Mariners Game Recap: Happ’s Rough Start Leads to Another Ugly Loss


9. 2. Final. 5. 62

The Minnesota Twins (53-48) walked all over the Seattle Mariners (46-57) on Thursday night, winning the series opener 9-5 at Target Field. The M’s continue to plunge to new depths, and tonight’s loss was disheartening to say the least. Phil Hughes (10-6, 4.11 ERA) picked up the win for Minnesota, and J.A. Happ (4-6, 4.64 ERA) took the loss for Seattle.

J.A. Happ had yet another miserable outing for Seattle. The 32-year-old southpaw allowed 7 runs on 9 hits across 3.1 innings. Happ struck out 2, walked 1 and served up 3 home runs. It is never a good sign when your home run tally beats your strikeout tally. Believe it or not, this outing was an improvement for Happ over his last start. Against the Blue Jays last weekend, Happ had to be pulled from the game following what essentially turned into a standoff between himself and his catcher, Jesus Sucre. Obviously, his recent performance has killed any trade value he had, and I highly doubt the M’s trade him before the deadline tomorrow.

Tom Wilhelmsen had mixed results working out of the Mariners’ bullpen tonight. The Bartender struck out 2, but allowed 1 run on 1 hit while walking 2 across 1.1 innings. Joe Beimel was very effective, hurling 1.1 shutout frames. David Rollins has struggled this season with Seattle, and his issues continued tonight. Rollins allowed 1 run on 2 hits in his lone inning of work. Mark Lowe fired a perfect 8th inning for Seattle.

Phil Hughes was roughed up by the Mariners’ bats on Thursday, but still managed to eek out the win. Hughes allowed 5 runs on 10 hits across 5 innings pitched. He fanned 5 and walked none, but allowed 2 home runs. Casey Fien earned his 11th hold of the season after pitching a pair of perfect innings in relief for Minnesota. Trevor May and Glen Perkins combined to keep the M’s off the scoreboard in the 8th and 9th innings.

Jul 30, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Seth Smith (7) celebrates with center fielder Austin Jackson (16) after hitting a two run home run in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Jackson did a fantastic job hitting out of the leadoff spot tonight. AJ led off the game with a double, and homered in the 4th inning. Jackson finished 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI’s. Mark Trumbo is doing a great job for Seattle lately, and he went 2 for 4 with 1 run batted in. Seth Smith clubbed a 2-run dinger in the top of the 1st to give the M’s a short-lived lead. Franklin Gutierrez is more than deserving of more playing time, and he justified this statement by going 2 for 4 tonight.

It’s rare for a player to go 3 for 5 with 3 RBI’s and still come away disappointed, but that is exactly what happened to Eddie Rosario this evening. The young outfielder had a double, triple and home run, but finished just a single short of completing the cycle. Aaron Hicks is having a breakout season in 2015, and he finished 3 for 4 with a home run, 1 RBI and a walk. Brian Dozier led off the game with his 22nd home run of the season, and really set the tone for the Twinkies’ offense.

The Mariners traded Dustin Ackley to the New York Yankees earlier in the day, and that trade will hopefully be the first of many in the next 24 hours. It is fair to assume J.A. Happ will be staying put, but hopefully Austin Jackson’s strong showing will entice a desperate team to take a chance. Hisashi Iwakuma is another pitcher on the block for Seattle, but like Happ, I don’t expect much of a market for the struggling right-hander. This season is over, and I hope we see Jack Zduriencik acquire a few pieces for the future tomorrow. Jack Z may not be here much longer, but the fans sure will be, and they deserve a more competitive club.

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Seattle has fallen even further in the American League West standings. The M’s are sitting in 4th place right now, 12 games back of the division leading Houston Astros. The Mariners’ 4-game losing streak means they are 8 games back in the wildcard chase.

The Seattle Mariners (46-57) will hope to get back into the win column tomorrow night against the Minnesota Twins (53-48). First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 pm from Target Field in Minneapolis. Taijuan Walker (7-7, 5.03 ERA) will look to bounce back after a rough outing his last time out for Seattle. Tommy Milone (5-2, 3.58 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Twins on Friday night. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

Next: Mariners Trade Dustin Ackley to Yankees

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