakeup in the outfield. Brad Miller will make his first career start in left field in tonight’s series opener. When I say first career start, I am talking all the way back to college for the former shortstop. It should be interesting to say the least.
I have faith in Brad Miller, but it seems unrealistic to excpect him to be anything more than competent after shifting to the outfield about a week ago. The 25-year-old lit it up at the plate last night, going 2 for 4 with a double and a home run while driving in both Mariners’ runs. I’m sure Crazy Legs is nervous right now, but a smooth transition to becoming a super utility player could make him an invaluable member of the team.
Nelson Cruz Posting Triple Crown Caliber Numbers
May 2, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Nelson Cruz (23) crosses the plate after hitting a home run during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
When the M’s inked Nelson Cruz to a 4 year $57 million dollar deal this winter, nobody could foresee such an incredible start to his Mariners’ career. The big guy is hitting .346 on the year with 15 home runs and 29 RBI’s. Those numbers have made the slugging right fielder the talk of baseball in 2015. Cruz is currently leading in 2 of the 3 Triple Crown categories, as his .346 batting average and 15 home runs are tops in the American League. The 34-year-old’s 29 runs batted in trail Oakland’s Stephen Vogt by just 1 run. Who knows what the rest of the season will hold, but it is pretty exciting to watch Nelson Cruz do work in the batters box.
Pick to Click
The Mariners are fortunate to have a number of hitters contributing consistently over the past week, but I am going to have go with Logan Morrison as my pick to click this evening against the Red Sox. LoMo has been the hottest hitter in baseball over the past 13 games, as he has posted a .375 batting average with 3 doubles, a triple, 5 home runs and 8 RBI’s. It is fair to expect a multi-hit performance from Morrison every time he puts on the uniform these days. LoMo has a career .286 average with a home run and 2 RBI’s against tonight’s starter Joe Kelly. I think Morrison will collect at least 2 hits tonight, with 1 being a big fly. He has been clutch for Seattle lately, and look for LoMo to drive in the game winning run late in the game on Thursday.
Final Score Prediction
The Red Sox and the Mariners have failed to live up the hype this season, and both enter play with a losing record. Roenis Elias and Joe Kelly have had their issues in their brief big league careers, and tonight could easily turn into a bullpen kind of game. I think there is a strong chance we could be treated to a high scoring affair. It will not be easy, but I predict the Mariners will pull away late, winning 8-5 in the series opener.
Be sure to check back with SoDo Mojo after the game tonight for a full recap of the Mariners’ victory. (Fingers crossed!)
Next: Mariners Editorials: A Day at Safeco Field
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