Maybe the magnitude of this win didn’t sink in right away. 10-2 is always a tremendously satisfying final tally, even if it is against the Texas Rangers. But in this case, it took a seven-run eleventh elsewhere to really push home how critical this and every win will be from now until season’s end.
While the Seattle Mariners spent the afternoon cruising to victory, the evening was spent watching the Detroit Tigers score seven runs in the eleventh inning to surprise Cleveland with a late blowout. 10-2, and no ground gained. It served as a reminder that the team the Mariners are chasing is really, really good. In order to pass a team that could win any night, you have to be a team that can win any night.
The M’s pushed their first six runs across with two outs in the second. Robbie Ross walked Chris Denorfia and Chris Taylor before giving up back-to-back RBI singles to Jesus Sucre and Austin Jackson. Dustin Ackley walked, and Robinson Cano drilled a two-run single. Kendrys Morales scored Ackley with a base hit, Ross left the game, and Kyle Seager singled in run number six off of reliever Jon Edwards.
They were back at it in the third, as Denorfia and Taylor again drew back-to-back walks. Sucre again singled, giving the Mariners a familiar run. Two outs later Cano doubled to center, scoring both baserunners. Denorfia added a home run in the seventh to give the M’s a clean ten runs.
Roenis Elias allowed one run on seven hits and a walk over five innings before turning the ball over to a stellar-as-always bullpen. He only got one strikeout, but also had a seven-to-one ratio of outs on the ground versus outs in the air. The only run Texas got off the ‘pen was a two-out solo shot by Rougned Odor in the ninth off of Danny Farquhar. There’s bullpen depth, and then there’s one of the game’s best setup guys pitching the ninth of a blowout win. This group of arms is incredible.
Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Scott Baker today at 5:05. Baker was supposed to be on the Mariners, remember? In the spring he was a popular bounceback pick who was predicted by many to be a sleeper success, and thus a big part of the M’s hopefully-resurgent 2014. Instead he was released, caught on with Texas, and has been bad. The Mariners instead turned to Chris Young and Roenis Elias. And, you know, that’s working out alright.