Mariners Game Recap: M’s Shine in Edgar Martinez’s Debut


135. 6. 62. Final. 3

The Seattle Mariners (32-37) beat the Houston Astros (40-30) 6-3 on Saturday night at Safeco Field in Edgar Martinez‘s debut as hitting coach. Taijuan Walker (5-6, 4.94 ERA) out pitched Dallas Keuchel (8-3, 2.35 ERA) tonight, earning his 5th win of the season. Carson Smith retired 4 Astros en route to picking up his 5th save of the season.

Prince Tai was Kingly tonight. Walker was sharp once again, allowing 3 runs across 6.1 innings of work. He tallied a career high 11 punch outs and did not issue any walks. Walker’s command and stuff are creating a deadly combination over his last 5 starts. Tai is 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA since May 29th. His most impressive stat has to be his 38:3 strikeout to walk ratio. The 22-year-old right-hander is pitching as well as anybody in the game right now, and his starts are quickly becoming must see TV.

The M’s received contributions from 5 relievers tonight. Fernando Rodney had a nice outing, pitching a perfect 2/3 of an inning and earning his first hold of the season. Charlie Furbush struck out the lone hitter he faced in the 8th inning to tally his 11th hold of the season. Carson Smith was dominant again tonight, picking up his 5th save and fanning 2 Astros in the process.

Dallas Keuchel was named the American League Pitcher of the Month in April and May, but he was hit hard tonight. Perhaps Keuchel was worried Edgar would step into the box because he surrendered 5 runs on 5 hits across 6 innings. Walks and home runs played a big role in the southpaw’s struggles. Keuchel’s 4 walks tonight were a season high, and worse yet, he walked in a pair of runs. He also gave up 3 home runs in the loss. Keuchel is still having a marvellous season, but hopefully his troubles tonight will carry over into his next outing.

Seattle’s bats broke out in a big way on Saturday evening. Nelson Cruz got the party started in the 3rd inning with a line drive that soared over the right-center field fence. The homer was Cruz’s 19th of the season, but it was his first long ball since late May. Seth Smith hit a deep fly ball to center field that just snuck over the wall in the 5th inning. Smith’s home run marked the first time Keuchel had given up a home run to a left-handed hitter all season. Mark Trumbo clubbed his first round tripper as a Mariner in the home half of the 6th inning.

The Astros had a reasonably successful night at the dish on Saturday. Evan Gattis and Luis Valbuena have been thorns in the M’s side all season, and they got to Seattle again tonight. Gattis and Valbuena both hit solo home runs in the 2nd inning to give the ‘Stros an early 2-0 lead.

I guess we can chalk this win up to the presence of Gar in the dugout. Not quite, but the M’s did have a noticeably improved performance on offense in Martinez’s debut. Seattle had 6 runs on 7 hits, and worked 5 walks tonight. While those numbers are not earth shattering, they are encouraging. The walks in particular were nice to see, as Brad Miller and Mike Zunino both showed great patience working key walks early in the game.

Over the last 2 games, the M’s have equaled their season win total against Houston. Obviously, the wins on Friday and Saturday have helped in Seattle’s standing in the American League West. The Mariners remain in 4th place in the AL West, but trail the Astros by just 7.5 games.

The Seattle Mariners (32-37) will try for a Fathers Day sweep of the Houston Astros (40-30) on Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. J.A. Happ (3-3, 3.79 ERA) will get the ball for Seattle in the series finale, and Houston will counter with Vincent Velasquez (0-0, 4.66 ERA). Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

Next: Mariners News: M's Name Edgar Martinez Hitting Coach

More from SoDo Mojo