(Arlington, TX) First place in the American League West was up for grabs this week when the Seattle Mariners visited the Texas Rangers in their first divisional series of the season. Looking for their third consecutive series win after losing four straight series, Seattle had an opportunity to erase all those early season woes but they would have to do it with J.P. Crawford going on the IL after the opener in Arlington. With a chance to also put to rest their awful performance at Globe Life Field last year, the M’s were without question going into their biggest series of the season early on.

Mariners 4, Rangers 0 (Game 1, April 23rd)

Logan Gilbert was the story of the opener but he was given a lead before he ever stepped on the mound. A leadoff double for J.P. Crawford had a runner in scoring position to begin the game. Two batters later, Cal Raleigh provided the pop, playing with a broken tooth while doing so. In some serious pain, Raleigh took out some frustration on a fastball right down the middle and crushed it 392-feet for a two-run shot and his sixth home run of the year. The red-hot catcher continued his recent power surge as he gave his battery mate a quick 2-0 lead.

Some early walks put Logan Gilbert’s pitch count in rough shape, and two in the bottom of the 1st put some pressure on the righty early. He would pitch out of the trouble by getting Nathaniel Lowe to ground out to Ty France to end the inning. Two more runs of support came in the top of the 3rd after a leadoff double for Josh Rojas set the table for the top of the order. J.P. Crawford moved Rojas to third with a ground out to first to bring up Julio Rodriguez. After a long drought, Mariner fans and Julio let out a sigh of relief as J-Rod crushed his first home run of the season with a bomb to left field for a two-run shot. The long ball was benefiting the Mariners as they extended their lead to 4-0.

From that point on the M’s really couldn’t get anything going. They loaded the bases in the top of the 5th, but a double play erased that threat and Gilbert was tasked with just protecting that four-run lead. Those four runs seemed to be more than enough as Gilbert dialed in and began to dominate the defending champions. Gilbert only allowed one hit in innings 2-6 and worked his way into the 7th.

A leadoff double for Nathaniel Lowe put a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the 7th, but Gilbert bounced back by getting Josh Smith to ground out and striking out Wyatt Langford for two big outs. A walk to Jonah Heim would put runners on the corners with two outs and ended Logan Gilbert’s day as Ryne Stanek came into pitch. He kept the shutout alive when Leody Taveras hit a grounder to Crawford at short, closing the book on Gilbert after 6 2/3 scoreless innings with only two hits allowed while walking four and striking out six.

Gabe Speier pitched an easy 1-2-3 bottom of the 8th and handed the ball to Andrés Muñoz for the bottom of the 9th. A quick strikeout of Adolis Garcia was a great start to the inning before Nathaniel Lowe singled to right. Josh Smith stepped up to the plate and hit a hard grounder to Jorge Polanco at second. A routine 4-6-3 double play was all she wrote as the Mariners shutout the Rangers in the opener with a 4-0 win.

Notable Performances


  • Logan Gilbert (W, 2-0)- 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 SO
  • Cal Raleigh- 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Julio Rodriguez- 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB


  • Nathaniel Lowe- 2-4, 2B
  • Josh Smith- 1-4, 2B
  • Dane Dunning (L, 2-2)- 4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO

Rangers 5, Mariners 1 (Game 2, April 24th)

Perhaps the best Mariner pitcher of the month of April took the mound in game two when Bryce Miller returned to his home state to take on Jon Gray and his kryptonite in the Rangers lineup.

For the second straight night, Seattle would strike in the top of the 1st. Taking over in the leadoff spot for the injured J.P. Crawford, Josh Rojas got the game off to a great start with his first triple of the season to put a runner 90-feet from home. Neither Julio Rodriguez or Jorge Polanco drove him in as J-Rod struck out and Polanco drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Mitch Haniger hit a soft grounder to first where Nathaniel Lowe went immediately to second for one out, but the ball was hit too softly for the Rangers to turn two and Haniger beat out the double play at first as Rojas scored, giving Seattle a 1-0 lead.

Nobody put the ball in play in the bottom of the 1st for Texas against Bryce Miller as he walked two and struck out three. Miller did have some control issues but his control was just a tiny bit off but it forced him to go into some deep counts. Texas got to him in the bottom of the 4th with the bases empty when Adolis Garcia drove a fly ball deep to center field. Julio Rodriguez would leap to try to rob the home run and came down but nobody knew if he had caught the ball or not. Unfortunately, he did not and Garcia had his seventh home run of the season to make it 1-1. The next batter was Evan Carter and he crushed a splitter in the middle of the plate and sent his fourth home run of the season out to right. The back-to-back home runs gave Texas their first lead of the series, 2-1.

Singles for Josh Rojas and Jorge Polanco but runners on the corners with one out. Jorge Polanco stole second as Mitch Haniger struck out for the second out while Seattle had runners on second and third. Jonathan Hernández came in for Jon Gray to try to escape the jam facing Ty France. France would put the ball in play but the ground ball went to Marcus Semien at second and he would throw out France to end the inning and kill the Mariners threat with Texas still leading 2-1.

The score remained the same going into the home half of the 6th where Tyson Miller took over for Tayler Saucedo on the mound with a runner on first and one out. Rookie Wyatt Langford singled to right to move runners to the corners for Jonah Heim. The All-Star catcher laced a base hit to right that score Josh Smith but got so much worse for the M’s. Mitch Haniger would whiff on the ball in right and it rolled all the way past him to the warning track. Langford scored from first on the error while Heim reached third, extending the Ranger lead to 4-1.

