Seattle Mariners Series Preview: San Francisco Giants

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 29: Chad Chop /

The Seattle Mariners started their 2018 season off with a bang. The Mariners won their first series of the year, beating the Cleveland Indians 2 games to 1. Seattle had big games from Nelson Cruz, Mitch Haniger and company to secure the seasons first series win. Now, Seattle will travel to San Francisco to face the Giants in a quick 2 game series for their Home Opener.

The Giants went 2-2 at Dodger Stadium over the weekend, with Joe Panik leading the way. Panik, not known for being much of a power hitter, Hit Home runs off of Clayton Kershaw on opening day and Kenley Jansen on the 2nd game of the season. Both were solo home runs, with both games being won 1-0. The Giants were then shutout in back to back games, losing 5-0 and 9-0 on Sunday.

The Giants have some newcomers to the team this season. They acquired both Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria from the Pirates and Rays, respectively. Longoria, through his first four games, is still searching for his first hit. McCutchen only has one hit through his first four games.  Both players are established veterans, so their hits will come. Cruz had an MRI Sunday morning, and the results of that MRI have yet to be revealed.

With the Mariners playing in a National League park, there will be no designated hitter in the lineup. Having no DH couldn’t come at a better time for DH Nelson Cruz, who after hitting a Home run on Saturday, Injured his ankle. Yet, Cruz likely wouldn’t have played the field for the Mariners in San Francisco anyway, so it will give him more time to rest.

The pitching match up for game one will be Seattle Marco Gonzales facing off against Ty Blach. Gonzales had a great Spring, earning himself a spot in the starting rotation.  He will be making his 2018 season debut. Blach is making his second start of the season, after starting on Opening Day. With injuries to Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija, Blach was the next man up. Blach pitched 5 shutout innings, while walking 3. He also struck out 3.

Game 2 will feature the King, Felix Hernandez against Johnny Cueto. Felix was sharp on Opening Day, earning the win. Felix went 5 and a third innings of shutout baseball against Cleveland, leading the way to a 2-1 victory.  Johnny Cueto pitched 7 shut out innings,  but was not a factor in the decision.

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After the short series, the Mariners will head to chilly Minnesota to take on the Twins in their Home Opener.