(Seattle, WA) After taking two of three from the defending World Series Champions, the Seattle Mariners returned home for a three-game series with the team that fell short in the Fall Classic last season, the defending National League Champions the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the Mariners playing their best baseball of the season thus far and the D-Backs having some serious issues, especially with the health of their starting rotation, Seattle had a chance to build upon the hot streak before hosting one of the best teams in baseball this week.

Mariners 6, Diamondbacks 1 (Game 1, April 26th)

Opening up the series on the mound for the Mariners was the young Emerson Hancock as he took on one of the best pitchers in the National League in Zac Gallen. It would not take long for the M’s to get on the board against the Arizona ace. The first pitch of the game from Gallen was deposited into the seats in right field by Josh Rojas for his second home run of the season. The new Mariner leadoff man was off to a hot start in his new spot in the lineup as the M’s were off to a hot start with a 1-0 lead.

That lead was doubled just one inning later. After struggling to start his Mariner career, Mitch Garver continued to haunt the D-Backs just like he did in last year’s World Series. A fastball on the inner half was skied out to left field. The ball was hit high enough that it had time to carry out by Edgar’s Cantina in left for a solo home run and Garver’s second as a Mariner. Scott Servais couldn’t have asked for a better start as the M’s had an early 2-0 lead over the Diamondbacks.

Emerson ran into some trouble in the top of the 4th after back-to-back walks to Ketel Marte and Joc Pederson. All-Star Lourdes Gurriel Jr. came to the plate would get a mistake fastball up in the zone, but fortunately for the M’s he would roll over on it and send a grounder to shortstop. The third 6-4-3 double play quieted the threat as there were two outs with a runner on third. Christian Walker would ground out to Jorge Polanco at second to end the inning and keep the Mariner lead at 2-0.

In the 6th inning, plenty of action took place for both teams. Leading off the top of the 6th, Kevin Newman finally got to Hancock with his second home run of the season to get Arizona on the board trailing 2-1. That home run was countered quickly by the Mariners in the home half of the inning. A walk for Josh Rojas began the inning and Zac Gallen had to leave the game in the middle of a Julio Rodriguez at-bat due to hamstring tightness. J-Rod welcomed Scott McGough to the game with a base hit and Cal Raleigh walked to load the bases with nobody out. Mitch Haniger would get the first crack with the bases loaded and he made sure nobody else got that opportunity. Haniger broke out the rye bread and mustard as he launched the first grand slam of the season for the Mariners on a 3-2 pitch. It was Haniger’s fourth home run of the year and the M’s had opened up their lead to 6-1.

Hancock was done after six really strong innings as the Mariner rotation recorded another quality start. It was up to the bullpen to get the final nine outs and they did so with ease. After Trent Thornton and Cody Bolton pitched 1-2-3 innings in the 7th and 8th, trouble brewed a bit in the top of the 9th in Bolton’s second inning of work. After retiring Pavin Smith to begin the inning, Ketel Marte singled and Joc Pederson walked to put a couple of runners on. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. popped out for the second out but a walk to Christian Walker loaded the bases for former Mariner Eugenio Suarez. After getting a standing ovation and a video tribute earlier in the game, Suarez gave the Mariners one last gift as he grounded out to Josh Rojas at third for the final out. More dominant pitching for the Mariners gave them the game one win in the series with a 6-1 victory over the Diamondbacks.

Notable Performances


  • Kevin Newman- 1-3, HR, RBI, R
  • Ketel Marte- 1-3, BB
  • Zac Gallen (L, 3-2)- 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO


  • Mitch Haniger- 1-4, HR, 4 RBI, R
  • Josh Rojas- 1-3, HR, RBI, 2 R, BB
  • Emerson Hancock (W, 3-2)- 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO


Mariners 3, Diamondbacks 1 (Game 2, April 27th)

Game two of the series saw George Kirby come up with one of the best starts of his career as he battled Slade Cecconi who also pitched his best outing of his young career after just being recalled back up to the majors.

Both pitchers looked to have good stuff early as neither team got a runner in scoring position until the 3rd. The first team to do so would be Arizona as Blaze Alexander doubled to right, missing a home run by inches, to put the first pressure on Kirby. After walking the leadoff man in Jake McCarthy, Kirby battled back with back-to-back strikeouts of Lourdes Gurriel and Ketel Marte to get out of the trouble with the game still scoreless.

Seattle would finally get something going against Cecconi in the bottom of the 5th. A one-out double for Mitch Garver gave the Mariners a runner in scoring position as Luke Raley made his way to the plate. After laying down a bunt single his first time up, Raley came through with his second hit of the game with a liner to right field. Garver came around to score on the single and Kirby and M’s had the lead, 1-0.

George Kirby was the story of the game as the young righty was dominant with his fastball hitting in the upper 90s all game long. It is normal to see Kirby not walk batters, but he was getting swings and misses up and down the Arizona order with his fastball and slider doing the bulk of the work. Kirby would not go the distance as he had some long battles but he would record seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball with just one walk and a new career high in strikeouts with 12. This was the start that the Mariners and their fans were waiting to see as Kirby looks to bounce back from a tough start to the season.

In the bottom of the 7th, Seattle would expand their lead and take pressure off of the bullpen. Bryce Jarvis came in to pitch and walked Jorge Polanco to begin the inning. New dad Ty France continued to showcase his dad strength has he sent his second home run of the season out to left center. As France circled the bases and flexed to the Mariner bullpen, the team gained some breathing room as the lead expanded to 3-0.

