Mariners News: Cruz Back in Lineup vs. Houston


The Mariners open a huge series with the Astros tonight at Minute Maid Park in Houston. This series could keep the Mariners in contention — or it could deal a huge blow to the M’s playoff chances, even in mid-June. First pitch is 5:10 PT.

The Mariners currently sit 6.5 games behind Houston in the AL West, so a series win would bring the M’s even closer. It’s imperative that Seattle win tonight’s game because Felix Hernandez is on the hill. The King goes for win No. 10 and the M’s need to win games in which he toes the rubber. Here’s the lineup behind/supporting Hernandez:

More from Mariners News

My initial reactions:

1. I’m happy to see Nelson Cruz back. After leaving the opening game of the Cleveland series with back spasms, it’s important the M’s have their best lineup out there for this series with the Astros.

2. Mark Trumbo is hitting second. I don’t know, it’s ok. With a LHP on the mound, it helps give the M’s another RH bat up top. He’s got power, and he actually runs better than you expect a big man to.

3. The M’s have both Willie Bloomquist and Rickie Weeks playing. This obviously hurts the Mariners offense, but with a LHP on the mound, Lloyd’s hands are kind of tied. I think I’d still rather see Seth Smith than Weeks.

4. Mike Zunino is still catching. No surprise here, but he took a pretty nasty shot to the thumb yesterday, so I’m encouraged to see that it didn’t worsen overnight.

5. This is a huge game. The M’s need this series, and they need to win when Felix pitches.

Go Mariners!

More from SoDo Mojo

Next: 5 Players The Mariners Should Target in Trades