(Seattle, WA) As the calendar turned from May to June, more and more eyes start looking at the standings to see where their team lines up and if they can see that team making a run for October. At the top of the AL West, those eyes see the Seattle Mariners who are the only team above .500 in the division. With none of the three contenders, Seattle, Texas, and Houston, playing their best baseball yet, the division is still up for grabs but a nice cushion early is a positive sign for Seattle. Over the weekend the M’s took on the only division foe that they had not played yet as the Los Angeles Angels made the trip to Seattle for a three-game series. With Mike Trout out with a torn meniscus, the Ron Washington led Angels have struggled to find an identity.

With a below average opponent coming into town, the Mariners made an interesting coaching decision on Friday. The Mariners relieved bench coach and offensive coordinator Brant Brown of his duties before the opener on Friday. Seattle entered the series with the second lowest average of runs per game ahead of only the Chicago White Sox who possess the worst record in MLB. With arguably the best starting rotation in all of baseball, combined with one of the top closers in the league, an average offense could help the Mariners widen that division lead quite a bit with the Rangers and Astros dealing with serious injury issues to their starting rotation. It is not too often that a team makes a coaching change in any area when they sit in first place in their division. An opportunity for the Mariners to extend that division lead with a weak schedule in June, a change already seems to be paying off.

Mariners 5, Angels 4 (Game 1, May 31st)

Repping the City Connect jerseys in the opener on Friday night, Bryan Woo looked to continue his dominant stretch since coming back from an IL stint taking on José Soriano and a thin Angels lineup that was missing one of their better hitters thus far in the season in Nolan Schanuel.

With some coaching changes, the offense responded immediately in the bottom of the 1st as J.P. Crawford began the inning with his fifth double of the season. A bloop single for Josh Rojas and a walk to Julio Rodríguez loaded the bases with nobody out, which has been a house of horrors situation for the M’s in recent years. Cal Raleigh would give the Mariners a run with a deep drive to center field. A fly ball to left would be deep enough to allow Crawford to score, making it 1-0 with runners on first and second and just one out. After Dominic Canzone lined out to center, Ty France began his massive night with a big two-out knock. A deep drive to right field was almost caught by Kevin Pillar but the ball just went off the end of his glove as he crashed into the wall. Rojas and Rodríguez both scored on France’s eighth double of the season as Seattle had a 3-0 lead after just one inning.

A robbed home run by Mickey Moniak took another Mariner run away from Luke Raley. Meanwhile, Bryan Woo continued to absolutely shutdown the Angel lineup as Woo faced the minimum through five innings. In the bottom of the 5th, Seattle got an insurance run. Just like in the 1st, Crawford started the inning with a double, but remained their with two outs. Cal Raleigh came through with two outs with a base hit to right to score Crawford. Things continued to look up for the M’s as they took a 4-0 lead.

Bryan Woo would run into some trouble for the first time in the top of the 6th. Back-to-back singles by Matt Thaiss and Zach Neto began the inning but the young righty had the answers. Woo got Luis Guillorme to hit into a 5-4-3 double play for two quick outs before getting Luis Rengifo to line out to J.P. Crawford at short to end the inning. Despite only throwing 66 pitches, Woo was pulled after the 6th due to some arm issues that he had felt after his last few starts. Six strong innings of shutout ball with only three hits allowed and no walks with two strikeouts added another quality start to Woo’s tremendous month of May. The biggest question marks when it came to the Mariner rotation coming into the season was how the young guys would fare in Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo. With Woo’s return those questions have been answered as the back end of the rotation continues to look as good as the front end.

Trent Thornton came into the game in the 7th and that is where the game took a turn. A one out walk to Taylor Ward was followed by a Willie Calhoun double to put runners on second and third. Kevin Pillar hit a hard grounder to Josh Rojas at third and the M’s would cutdown Ward at the plate to keep it 4-0. Thornton would then allow a two-out walk to Logan O’Hoppe to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate. Scott Servais brought in lefty Tayler Saucedo but the Angels countered with pinch hitter Jo Adell. Saucedo tried to backdoor a slider to Adell but missed and left it on the inner half. Adell did not miss it and crushed his 11th home run of the season and the grand slam stunned T-Mobile Park. One bad inning had tied the game late at 4-4.

The score remained tied going into the bottom of the 8th and the Angels brought in Matt Moore to try to keep the game tied going into the 9th. With one out, Moore failed to do so. Ty France came into the at-bat reaching base in his previous three plate appearances in the game. His last hit would be his biggest as France got a changeup in the middle of the plate and sent it way out over the bullpens for a solo shot. France’s seventh home run of the season brought life back to T-Mobile Park as the M’s took a 5-4 lead going into the 9th.