Evan Carter added on for Texas in the bottom of the 7th with an RBI triple, making the Mariners deficit 5-1. They would be down to their final three outs when Grant Anderson took over for Texas and recorded a quick strikeout of Mitch Garver. Dylan Moore singled to try to spark a Mariner rally, but a Jonatan Clase strikeout and Josh Rojas ground out quickly put a stop to that as Texas took game two 5-1 and took first place right back from the Mariners.

Notable Performances


  • Josh Rojas- 2-5, 3B, R
  • Mitch Haniger- 1-4, 2B, RBI
  • Bryce Miller (L, 3-2)- 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 SO


  • Evan Carter- 2-4, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Adolis García- 1-4, HR, RBI, 2 R
  • Jon Gray (ND)- 4.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO


Mariners 4, Rangers 3 (Game 3, April 25th)

Thursday afternoon, the M’s and Rangers met in the finale of the three-game set with the series win and first place in the AL West going to whoever walked away with the win. Luis Castillo looked to build off of a dominant start his last time out in Colorado as he took the mound for the Mariners against the lefty Andrew Heaney and the Rangers.

Just like they did in the first two games of the series, Seattle struck first in the top of the 1st. A single to begin the game by Julio Rodriguez looked like it would be meaningless after a great catch by Wyatt Langford took a hit away from Mitch Haniger and Cal Raleigh popped out to second. However, Ty France continued his nice start to the season after getting ahead 2-0. A fastball on the outer half was driven the other way by France deep down the right field line. It would sail into the seats for a two-run home run and the first long ball of the season for France. Another early lead for a Mariner pitcher was a great sight as Seattle had a 2-0 lead.

Texas would get one back immediately in the bottom of the 1st. A two-out solo home run for Nathaniel Lowe made it 2-1. In the bottom of the 2nd, Texas threatened for more. A double for Josh Smith turned into more when Haniger committed an error in right field. Smith reached third on the error and with just one out, Castillo was in trouble. A walk to Wyatt Langford put the double play in order but Ezequiel Duran blooped one into center field. Jorge Polanco would make a tremendous catch going out from second base to take the hit away from Duran and save a run. With two outs, Castillo would strikeout Andrew Knizner looking to escape the jam and protect the 2-1 Mariner lead.

A double play helped Castillo escape more trouble in the bottom of the 3rd to keep it 2-1. However, that lead disappeared in the bottom of the 4th. With nobody on and one out, Josh Smith continued his strong series with a deep shot to right field. Smith’s first home run of the year tied the game up at 2-2

Seattle wouldn’t wait too long to take the lead back. In the top of the 5th, Dylan Moore began the inning with his second double of the season. With Moore at second and one out, Luis Urías would show that his wrist is just fine. Already making some nice defensive plays, Urías got a fastball at the very top of the zone and the new Mariner was able to get his barrel to it. Urías sent his second home run of the season way out to left to put the M’s back on top 4-2.

Photo by @Mariners on X

After struggling through the first four innings, Luis Castillo pitched 1-2-3 innings in both the 5th and 6th and left the game with a quality start and in line for the win. Ryne Stanek pitched the bottom of the 7th and an error by Dylan Moore had Wyatt Langford on with two outs. Jonah Heim entered the game as a pinch hitter and extended the inning with a single to put runners on first and second. Marcus Semien clutched up for the Rangers with a two-out single to center to score Langford and make it 4-3. Heim made it to third on the base hit and the tying run was 90-feet away. Corey Seage stepped up to the dish and Gabe Speier came on to pitch in the massive situation. Speier would win the battle as Seager went too far on a check swing for the final strike as Speier was fired up coming off the mound with the M’s still ahead 4-3.

Andrés Muñoz entered to try to close out the huge series win and the Mariner closer needed just four pitches to get Wyatt Langford and Travis Jankowski out. One out away from a third consecutive series win and first place in the AL West, Muñoz got Jonah Heim to chase a sinker off the plate hit a grounder to Luis Urías at third. A routine play for Urías was taken care of easily and the Mariners celebrated the 4-3 win and another series win.

Notable Performances


  • Luis Urías- 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, R, Big Defensive Plays
  • Ty France- 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Luis Castillo (W, 2-4)- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO


  • Josh Smith- 2-4, 2B, HR, RBI, R
  • Nathaniel Lowe- 1-4, HR, RBI, R
  • Andrew Heaney (L, 0-3)- 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO

What’s Next

After a 4-2 road trip, the Seattle Mariners (13-12) return home for six more very difficult games but also a half a game lead in the AL West. First up on the homestand is a three-game series with the reigning National League champions in the Arizona Diamondbacks (12-14) and former Mariner Eugenio Suarez and Seattle’s own Corbin Carroll. While the Diamondbacks have gotten off to a bit of a slow start, the Arizona offense is extremely dangerous and the pitching, like the Mariners, will eventually work into a groove. The Mariner lineup will have to continue putting together great at-bats if they want back-to-back series wins over the two teams that met in the World Series last fall.

  • Game 1, Friday 6:40pm- Zac Gallen (3-1, 3.00 ERA) vs. Emerson Hancock (2-2, 6.10 ERA)
  • Game 2, Saturday 6:40pm- Slade Cecconi (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. George Kirby (2-2, 5.33 ERA)
  • Game 3, Sunday 1:10pm- Brandon Pfaadt (1-1, 4.97 ERA) vs. Logan Gilbert (2-0, 1.87 ERA)



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