Fresh off back-to-back series wins versus the Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles, the Seattle Mariners were faced with six games in Texas to cap off their most recent road trip.
Mariner ace Logan Gilbert kicked off the week in Arlington against the Rangers and put together a quality start, allowing two runs over six innings. The game was still close, and the Rangers took the lead in the seventh when Nathaniel Lowe took Roenis Elias deep to give the Mariners their first deficit of the game. In the top of the ninth, a J.P. Crawford walk set up Eugenio Suarez to hit his 10th home run of the year, giving the Mariners a 4-3 lead that would win them the game.
Marco Gonzales continued the trend of excellent Mariner pitching in game two of the series, allowing just three runs over seven innings of work. Unfortunately this time, three runs by Texas proved to be more than enough. Jesse Winker put forth a valiant effort with his fifth-inning home run to close the deficit to one run, but the Mariners couldn’t find that last score and the Rangers tied the series.
It was rookie George Kirby’s turn in the rotation for the final game, and he delivered. The Rangers only mustered two runs in his six innings, but Kirby’s opposition, Martin Perez, also allowed just two runs in that same time frame. With the score tied after the sixth, Texas chipped in three more runs over the seventh and eighth innings, giving them a 5-2 lead. Ty France hit a one-out solo home run to spark a four-hit rally that drove in three runs and tied the game at the end of regulation. A wild pitch in the 10th inning was enough to score Abraham Toro and Paul Sewald and was able to close out the game. Having taken their third consecutive series win, the Mariners headed to Houston for their fourth series against the Astros this year.
The Seattle offense came out the gates swinging against Cristian Javier, scoring four runs in the first two innings thanks to a Cal Raleigh three-run bomb. Unfortunately, the Astros kept pace and scored four runs off Robbie Ray in the first two innings as well. However, while Ray settled down and would go five innings, the Mariners forced Houston to go to their bullpen early. Raleigh drove in his fourth run of the game in the fourth inning, an RBI single to score Adam Frazier and take the lead. The game was quiet until the ninth, when Hector Neris beaned France in the back with a pitch, leading to the benches clearing. As the dust settled on the conflict, Julio Rodriguez stepped to the plate and launched a home run to extend the lead to 7-4. Neris then walked Crawford and threw behind Suarez, earning himself an ejection and a four-game suspension. However, the Mariners would not score these runners and ended up settling for a 7-4 victory.
The Mariners were the victims of yet another Justin Verlander outing in game two, who only allowed one run in seven innings, including 12 strikeouts. Chris Flexen put up an admirable performance opposite him, allowing two runs in 6.2 innings, but that simply was not enough. Seattle would go down quietly 4-1, tying the series for game three.
With the opportunity to win a series versus Houston on the road for the first time since 2017, Gilbert took the mound for his second start of the week. Despite a rough early start including three runs in the first three innings, he would settle down and finish six innings for the quality start. Down 1-3 in the fourth inning, Toro got on base and Raleigh drove him in with a two-run blast. Now a tied ball game, France built on the successful inning with a homer of his own, taking the lead. A Frazier sacrifice fly in the fifth and a Winker single would extend the final score to 6-3.
Now having won four successful series, the Mariners hope they never have to relive this May again as they build towards a playoff-bound season. The pitching has been excellent and the bats have been waking up bit-by-bit. There’s a way to go before they can hang with the cool kids, but they are well on their way. Next up is an 11-game homestand: three against the Boston Red Sox, three against the Minnesota Twins and five against the Los Angeles Angels.