The Mariners salvaged one game in Arlington Sunday on the heels of news that Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Jean Segura will all return during the next homestand.
Mariners starting pitcher Christian Bergman fought valiantly to 5.2 innings of two-run ball against the Rangers this afternoon, helping Seattle win just its 14th road game of the season. Bergman has been up and down, contributing useful starts interspersed with meltdowns. His effort and the efforts of several rotating starters managed to keep the Mariners from completely falling from contention altogether.
The Mariners seem to keep stringing us on. They dropped two of three in Texas, they fared well against the Minnesota Twins, but they also lost a “home” series against the Blue Jays over the past two weeks.
Perhaps their consistency will return when three key players join the team from the disabled list, possibly this week.
Felix Hernandez will come off the DL for a start Friday in front of King’s Court against the dreaded Astros. Every game against Houston matters from here out, considering the Stros’ 13-game lead on the Mariners in the American League West. The King’s return comes at the perfect time–a perfect time to improve on his 2-2 record and 4.73 ERA (including a disastrous start against the Astros).
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Manager Scott Servais also mentioned before Sunday’s game that RHP Hisashi Iwakuma will also be activated for the Houston series, making a start either Saturday or Sunday. Kuma posted an 0-2 record and a 4.35 ERA in six starts before landing on the DL.
The details on shortstop Jean Segura’s return from his sprained ankle are fuzzier than Hernandez and Iwakuma’s, who were both rehabbing long-term shoulder injuries. Servais didn’t give a firm start date for Segura, who went to the DL the American League’s leading hitter.
With Segura returning to the lineup and joining Ben Gamel and Mitch Haniger, the Mariners have too many good hitters atop their lineup, a good problem to have. Kuma and Felix returning to the rotation makes four of the projected five starters healthy for the first time since April.