Mariners Game Recap: M’s use Small Ball to Sweep Reds in 5-4 Win
By Adam Levi
The Mariners didn’t need their usual home run pop in today’s grind it out type of win to complete the road sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with the 5-4 win.
Wade Miley’s day didn’t start the way the Mariners would have liked, almost taking his team out of the ballgame in the very first frame. 2 doubles, first a lead-off hit from Zack Cozart and later the 2-RBI two-bagger from Brandon Phillips. A subsequent sac fly coming from Jay Bruce topped of the first inning spark for the Reds before Miley stopped the damage.
By the 3rd, Miley had his first opportunity to help his own cause as he stepped to the plate in the inter-league match-up, and took advantage by hitting a single. The Mariners pitcher was about to start a rally with that hit; the hot-hitting Leonys Martin followed suit getting a base-knock, and then the MLB RBI leader, Robinson Cano brought in the team’s first run and his 38th on the season. A Nelson Cruz ground-out was hit well enough to bring Nori Aoki in from third base, cutting the lead to one.
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In the next inning the only home run of the game was hit in the hitter’s ballpark that is Great American Ball Park; left fielder, Adam Duvall took Miley yard extending the lead to two-runs. Just as the Reds scored, the Mariners fought back in their most offensive inning of the game with three runs in the fifth. More team small ball chipped away at Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon, who gave up four singles- two for a couple more runs- including a bunt hit. Earlier in the inning Cano padded his league-best RBI total with a sac fly to raise his count to 39.
Oddly, the Reds bullpen, which is challenging historic worsts this season, came in for Simon in the sixth and looked on point throughout the rest of the game. The Mariner pen matched them frame for frame, first with the impressive Nick Vincent who pitched a perfect 7th and then the newly returned Joaquin Benoit had his best outing of the year, also going perfect in the 8th.
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Steve Cishek came to the mound in the 9th to close the door on the series and win yet another series. The team completed another fantastic road trip, going 5-1 this time around. On the year the Mariners have the best road record in all of baseball winning 18 of 25 away from Safeco Field. Tomorrow the Mariners start their 8-game home stand against division rivals, the Oakland Athletics.