Mariners continue to slide by losing two of three to Orioles

The Seattle Mariners lost their fifth straight series and are losing ground atop the AL West.
Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners
Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners / Stephen Brashear/GettyImages

The Seattle Mariners exploded for seven runs in the final game of the series against the Baltimore Orioles. However, the offensive production in the finale did not mask the team’s overall offensive struggles.

Baltimore’s hurlers blanked the Mariners in game one before allowing just one run in game two. George Kirby, Logan Gilbert, and the Seattle bullpen did their best to give the team a shot to win, holding the Orioles to two and four runs, but the hitters failed to hold up to their end of the deal.

Seattle vs. Baltimore Was the 2024 Mariners in a Nutshell

Seattle had just two hits in the first game, both coming off the bat of Josh Rojas. Despite this, Scott Servais pinch-hit Dylan Moore for him in the eighth inning. The Mariners had a chance in the ninth, with both Luke Raley and Jorge Polanco reaching base via hit-by-pitch. However, struggling star Julio Rodriguez struck out to end the game with the runners on second and third.

Game two was a similar story, with the team’s only run coming off a solo shot from Cal Raleigh. Logan Gilbert also struggled (by his lofty standards), allowing 4 runs in 5.1 innings. However, the pen was lockdown for the remaining 3.2 innings, doing its job in giving the offense an opportunity to come back.

After two straight games of looking lost at the plate, expectations were not high for the Mariners against ace Corbin Burnes. However, they managed to put 2 runs up on him in six, more than they had scored in any game of the series prior. Seattle then killed the Orioles game-three relievers, putting up five runs in the final two innings.

Game three saw three struggling Mariners look to gather momentum. Julio, who has seen his power production plummet in 2024, homered off Burnes and doubled. J.P. Crawford went 2-4 with a double, and Mitch Garver took Keegan Akin deep in the seventh inning. These three hitters, who were expected to be three of the top hitters in the lineup this season, will need to continue to right the ship, especially given the team's slip in the AL West.

The Astros Are Catching Up

With Seattle going 3-7 in the last ten games and Houston going 8-2 over the same span, the Astros are now just two games back. The Mariners +5 run differential is starting to even out, as is Houston's +43. This series captured the Mariners season perfectly: Great pitching throughout, but consistently shut down on offense with the occasional blow-up game. How will the team address their offensive needs and push for playoff contention?