Jun 6, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) slides into second base after he doubles and Seattle Mariners shortstop Brad Miller (5) jumps to grab the ball during the fourth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Mariners Beat Rays, Move Back Into Playoff Position


The Seattle Mariners are going to the playoffs! Just kidding, it’s June. But – but! If the season were to end today, the above would indeed be true. No pesky tiebreakers needed, it’d be Mariners @ Angels with the winner heading to Oakland. Powerful division, this AL West. Some have called it baseball’s strongest, assuming the spot the old AL East used to hold. Speaking of the AL East, that division’s a mess, and the Mariners just beat the East’s very messiest team. Which is part of why we’re talking about the playoffs in June.

Roenis Elias made the start, and kudos to him for keeping his pitch count low and going 7.2 innings despite not being at his best. Five strikeouts is fine, five hits, cool, two walks, that’s alright. But he allowed four runs, mostly on two long balls by Evan Longoria and James Loney. Both pitches were meatballs that deserved to be taken out of the park, but overall it’s hard to complain much about Elias’s outing. Bad: two homers. Good: innings, strikeouts, walks, hits. Can’t knock the guy for doing almost everything right, I guess.

Speaking of home runs, Cole Gillespie is on right now. His solo shot was hit off a really good pitcher and went way deep to center field. This kind of a power stroke is abnormal for him, of course, but that homer gave pause. You can’t take away the fact that that’s now something he’s done. He might not be consistently capable of big homers, but it’s something he can do. Which only makes him more interesting as a long-term bench piece.

Endy Chavez, Willie Bloomquist, and Dustin Ackley each had a double and a single. The offense scored seven runs. Robinson Cano singled! Robinson Cano hits a lot of singles. Another reminder that Cole Gillespie hit a home run.

Felix Hernandez vs. Chris Archer, 10:40am. Ready for some early-day baseball? Ready for another day of Willie Bloomquist starting at first over Justin Smoak? I know I sure am! Go M’s.

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