The Mariners dropped two of three against the Houston Astros over the weekend, setting up a must-win series at home against Toronto.
It’s do or die time for the Mariners, who, after going on a hot streak to put themselves back into playoff contention earlier this month, dropped two of three at home against the Houston Astros. With the Mariners facing the Toronto Blue Jays, who currently sit two games ahead of them in the Wild Card standings, they will need to make up ground against Toronto if they want to keep hope alive.
Felix Not Enough
Asked to keep Seattle’s winning ways alive at home against a division foe, Felix Hernandez got roughed up by the loaded Houston lineup in game one of the weekend series. Astros’ starter Collin McHugh continued his dominance of the Mariners by throwing seven shutout innings in Seattle. The Astros won 6-0 thanks to a home run by Astros’ catcher and designated hitter Evan Gattis and two more hits by Mariner-killer and Houston second baseman Jose Altuve.
Felix lasted only 4.1 innings in his second-shortest start of the year. He allowed eight hits and six runs–five earned–in the loss.
A Winnable Game
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Okay, so Felix struggles against a good lineup in the Astros, but the second loss of the series, a frustrating 2-1 dud in game two, could be the clincher that keeps us from the playoffs. Despite carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning against a lineup that blasted our ace in the game before, James Paxton took the loss. He ended up going seven strong, striking out seven in the defeat.
This one was particularly frustrating because Seattle’s leadoff and number two hitters, Nori Aoki and Seth Smith, respectively, went a combined 5-for-7 with a walk. But Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano both went 0-4, stranding a combined five runners.
The Mariners avoided the sweep with the best outing of Ariel Miranda‘s young career. The rookie tossed seven innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits and striking out eight. Former Mariner Doug Fister got rocked and didn’t make it out of the fourth inning while outfielder Seth Smith hit two home runs for the home team. The Mariners cruised to a 7-3 win which sets up this crucial series against Toronto.
Mariners vs. Blue Jays
The Mariners start their must-win series against Toronto with Taijuan Walker going against Marco Estrada tonight at 7:10 at Safeco Field. Hopefully there will be more Mariners fans at Safeco than Canadians rooting for the away team.