Mariners Game Notes: M’s go for Series Win in Baltimore

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The Seattle Mariners (18-21) will look to take the series this afternoon in the rubber match of their 3-game series against the Baltimore Orioles (17-20). First pitch is scheduled for 9:35 am PT Thursday morning from Oriole Park at Camden Yards. J.A. Happ (3-1, 2.98 ERA) will look of this 4th win of the young season when he gets the ball tomorrow. Chris Tillman (2-5, 6.34 ERA) always seems to pitch well against his former organization, and he will toe the rubber for the O’s in the series finale. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live, and MLB.tv Subscribers can watch on connected devices.

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The Mariners’ huge win last night allowed them to stay competitive in the American League West. Seattle currently sits in 3rd place, 8.0 games back of the division leading Houston Astros.

Mariners’ Skipper Lloyd McClendon and Orioles boss Buck Showalter have released the following lineups for today’s finale:

Brad Miller is back in the M’s starting lineup this afternoon after being relegated to pinch hit duties a night ago. The reigning American League Player of the Week will hit 2nd for Seattle, and make his 2nd career start in left field. Seth Smith was given a night off on Wednesday, but he is playing right field and hitting leadoff for the M’s today. Fans’ patience is wearing thin with Dustin Ackley, but he too is back in the starting lineup after sitting out last night. Ackley is hitting just .186 on the season, but he has held his own defensively in center field.

Welington Castillo Makes Mariners’ Debut

The M’s and Chicago Cubs completed a controversial trade on Monday morning that saw Yoervis Medina headed to the Windy City in exchange for Welington Castillo. The 28-year-old backstop was serving as the Cubbies 3rd string catcher prior to the deal. Castillo will get the chance to make a strong first impression on Mariners’ fans this afternoon in Baltimore. The Mariners’ new backup catcher sports a dismal .163 batting average across 43 at bats this season, but much of his action has come as a pinch hitter. Castillo struggles with calling games for pitchers, so it will be interesting to track the performance of the M’s staff today.

I am not a fan of the trade, but hopefully Castillo can prove to be a valuable member of this team as they attempt to get back into playoff contention.

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, I should be Snoring

It hardly seems reasonable for David Letterman to call it a career the night before the M’s play a 9:35 am PT game. It was well worth it to see a legend hang up his microphone, but I am going to need about 8 cups of coffee to get myself going today. The Late Show extended deep into the night, and this morning Mariners’ fans were greeted with the news that it is raining in Baltimore. It hardly seems likely the game will be postponed, as they have all afternoon and evening to play the game. However, The Weather Network is calling for light rain all day, and fans should expect delays.

Pick to Click

Apr 29, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman

Logan Morrison

(20) bats during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners’ were sparked by Justin Ruggiano last night, as he contributed a pair of extra base hits, including a long ball, and drove in 2 key runs. The M’s also received contributions from Mike Zunino and Chris Taylor on Wednesday night. I am hoping to see another strong collective effort today from the Mariners’ sticks, but look for Logan Morrison to break out of his 2 for 17 slump in glorious fashion. LoMo has a flair for the dramatic and I am calling for a go ahead homer in the late innings for the soon to be baby daddy. Morrison is the heart of the M’s lineup, and getting him rolling again will be important moving forward.

Final Score Prediction

Seattle has been playing their best ball of the year over the last couple weeks, winning 7 of their last 11 games, and hopefully that continues this afternoon in Maryland. On paper, the M’s have a big advantage in the pitching department. J.A. Happ has been a huge surprise this season, and Chris Tillman has been awful. That being said, Tillman has a strong track record of success in the big leagues, and you know he wants to pitch well against his former organization. I think we will be treated to another nail bitter with the M’s squeaking out a 4-3 win in the series finale.

Next: Mariners Game Recap: Elias, Ruggiano Combine to Lead M's Past O's

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