The Mariners managed to keep their heads above water this week during a lengthy and largely successful homestand.
Cue the Bee Gees, the Mariners continue to stay alive.
Seattle just wrapped up a successful 7-4 homestand. They did drop two out of three to the hated Toronto Blue Jays but that was preceded by a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays and a series win over the Minnesota Twins.
The Mariners finished 3-3 in the six games this week against two surging teams. The M’s are surging themselves as they are 6-4 in June and are now just two games under .500. They are just two games back of the Rays and Indians for the second Wild Card spot.
The week started off perfectly with a 12-3 drubbing of Minnesota which included home runs by Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager as well as a three-RBI day from Danny Valencia. It trended downward from there, leading to an eventual shutout by the hands of the Blue Jays on Sunday.
Mike Zunino continued to show improvement. He had one of the best games of his career on Wednesday night. He homered in the third inning and then came up to bat with a runner on and two outs down by one in the bottom of the ninth. He swatted an opposite-field walk-off home run, the first of his career. He also scored three runs in that game.
Valencia cooled off in a big way this week, hitting .105 with just two hits and eight strikeouts. Another cooling bat has been Taylor Motter, who hit just .136 with zero extra base hits this week.
As a staff, the Mariners had a 3.00 ERA this week. That is surprising with only winning three of the six games and having the strong lineup of Toronto in town. James Paxton came back down to earth as he allowed seven earned runs in his two starts this week and was pulled after four innings on Sunday.
The best start of the week came from Sam Gaviglio on Friday night. The Mariners stifled the Blue Jays and won the first game of the series 4-2 thanks to his six strong innings. He allowed just one run, walked three and struck out five. Edwin Diaz came in and pitched like a madman, striking out two in a perfect ninth inning to secure his 10th save of the year.
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Another highlight of the bullpen came in Sunday’s loss. After Paxton was pulled after four innings, Emilio Pagan came in long relief and gave the Mariners exactly what they needed. He went four shutout innings and struck out five, giving the Mariners opportunities to get back in the game.
Felix Hernandez made his second rehab start over the weekend and even took a no-hitter into the fifth in Tacoma. He could hasten his comeback with that performance and maybe take the mound again for the M’s this coming weekend in Texas.
According to MLB.com, the Mariners won “Bullpen of the Week” after allowing just two earned runs in 20 2/3 innings.
Robinson Cano committed the only two errors of the week on one play in Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the Twins. Other than that, the M’s were solid as they have been most of this season. They are up to +8 Defensive Runs Saved as their athletic outfield continues to pay dividends.
Seattle stole five bases this week, two coming from the ultra-speedy Jarrod Dyson, who is second in the AL in stolen bases. Gamel, Motter and even Seager got into the mix as well. Seattle needs to continue to put pressure on opposing defenses with this weapon.
Player of the Week: Kyle Seager (2 HR, 7 RBI, .364 avg, 1.122 OPS)