Andrés Muñoz would look to end his dominant month with one last save before June. A couple of strikeouts were sandwiched around a single by Kevin Pillar. That would be all the Angels could get off of Muñoz as Pillar was picked off by the Mariner closer to take the bat out of Jo Adell’s hands to end the game. The abrupt ending was celebrated in Seattle as Muñoz got his seventh save of the month as the M’s took the opener 5-4.

Notable Performances


  • Jo Adell- 1-1, HR, 4 RBI, R
  • Zach Neto- 2-3, 2 SB
  • José Soriano (ND)- 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO


  • Ty France- 3-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, R, BB
  • J.P. Crawford- 2-4, 2 2B, 2 R
  • Bryan Woo (ND)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Mariners 9, Angels 0 (Game 2, June 1st)

While game one turned into a pretty stressful affair, the middle game of the series was anything but for the Mariners. Bryce Miller looked to build off of his first win since April as he faced a once highly touted lefty in Reid Detmers. The Angels had the first good threats in the 2nd and 3rd but Miller was able to pitch out of danger twice.

Seattle would be the team to score the first run of the game. In the bottom of the 3rd, Ryan Bliss drew a leadoff walk and promptly stole his first two bases of his career to put himself at third with one out. Dylan Moore couldn’t drive in the rookie as he took a called strike three for the second out. That brought Julio Rodríguez to the plate looking for a two-out RBI. J-Rod stayed hot with a base hit to left to drive in Bliss. The two-out knock gave Seattle the first lead of the game 1-0.

Photo by @Mariners on X

Things would really start to go the Mariners’ way in the bottom of the 4th. With Mitch Haniger on first after singling, Luke Raley and Ryan Bliss both drew one out walks to load the bases for the top of the order. J.P. Crawford dug into the batter’s box with three career grand slams, all of them coming with Seattle. He would make it four after this at-bat. A 2-2 curveball stayed up in the zone and Crawford sent it out into right field for his fourth home run of the season. The grand salami opened things up as the M’s lead was 5-0.

Bryce Miller would put the finishing touches on another tremendous outing by a Mariner starter. Just like Bryan Woo the night before, Miller would not allow a run against the Angels and got better as the game went on. After dealing with some traffic early, Miller ended his day by retiring the last 10 batters that he faced. In total, Miller went six innings of scoreless ball and allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out nine. After two tough outings in Baltimore and New York, Bryce Miller has hit the reset button and got back to his Cy Young caliber stuff that we saw early in the season.

Luke Raley’s fifth home run of the season gave an electric start to the bottom of the 6th as the Seattle lead grew to 6-0. Ryan Bliss followed with his first major league hit in a special moment for the young second baseman. After taking second on a sacrifice fly by Crawford, Bliss was joined on base by Dylan Moore who was hit by a pitch. Julio Rodríguez would then drive in Bliss for a second time in the game with a base hit to center, making it 7-0. Cal Raleigh then got in on the fun with his fifth double of the year, scoring Moore and Rodríguez and turned the game into a laugher as the M’s had a commanding 9-0 lead.

Scott Servais was able to get his high leverage relievers the night off as Andres Muñoz and Ryne Stanek watched as the Angels had to have a position player pitch when Cole Tucker took the mound in the 8th. He would deliver a scoreless inning, but Kirby Snead would as well in the 9th. The biggest blowout win of the season was well needed as the M’s got to pull some starters early as they finished up the 9-0 win and another series victory at home.

Notable Performances


  • Willie Calhoun- 2-4
  • Reid Detmers (L, 3-6)- 3.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO


  • J.P. Crawford- 1-4, HR, 4 RBI, R, BB
  • Julio Rodríguez- 3-4, 2 RBI, R
  • Bryce Miller (W, 5-5)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO

Mariners 5, Angels 1 (Game 3, June 2nd)

In the finale, Luis Castillo would attempt to give the Mariners their second sweep of the season against Griffin Canning and the Angels. It would turn out to be a tremendous pitchers duel.

A scoreless game turned to the 4th inning with La Piedra getting into trouble with a couple of walks. A flyout by Jo Adell ended the jame and turned things over to the M’s in the home half. A leadoff single by Cal Raleigh was erased when Ty France hit into a double play to bring Luke Raley to the plate with nobody on and two outs. Raley would send a screaming line drive out to right field that was just high enough to get over the wall in right for Raley’s sixth home run of the season. A solo shot got the first run of the game on the board and it was the Mariners with a 1-0 lead.

