Mariners Game Recap: Whoa Nelly, M’s Win

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62. Final. 1. 14. 2

The Seattle Mariners (16-19) won in walk-off fashion on Friday night, winning 2-1 against the Boston Red Sox (17-19). Tom Wilhelmsen (1-0, 2.84 ERA) was credited with the win after hurling 2 shutout innings. Tommy Lane (0-1, 3.60 ERA) took the loss after allowing the winning run to reach base in the final frame.

The Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels both won tonight, but the M’s were able to keep pace in the American League West by topping the Sox tonight. Seattle remains in 3rd place, 6.5 games back of the AL West leading Astros.

J.A. Happ has proved to be one of the best offseason pickups in the league. After producing mediocre results during his first 8 seasons, Happ has been the Mariners’ second best starter in 2015. He had yet another quality outing tonight, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits across 7 innings. The 32-year-old southpaw fanned 3 Red Sox and walked 1. His command was not perfect, but 68 of his 103 pitches found the strike zone on Friday night.

Tom Wilhelmsen allowed a pair of hits in his 2.0 innings of work, but he managed to keep the Sox off the scoreboard. The bartender struck out 1 and walked none tonight en route to earning his first win of the season. Friday’s appearance was just his 3rd since being activated from the 15-day disabled list, but he appears to be back at full strength for Seattle. Wilhelmsen is the Swiss army knife in the Mariners’ bullpen, and the club is stronger with him around.

Clay Buchholz was filthy tonight, and his pitching was not bad either. The 30-year-old right-hander dazzled tonight, hurling 8 innings of 1 run ball. He scattered 3 hits while tallying 11 punch outs. Thankfully for Buchholz, his pitching was much better than his hair. A solo home run was his lone blemish.

May 15, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Nelson Cruz (23) is carried off the field by first baseman Logan Morrison (20) after hitting a walk-off RBI-single against the Boston Red Sox during the ninth inning at Safeco Field. Seattle defeated Boston, 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners were stymied over the first 5 innings, but Seth Smith got Seattle on the board in the bottom of the 5th. Smith has been key to the M’s success this season, and tonight he clubbed a solo home run to tie the game.

Brad Miller extended his hitting streak to 4 games by beating out an infield hit in the home half of the 9th inning. One batter later, Nelson Cruz stepped to the plate and delivered a game-winning RBI double into the left-center field gap. It is fitting that Cruz was the hero tonight, as he has been the best player in the sport over the first 6 weeks of the season.

Last season, Seattle relied heavily on a historic performance from their pitching staff and timely hitting. This season has been a different story. It seems like the 2015 incarnation has struggled to fire on all cylinders. The team has still not played a complete game, but lately they are playing well enough to win most nights. If the starting pitching can remain steady, a deep October run is still possible.

The Seattle Mariners (16-19) will host the Boston Red Sox (17-19) again on Saturday night at Safeco Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 pm tomorrow night from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Felix Hernandez (6-0, 1.85 ERA) will hope to keep his spotless record in tact as he toes the rubber for the M’s. Veteran right-hander, Rick Porcello (3-2, 4.50 ERA) will be on the bump for Boston on Saturday evening. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch on connected devices.

Next: Mariners Game Notes: Start Time, Lineups and More

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