Mariners Game Recap: M’s Cage Tigers in Series Finale


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The Seattle Mariners (44-52) exit the Motor City with a series split following their 3-2 win against the Detroit Tigers (47-48) on Thursday afternoon. It took 12 innings, but the M’s were finally able to come out on top. Fernando Rodney (3-4, 5.59 ERA) was credited with the win for Seattle, and Ian Krol (1-3, 6.19 ERA) took the loss for Detroit. Tom Wilhelmsen earned his first save in over a year after shutting the door in the 12th inning.

Despite the no-decison, Hisashi Iwakuma did a great job on Thursday afternoon for Seattle. Iwakuma allowed 2 runs on 6 hits across 7 solid innings of work. He fanned 7 and walked 2. The 34-year-old appears to have recaptured his All-Star form over his last 3 outings. After allowing at least 5 earned runs in each of his first 4 starts in 2015, Kuma has limited the opposition to 2 runs or less in his 3 starts since July 11th. The timing of all this could not be better for the M’s, who would likely be open to moving the impending free agent right-hander at the trade deadline.

Mark Lowe has been the Mariners top reliever in 2015, and he was called on to pitch the 8th inning. Ian Kinsler crushed the first pitch Lowe threw in the inning deep to left field, but thanks to a great leaping grab on the warning track by Franklin Gutierrez, the score remained tied. Lowe pitched a pair of scoreless innings in relief on Thursday. Carson Smith did an admirable job in the 10th, holding the Tigers off the board in his lone inning of work. Fernando Rodney was asked to pitch the 11th with the score still tied at 2. Rodney plunked the leadoff man with the first pitch of the inning, but managed to tip toe out of danger. The Bartender worked quickly through the Tigers to pick up his first save of the season.

David Price is one of the most dominating southpaws in the sport, and he proved it again today. Price allowed 2 runs on 5 hits across 8 innings on Thursday. The 29-year-old struck out 7 and walked 1 for Detroit. Recent reports indicate that the Tigers are planning to put Price on the trade block, and his strong showing today solidifies his spot atop the list of available left-handers. Joakim Soria entered in the 8th with none out, the go-ahead run at second base and the score tied at 2. Soria did a fantastic job keeping the Mariners out of the run column. Ian Krol was effective in the 11th, but allowed the winning run to cross the plate in the 12th.

Kyle Seager was the catalyst on offense today for the M’s. Seags entered the game 0 for 10 lifetime against David Price. However, that changed in a big way when he clubbed a solo home run into the tunnel in right field in the top of the 1st. The Mariners third baseman added a double in the 9th to give himself another multi-hit game. Mike Zunino entered as a defensive replacement in the 10th, and he came through with the hit of the day in the 12th. Zunino ripped a double down the left field line that allowed the sprinting Chris Taylor to score all the way from first base.

Ian Kinsler was a thorn in the Mariners’ side all week, and he went 2 for 6 with a double and a run scored today. Victor Martinez was in vintage form in the 1st inning, lacing a 2-run double into the gap in right-center field. Yoenis Cespedes is another player apparently available via trade, but he did not let the rumors bog him down this week against the M’s. Cespedes finished 2 for 5 with a double, a walk and a run scored this afternoon.

Jul 23, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) hits a single in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Robinson Cano put together a great series in Motown, going 8 for 16 with 1 home run, 2 RBI’s and a pair of walks. Cano went 2 for 4 with a walk and a run scored in the series finale. Robby struggled for much of the first 3 months this season, however he has been on a tear in July. The 32-year-old is hitting a remarkable .354 with 5 doubles, 5 home runs and 12 RBI’s across 75 at bats this month. Seattle is just 9-10 so far in July, but Cano finding his stroke is perhaps the most encouraging development for the M’s all season. Many feared his best days were behind him, but he has reassured fans that he is still one of the best players in the game.

The Mariners remain one of the most aggravating teams in the league to watch, particularly on offense. A prime example came in the top of the 9th today. With the score knotted at 2, Kyle Seager immediately got himself into scoring position with a leadoff double. Nelson Cruz popped out weakly to first base for the first out. Cano was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second with only 1 out. Seth Smith pinch hit for Guti, and proceeded to fly out to the warning track in right field. Seager advanced to third base on the fly out, but that is as far as he would get. Mark Trumbo struck out with the go-ahead run just 90 ft. away to end the Mariners’ threat. Situational hitting is something good teams have to do, and this is an area the M’s need to improve in. They have the wrong approach at the plate, and it has led to a lot of losses in 2015.

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Today’s big win puts the Mariners in a tie with the Oakland A’s for 4th place in the American League West. Seattle is currently 11 games back of the division leading Los Angeles Angels, and 7 games out of the wildcard.

The Seattle Mariners (44-52) will return home to host the Toronto Blue Jays (48-48) in the first game of a 3-game weekend series on Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Tomorrow night’s game will be the first at Safeco Field since the All-Star break, and it is fitting that Felix Hernandez (11-5, 2.77 ERA) will get the ball for the home side. Drew Hutchison (9-2, 5.19 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Blue Jays. Root Sports Northwest will broadcast the game locally, and subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

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