After that, both starters were nails with neither allowing a hit in the 5th thru 7th innings before both starters turned things over to the bullpens. Griffin Canning was the surprise of the day through his 6 2/3 innings of work. Coming into the game with an ERA over 5.00, Canning was expected to struggle against a Mariner lineup that hit very well in the first two games of the series. However, Canning was tremendous only allowing the one run on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. For La Piedra, it was just another day at the office. Luis Castillo made it ten consecutive starts allowing three runs of fewer. While the walks remain an issue, nobody (except Aaron Judge) is squaring up the ball against Castillo with a lot of weak contact. Castillo went seven scoreless innings and allowed just two hits with three walks while striking out six. Both starters gave their lineups a chance to win it late.

Ryne Stanek hung up a zero in the top of the 8th and Matt Moore entered the game for the Angels. After giving up the go-ahead home run in the opener, Moore struggled again in the finale. After striking out J.P. Crawford to start the inning, Moore walked both Josh Rojas and Julio Rodríguez before being replaced by Luis García. He would strikeout Cal Raleigh for the second out, but an error by shortstop Zach Neto allowed Ty France to reach to load the bases with two outs. For his second consecutive AB, Luke Raley was hit by a pitch and this time it drove in a run, making it 2-0. Mitch Garver then delivered the big blow with a liner down the left field line. That would clear the bases as Garver made his way to second with his eighth double of the season. Seattle all of a sudden had plenty of insurance with a 5-0 lead.

That lead would result in Mike Baumann pitching the bottom of the 9th. A one-out walk to Kevin Pillar put some traffic on base. Logan O’Hoppe reached on the first error of the season by J.P. Crawford to put runners on the corners. Baumann would strikeout Jo Adell for the second out, but couldn’t preserve the shutout as Zach Neto drove in a run with an RBI single. The game wasn’t extended much longer as pinch hitter Matt Thaiss popped out to Josh Rojas to end the game. The 8th inning insurance was needed as the Angels made a late charge but the Mariners completed the sweep with a 5-1 victory.

Notable Performances


  • Griffin Canning (L, 2-5)- 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
  • Zach Neto- 1-4, RBI
  • Taylor Ward- 1-3, 2B


  • Luis Castillo (W, 5-6)- 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO
  • Mitch Garver- 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI
  • Luke Raley- 1-2, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 HBP


What’s Next

With another series home win, the Seattle Mariners (34-27) continue to dominate at home with a record of 21-11 at T-Mobile Park. The M’s do sit atop the AL West still as the only team in the division above .500. Going into Tuesday night’s game, Seattle sits 4 1/2 games ahead of Texas and 7 games ahead of Houston.

Seattle now goes on the road for six games starting with a three-game series in Oakland against the Athletics. Although Oakland (24-37) has lost three consecutive series, they have been very feisty and given some good teams some really tough games in those series. The A’s lost two of three to Houston, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta. Back on May 10th thru 12th, the Mariners took two of three from Oakland and have continued to play good baseball since then.

One name to keep your eyes on in this series for Oakland is Miguel Andújar. Since being activated from the IL on May 24th, Andújar has been raking for the A’s, with a slash of .394/.382/.636 with a couple of homers and 12 RBI in just eight games. The former Yankee has not been horrible at all throughout his career despite not quite living up to expectations he created with a very good 2018, but his issue has been health. Andújar has played a total of 152 games since his breakout season. He will be healthy coming into this series and the combination between him and Brent Rooker will be a handful for the Mariners pitching to deal with.

Before the series gets underway, the Mariners did make a move on Monday by signing outfielder Victor Robles and optioning Jonatan Clase back to Triple-A. Robles was a part of the Washington Nationals 2019 World Series win and had a good season that year, driving in 65 runs and scoring 86 runs. He adds some more speed to the roster and some more experience, but outside of 2019, Robles has had a rough career. The center fielder hit .299 last season in limited action, but this is still not a needle moving acquisition. This would be a similar move to the M’s signing Justin Upton a couple of years ago. Just a supplemental move and I would not expect Robles to still be on the roster after the trade deadline.

  • Game 1, Tuesday 6:40pm- George Kirby (4-5, 4.08 ERA) vs. Mitch Spence (4-2, 3.52 ERA)
  • Game 2, Wednesday 6:40pm- Logan Gilbert (3-3, 3.29 ERA) vs. Joey Estes (1-1, 6.10 ERA)
  • Game 3, Thursday 12:37pm- Bryan Woo (2-0, 1.30 ERA) vs. JP Sears (4-4, 4.01 ERA)



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