Seattle lost the shutout in the top of the 8th after Ryne Stanek retired the first two batters on seven pitches. After getting ahead of the #9 hitter Blaze Alexander 0-2, Stanek would lose him on an eight-pitch walk. Jake McCarthy would make the M’s pay for that walk with a triple into right field for his first triple of the season. Alexander would score and cut the deficit down to 3-1. Stanek would minimize the damage by getting Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to line out to left to end the inning the keep the lead at 3-1.

Andrés Muñoz came on to pitch the 9th with a two-run lead. There was no stress this time around as Muñoz cut right through the middle third of the Arizona order. Ketel Marte lined out to Julio in center and Christian Walker struck out for two quick outs. Joc Pederson didn’t fare much better with a pop up in foul territory to Rojas at third. He would make the catch, solidifying another series win and giving the Mariners a chance for the sweep with a 3-1 victory.

Notable Performances


  • Slade Cecconi (L, 1-1)- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO
  • Jake McCarthy- 1-3, 3B, RBI, BB
  • Blaze Alexander- 1-2, 2B, R, BB


  • George Kirby (W, 3-2)- 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO
  • Ty France- 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Luke Raley- 2-3, RBI, SB


Diamondbacks 3, Mariners 2 (Game 3, April 28th)

Photo by @Mariners on X

For the series finale, the hottest Mariner pitcher took the mound in Logan Gilbert. Opposite of him for Arizona would be the breakout postseason hero for Brandon Pfaadt as the D-Backs tried to avoid the sweep. Also for the first time this season, the Mariners got to wear their cream and gold Sunday uniforms and looked to break them in with a sweep.

For the second time in the series, Josh Rojas began the game with a bang as he jumped on the second pitch from Pfaadt and just kept it fair down the right field line for a leadoff home run. The third home run of the season for Rojas also moved the third baseman to 3-4 leading off the game for the M’s with a triple and two home runs. More importantly it gave Seattle a 1-0 lead.

Immediately, Arizona tied it back up. Christian Walker was the best hitter for Arizona in this series and he recorded his second home run of the series on a no-doubter leading off the 2nd. The fifth of the season for Walker sailed 422-feet and tied the game at 1-1.

A cool story coming into this one was the MLB debut of Leo Rivas who had spent eight seasons in the minor leagues made his MLB debut on Sunday, playing shortstop for the Mariners. In his first at bat leading off the bottom of the 3rd, Rivas recorded his first hit with a triple to right. It was very cool to watch every one celebrate the hard work Rivas had put in and he got to go celebrate with the team in the dugout after Julio Rodriguez drove him in with a base hit to center. It was a feel good inning as Seattle had taken a 2-1 lead. It would end on a low note though. Seattle loaded the bases with nobody out, but could not add on another run as they left them loaded.

Pfaadt did not allow another baserunner after the 3rd and finished his day with six innings, allowing five hits and two runs with no walks and a career-high 11 strikeouts. Logan Gilbert was also dealing but ran into trouble in the top of the 7th. A one-out double for Joc Pederson put the tying run on and the former Mariner finally hurt his former team. Eugenio Suarez drove a double just over Jonatan Clase’s glove in left for his sixth double of the season. Pederson trotted home and the game was even at 2-2.

Gabe Speier pitched out of trouble in the 7th but Trent Thornton was not so fortunate in the top of the 8th. A leadoff walk by Kevin Newman came back to hurt Seattle. Jake McCarthy bunted him over to second but Lourdes Gurriel Jr. flew out to shallow center for an important second out. Another former Mariner in Ketel Marte would also hurt the home team as he jumped on a first pitch sweeper at the very bottom of the zone and sent it off the wall in right. Newman scored easily as Marte reached second for his ninth double of the year and for the first time in the series Seattle found themselves trailing, 3-2.

With Paul Sewald on the injured list, Kevin Ginkel came in to close things out in the bottom of the 9th for the D-Backs. After striking out Jorge Polanco to begin the inning, Ginkel got Ty France to hit a harmless grounder right back to him for the second out. That left things up to Mitch Garver and he would send a fly ball out to left field that was no problem for Gurriel Jr. A late blown lead also blew the chance at the sweep as Arizona salvaged one and defeated the Mariners 3-2.

Notable Performances


  • Brandon Pfaadt (ND)- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 SO
  • Christian Walker- 2-4, 2B, HR, RBI, R
  • Ketel Marte- 1-4, 2B, RBI


  • Logan Gilbert (ND)- 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO
  • Josh Rojas- 1-3, HR, RBI, R
  • Leo Rivas- 1-2, 3B, R


What’s Next

After their fourth straight series win, the Seattle Mariners (15-13) maintain their 1/2 game lead over the Texas Rangers in the AL West. Seattle will get things set for their toughest series of the season as they welcome the Atlanta Braves (19-7) to town to wrap up the homestand with a three-game series with one of the World Series favorites. The last two seasons these two teams have played six games and split them at 3-3 with a lot of exciting games that have come down to the wire. A series win here for the M’s would elevate them from playoff contender to show that they are capable of being of the very best teams in baseball. A potential World Series preview will be a very good measuring stick for how good the Mariners can be.

  • Game 1, Monday 6:40pm- Max Fried (2-0, 4.97 ERA) vs. Bryce Miller (3-2, 2.22 ERA)
  • Game 2, Tuesday 6:40pm- Reynaldo López (2-0, 0.72 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (2-4, 4.15 ERA)
  • Game 3, Wednesday 12:40pm- Chris Sale (3-1, 3.69 ERA) vs. Emerson Hancock (3-2, 5.06 ERA)



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