Mariners Game Notes: M’s Return Home to Host the Texas Rangers

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The Seattle Mariners (66-71) have returned home to the Emerald City to host the Texas Rangers (71-64) this afternoon in the opener of a four game series. It is a Labor Day special, as first pitch is scheduled for 3:40 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Roenis Elias (4-7, 4.35 ERA) will be on the bump for the M’s, and Yovani Gallardo (11-9, 3.27 ERA) will get the ball for the visiting Rangers. Root Sports Northwest will broadcast the game live locally, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

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With yesterday’s victory, Seattle extended their winning streak to a season high, 5 games. The Mariners remain 9 games back of the American League West leading Houston Astros. The M’s are also just 6 games out in the wildcard chase.

Mariners’ skipper Lloyd McClendon and Rangers’ boss Jeff Banister have released the following lineups for today’s series opener:

Pitching Preview

Roenis Elias will make his third start for Seattle since being recalled from Tacoma in late August. Elias enters play with a 4-7 record and a 4.35 ERA across 16 outings in 2015. The 27-year-old southpaw has struck out 71 and walked 30 over the course of 91 innings pitched this season. Elias allowed 4 runs on 5 hits through 5.1 innings in a no-decision his last time out. He will need to improve his command, as he issued 4 free passes on September 1. The Guantanamo native has yet to face the Rangers this season, and I hope that plays to the M’s advantage today.

The Rangers acquired Yovani Gallardo this past offseason from the Milwaukee Brewers, and the 29-year-old right-hander has put together a solid debut campaign in Texas. Gallardo is 11-9 with a 3.27 ERA through 28 starts in 2015. He has struck out 101 and walked 59 across 159.2 innings pitched. Gallardo has done a nice job against the Mariners this season, as he sports a 1-1 record and a 2.25 ERA in 2 starts.

Sep 1, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison (20) celebrates after hitting a home run during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Pick to Click

You would be hard pressed to find anyone in baseball hotter than Logan Morrison right now. LoMo was essentially relegated to backup duties in August, but has found his stroke since being reinserted into the starting lineup in September. The 27-year-old first baseman is hitting .467 with 3 home runs and 10 RBI since the calendar flipped. He carried this club last September, and he appears primed to do it again this season. Morrison is just 1 for 16 in his career versus Gallardo, but I expect him to fare much better this afternoon. Look for LoMo to contribute a pair of hits and drive in the game winning run.

Final Score Prediction

Some believe the Mariners still have a chance to make the postseason in 2015. However, if you have watched this club play all year, you likely know better. That being said, Seattle is playing some quality ball right now. The M’s offense has carried the load lately, and that will likely have to be the case again today if they hope to extend their winning streak to six games. If Elias can keep the Mariners in the game, they have a good chance to win. I predict Seattle will edge the Rangers, 6-5 in the series opener this afternoon at Safeco Field.

Next: 7 Red Hot Mariners

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