Mariners Game Recap: Prince Tai Nearly Perfect in Win over Twins


2. 6. 62. Final. 1

The Seattle Mariners (47-57) rode an incredible pitching performance from Taijuan Walker (8-7, 4.73 ERA) to 6-1 win on Friday night against the Minnesota Twins (53-49). Price Tai earned the win for Seattle to even the series with the Twinkies. Tommy Milone (5-3, 3.76 ERA) was credited with the loss for the home side.

Taijuan Walker was marvellous tonight, hurling a 1-hit shutout to pick up his 8th win of the season. Walker struck out 11 and walked 1 across 9 sparkling innings of work. His lone miscue was a solo home run he allowed in the 4th inning. Prince Tai brought his best stuff with him to the mound tonight, and it was obvious from the first pitch. The 22-year-old right-hander had an electric arsenal, highlighted by a 97 mph heater and a nasty curveball. He has the potential to be special, and tonight he was.

Tommy Milone did not pitch poorly, but he did not pitch well either. Malone allowed 4 runs on 11 hits across 6 innings tonight. The USC alum struck out 4, walked none and allowed 1 home run. Blaine Boyer kept the M’s off the scoreboard in his lone inning of work for Minnesota. J.R. Graham was called on to pitch the 8th and 9th for the Twins, and he surrendered a pair of runs.

Jul 31, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) hits a home run in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Seattle Mariners beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Nelson Cruz was incredible for Seattle, going 4 for 5 with a double, home run and 2 RBI’s. Cruz finished a triple short of completing the cycle, and raised his batting average to .314 on the season. In his first game since being recalled from Tacoma, Jesus Montero went 2 for4 with a double, home run and 2 RBI’s. Montero tore up the PCL with the Rainiers, and it should be interesting to see if he can translate his impressive results to the big leagues. Brad Miller accounted for the M’s other 2 runs with a pair of sacrifice flies.

With only 1 hit as a team, it is pretty obvious that Minnesota struggled to get anything going offensively. Miguel Sano is a powerful young man, and he flexed his muscles in the 4th by clubbing a home run over the wall in left field. The 22-year-old cleanup man has a bright future ahead of him in Minneapolis. Not surprisingly, Joe Mauer was the only other Twin to reach base tonight. The 6-time All-Star nursed a walk in the home half of the 1st inning.

Mike Zunino‘s performance as of late has been one of the few positives for the Mariners. The 24-year-old backstop extended his hitting streak to 10 games tonight with a single in the 6th inning. Z is now hitting .361 with 5 doubles, 1 home run and 6 RBI’s during his impressive streak. Zunino was batting a paltry .158 when his hitting streak began on July 20th; he is now hitting .182 on the season. Edgar Martinez has spent an enormous amount of time with the University of Florida alum, and the hard work appears to be paying off. Hopefully he can continue to improve at the plate over the final 2 months of the season.

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Tonight’s win snapped a 4-game losing streak for Seattle. The Mariners are still 11.5 games behind the Houston Astros in the American League West, but Friday’s win was encouraging. This season may well be over for the M’s, but hopefully they can play better during the final couple months and build some momentum for next year.

The Seattle Mariners (47-57) will take on the Minnesota Twins (53-49) again on Saturday evening in the twin cities. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 pm PST from Target Field in Minneapolis. Mike Montgomery (4-4, 3.20 ERA) will get the ball for the M’s as they look to take a 2-1 series lead. Kyle Gibson (8-8, 3.41 ERA) will toe the rubber for the home side. Root Sports Northwest will broadcast the game live locally, and subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

Next: Mariners Trade LHP J.A. Happ to Pirates on Deadline Day

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