Mariners Game Notes: M’s Look to Lock up Winning Series, Road Trip
Apr 29, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Austin Jackson (16) bats during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The Seattle Mariners (21-23) look to secure a second straight series victory and a winning road trip tonight, taking on the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays (24-22) in game two of this three game series. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 pm PT from Tropicana Field in Saint Petersburg Florida. J.A. Happ (3-1 3.61 ERA) will get the ball for the Seattle Mariners, coming off his rain shortened start in Baltimore, where he gave up four earned runs in just two innings. The Rays will try and square up the series by sending out Álex Colomé (3-1 4.81 ERA), who in his last start he was very effective against the Oakland A’s, pitching five strong innings of four hit ball, while giving up no runs in the process. This game will be live broadcasted by Root Sports Northwest, and can also be watched anywhere in the country with an MLB.tv subscription.
The Mariners come into this game winning three of their last four ballgames, including last night’s series opening victory that saw timely hitting and great pitching. The Mariners are 6-4 in their past ten games, and have won 10 of their past 16 games, so they’re starting to play the kind of baseball we expected at the beginning of the season. That said, they still sit in fourth place in the AL west, trailing the first place Houston Astros by seven games. The Mariners will also look to inch closer to the .500 mark, something they haven’t been since they were 3-3 back on April 12th.
Welcome back Austin Jackson! A huge boost for the Mariners at the top of their lineup, especially considering the rehab stint, he had in Triple A with the Tacoma Rainiers. The Mariners are again going with five lefties in the lineup, with Brad Miller moving from the two hole back down to the eight spot, where he has been for most of the year. This isn’t because he has been underperforming lately, but more of the fact that Austin Jackson is back. He will also be in left field again tonight, as he showcased good range and even a decent arm from the outfield last night. One thing I didn’t like seeing with the lineup is Welington Castillo in the lineup for Mike Zunino, especially after Mike at his best at bat of the season in his final plate appearance last night, working the count before sitting back and hitting a towering home run on a breaking pitch, one that last year he would’ve had no chance on. Get used to seeing this lineup, because with Austin Jackson back, I think this is a lineup you will see often from M’s manager Lloyd McClendon, interchanging Mike Zunino and Welington Castillo as he sees best fit.
Pick To Click:
May 25, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) celebrates with pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Robinson Cano treated me well last night, going 2-4 with a couple RBIs just like I predicted. So, why not hop on board again? I talked a little bit yesterday about how well Robinson Cano has hit at Tropicana Field (In his Yankees days he played here quite a bit) and he’s 1-1 off Álex Colomé lifetime. I’ve got Robinson Cano going 3-5 tonight with a couple RBIs. When a great hitter like Robinson Cano treats you right, you have to stick with him, so that is exactly what I am doing. Robinson Cano, again, my pick to click tonight.
Final Score Prediction:
The Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays are trending in different directions, the M’s winning three of their past four, and Tampa currently on a three game slide, and 4-6 in their past ten. I expect J.A. Happ to have a nice bounce back performance, and if you take out his Baltimore start and his start in Houston, he’s been sensational for the Mariners. I look for the M’s to clinch a series win tonight, as well as a winning road trip, winning this one by a final of 6-3.
Be sure to check back with SoDo Mojo immediately following this game for a post game reaction as well as analysis of how the Mariners performed tonight.
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