The Seattle Mariners now have gone into Tampa Bay and won the first two games of the series. They have an early game on Sunday starting in just over two hours. Yovani Gallardo goes for the Mariners. Doesn’t give much confidence for a sweep though he has pitched well in Tampa Bay before; the Rays have Blake Snell who is a native from Washington state however he hasn’t been pitching well either. This could be and most likely a high scoring game.
On Saturday the Rays took an early lead scoring a run in the first inning however the Mariners scored four runs in the third inning on a grand slam homer by Mitch Haniger who just came off the disabled list. He took the spot of Jarrod Dyson who was put on the disabled list. Guillermo Heredia is expected to be the main guy playing center field while Dyson is out. Leonys Martin will be the fourth outfielder during this period. Dyson should be activated before the roster expansion on September 1 if he is feeling fine. Depending on what happens in the meantime Martin could go back down to Tacoma for a few days.
The Mariners scored three runs in the fourth inning including a two-run homer off the bat of hot hitting Nelson Cruz. The Mariners had a 7-2 lead going into the sixth inning. Miranda gave up a home run before leaving the game and then Emilio Pagan gave up a two-run homer in the sixth inning after replacing Miranda. Pagan has been pitching pretty well so I will give him some slack in giving up the home run. He pitched the day before as well; so made the score 7-5.
It stayed that way until the 9th inning when closer Edwin Diaz gave up a solo home run to former Mariner Logan Morrison who was pinch hitting for Daniel Robertson with one out. Fortunately Diaz looked better than his last outing so he was able to get the last two batters out that included a strike out.
The Mariners will be going with primarily right handed lineup since Snell for the Rays is left handed. The only lefties in the lineup will be Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel. Taylor Motter who was just called up from Tacoma will make the start at third base. I am sure it is because of the flu that Seager had and they wanted to give him a day off. Also Danny Valencia will start at first base with the platooning he has with Yonder Alonso and Carlos Cruz at catcher.
It will be nice if the Mariners could sweep the Rays however they have taken the series which is what they hope to do the rest of the road trip. The Mariners will go to Atlanta for an interleague game before facing the Yankees in New York next week. Not known yet who will start in Atlanta on Monday.
With the activation of Taylor Motter the Mariners released utility player Danny Espinosa who hasn’t played a lot however did fine when he did. Motter was able to find his stroke again while being down in Tacoma. He could be very valuable for the Mariners on the rest of this road trip. Jean Segura who had a little trouble Saturday with injury will start at short however having Motter around will help if they need to give him a day off. So we hope to see a sweep in Tampa however good job done so far. Go M’s.