Mariners vs. Guardians: Moore hits 2 homers, rotation struggles, and Crawford's pizza

After a strong start, Seattle ultimately faltered in a three-game series against the current leaders of the AL Central as they lost the series to the Guardians
Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Guardians
Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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It's been a pretty easy schedule for the Mariners as of late. Since the Yankees series at the end of May, the only team with a winning record that they played was the Kansas City Royals. After a schedule full of White Sox and Athletics, they ran into their first big challenge in nearly a month and fell a little short.

The Guardians are a great team this year. Their +94 run differential is the third-best in the AL and dwarfs the Mariners' own +11 run differential. After winning the first game of the series, the holes in the team became more apparent, especially the offense that scored just three runs in the final 18 innings. Nonetheless, there were still some bright performances that shined through.

Best Hitter: Dylan Moore

12 PA, .300/.417/1.000, 3 H, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 SB

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Dylan Moore is having a great season. There's a pretty tight race between him, Josh Rojas, Luke Raley, and Ty France to see who can be the greatest offensive contributor to the team this season. All four of these players have OPS+ within two of each other and no one seems to be seizing the lead just yet.

Moore's June has been pretty cold, posting a .597 OPS over 57 plate appearances so far, but this series lifted his numbers significantly. It's hard to have three extra base hits in ten at-bats and not see a big boost to your OPS.

Moore has also been an underrated baserunner this year, stealing 13 bags this year. He had 21 stolen bases in both 2021 and 2022 so it wouldn't be out of the question for him to hit that 20 stolen base mark. Add that to his growing list of capabilities.

Honorable Mention: J.P. Crawford

12 PA, .300/.417/.700, 3 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K

Crawford had a fiery set of games. A big contributor to the offense in the first game of the series, both extra base hits he had were on the first day in Cleveland. His first two RBI came off of a home run against Triston McKenzie in the third inning, getting the Mariners on the board in what would eventually be an 8-5 win.

Despite getting on base four times on Tuesday, he didn't do much in the last two games, getting just one hit and one run. He did, however, get ejected in the 8-0 blowout loss on Wednesday after two high strike calls.