Mariners Game Recap: M’s beat the Angels to sweep Griffey Weekend
The Mariners got it done in front of 45,000 fans once again on Sunday afternoon, and they looked like a team poised to make a run at October.
The Seattle Mariners were riding high going into Sunday afternoon. Coming off of a huge comeback victory on Saturday night with the help of a big night from Shawn O’Malley, many people saw a chance for the team to seek big things out of this season. They had a chance to sweep the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and gain some momentum before a series against the Detroit Tigers that would be critical to the AL Wild Card race.
Looking to get the win, the Mariners would send out their solid lefty James Paxton (3-5, 3.93 ERA) to face Matt Shoemaker (6-11, 4.08 ERA). Paxton had been on quite the run in his last several starts, and he was looking to build on the recent success.
Both pitchers were getting the job done early, and it was shaping up to be a low-scoring game. Through two innings, the only blemish for either pitcher was a Paxton walk of Jett Bandy with two outs in the second.
Paxton ran into his first and only challenge of the game in the third. With one out, an error by O’Malley allowed Shane Robinson to reach base. Kole Calhoun would immediately follow up with a single back up the middle to make it first and third. Paxton was able to strike out Mike Trout to get the second out, but Albert Pujols would convert with an RBI single to left field to score their only run of the game. Paxton would limit the damage by forcing a pop-up to end the inning.
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The Mariners threatened in the third as well, putting the first two runners on base, but a double play and groundout would quickly negate it. The real threat came in the fourth. Seth Smith would get things started with an infield single, and Kyle Seager drove one back up the middle as well. Still without an out in the inning, Nelson Cruz would tie up the game an opposite field single to right. On the first pitch to Adam Lind, he would be hit to load the bases. Leonys Martin would almost hit a grand slam to break the game wide open, but Trout would rob it in center, resulting in only a sacrifice fly that scored Seager. Mike Zunino would fail to bring in a run on a fielder’s choice, but today’s call-up Mike Freeman would come through with a base hit to score Lind, who didn’t at the plate and was barely safe. Shoemaker would get out of the inning at this point, but not without allowing all the Mariners needed to get the win.
Paxton would roll the rest of the way for the Mariners and would come back out for the ninth inning in an attempt at a complete game. He would have to leave the game with one out though when Andrelton Simmons lined a pitch right back off of Paxton’s pitching elbow. Fortunately, the x-rays came back negative and he will be day-to-day.
Tom Wilhelmsen came in to replace the injured starter, and he would be able to get the final two outs and cash in on his first save of the season.
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With the win, the Mariners move to 57-53 and the Angels drop to 49-62. The Astros lost to the Rangers in extra innings, so the M’s move back into second place in the AL West, seven games back of Texas. They are also 3.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, pending the result of the Boston-LA Dodgers game. The Mariners begin a three-game set against the Detroit Tigers at Safeco tomorrow.