Felix Hernandez finally made his return to the mound for the Seattle Mariners since being out in late April. I am sure a lot of fans had questions on how he would do.
It looked like he still has some ways to go however he did do some good. It did not hurt that the Mariners scored early so it made the experience so much easier for Felix.
The Astros scored in the first inning on a home run by Jose Altuve. I am sure some fans like myself thought here we go again the Astros are going to beat up on the Mariners and the Felix on his return however the Mariners tied the score in the second inning on a double by Jarrod Dyson that scored Kyle Seager to make it 1-1.
The Mariners exploded for six runs in the third inning that included a three-run homer by catcher Mike Zunino who has been hot driving in runs the whole month of June. The Astros scored a run in the fourth inning to make it 7-2 however the Mariners returned the favor by scoring two to make it 9-2. The Mariners two runs in the fourth inning were solo homers by the red hot Ben Gamel who extended his hitting streak to fifteen games and Kyle Seager.
Alex Bergman hit a home run off of Felix in the top of the fifth inning however that ended the scoring for them while the Mariners scored three more runs in the seventh and one more in the eighth inning.
Felix pitched a sold six innings giving up the three runs. Usually the Mariners don’t score a lot of runs for Felix so I am sure he thought this is not the same Mariners. Yes Felix this is not the Mariners you once knew. Also it is something us fans have to get used to as well. Of course the offense will go dry once in a while but it does look like we will be seeing them scoring a lot of runs too. I give the team a good chance in winning if the offense scores at least five runs and the starting pitcher goes at least six innings and gives up three runs or less which Felix accomplished himself.
It was nice to see the bottom of the batting order continue hitting well along with the top of the order. Both Segura and Gamel each got two hits at the top of the order while Danny Valencia got hot again getting four hits and driving in two runs. Dyson and Zunino each got two hits as well as driving in runs. Both of them now are hitting over .250. Be a good offense if Dyson and Zunino stay around the .250 mark for the rest of the season.
Yovani Gallardo who was sent to the bullpen when the Mariners brought up Andrew Moore to make his debut on Thursday pitched the final three innings for the Mariners. He actually was given a save in the game. I know that it sounds odd however if a pitcher comes in and pitches three innings and is not the winning pitcher however completes the game he is given a save. In the three innings he gave up two hits along with a walk and a strike out. Most likely we will see him in games like this when the Mariners have a big lead or they are way behind as well. Looking at who is in the bullpen he looks like the primary candidate as the long reliever.
Andrew Moore was sent back down to Tacoma after his debut when the Mariners activated Felix. Having two days off next week the Mariners didn’t need a fifth starter so right now the Mariners have nine pitchers in the bullpen. In other news right now there is no news when Iwakuma will make another rehab assignment or be added to the rotation. He is working on his mechanics. In the meantime it is real nice to have Felix back in the rotation go M’s.