(Seattle, WA) While it wasn’t the dominant series that they had hoped for, the Seattle Mariners had momentum back on their side after taking three of four from the Chicago White Sox. However, the weekend’s three-game series with the second-place team in the American League West was the big test and opportunity for the M’s. The defending World Series champions were in town as the Texas Rangers also had a great opportunity to tighten things up in the AL West.

Injuries have plagued the Texas ball club all season long both with their pitching staff and lineup. To add to the issues for Texas, All-Star catcher Jonah Heim did not play in the series as he and his wife were awaiting the arrival of the newest addition to the Heim family. Mariner manager Scott Servais opted to push back Luis Castillo from his scheduled start on Thursday so he could have his top three pitchers going in the big three-game series against a very thin Rangers roster. The series ended up being fairly one sided as Servais’ plan came together better than anyone could have expected.

Mariners 3, Rangers 2 (Game 1, June 14th)

Opening up the series on Apple TV+, the M’s and Rangers both struggled to get much offense going, which is expected in any series that involves the Mariners. Luis Castillo got the start for the Mariners while repping the City Connect uniform while lefty Andrew Heaney would get the ball for Texas.

It wasn’t a clean start to the game at all for either starting pitcher. In the top of the 1st, Texas got leadoff man Marcus Semien on with a single before Castillo retired Corey Seager and Adolis Garcia. However, Nathaniel Lowe continued to haunt Mariner pitching as he came up with a two-out knock. Lowe sent his seventh double of the season to center field, driving in Semien and giving Texas the 1-0 lead. That scored doubled as Wyatt Langford singled home Lowe and it was 2-0 Texas before the M’s ever got to the plate.

Luckily for the Mariners, they had a response. Julio Rodríguez worked a two-out walk to bring former Ranger and World Series champion Mitch Garver to the plate. While he struggled in his first series against his former team, the Mariner DH wasted no time hurting his former club this time around. Heaney sent a slider to the plate that did not quite get to the corner and caught to much of the plate and too much of Garver’s barrel. He sent his eighth home run of the season just out of the reach of Texas center fielder and the game was back to square one as the M’s tied it 2-2.

Seattle grabbed their first lead of the game in the bottom of the 3rd. Back-to-back singles by J.P. Crawford and Mitch Haniger put runners on the corners with nobody out for Julio. While he would square one up, J-Rod sent a 107-mph grounder right at Marcus Semien for what looked to be a double play. While they cut down Haniger, the throw would never be made to first as Julio reached and Crawford scored to give the Mariners a 3-2 lead.

It wasn’t all good vibes for the Mariners as they left the bases loaded in the 4th, but for Texas it was worse as manager Bruce Bochy was ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Vic Carapazza about Victor Robles running on the grass on a bunt. While Bochy was correct, it didn’t hurt Texas and his ejection couldn’t light a spark in the bats. After giving up three hits to the first five batters he faced, Luis Castillo settled down and turned into La Piedra. The Mariner ace allowed just one more hit in the last five innings of his outing and picked up a quality start while setting the tone for the series. Castillo finished allowing just the two runs on four hits in six innings of work while walking just one and striking out seven. Just like Bryce Miller, Castillo quickly flushed a rough outing in Kansas City and got back on track with a strong home outing.

After leaving the bases loaded, the Mariners couldn’t get anything else offensively. Dylan Moore did get to third in the 8th on a single, stolen base, and an error. But with two outs he was left stranded as the game went to the 9th still 3-2. Andrés Muñoz pitched the top of the 8th to face the two best hitters in the Rangers lineup in Semien and Seager which left the 9th for Ryne Stanek. After getting Lowe to hit a ground ball, Stanek made a terrific play up the first baseline as he fielded the ball and made a diving tag to get Lowe for the first out. Wyatt Langford wasn’t as generous as he hit his fifth double of the year to put the tying run in scoring position. Josh Smith would pinch hit as he looked to stay hot for Texas, but he’d end up popping out to Dylan Moore at second. With one out to go, Stanek wasted no time in going after Ezequiel Duran. A 97-mph fastball down the heart of the plate was grounded to Josh Rojas at third for a routine third and final out. A big series started off on the right foot as the Mariners took a low scoring opener, 3-2.

Notable Performances


  • Wyatt Langford- 2-4, 2B, RBI
  • Nathaniel Lowe- 1-4, 2B, RBI, R
  • Andrew Heaney (L, 2-8)- 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO


  • Luis Castillo (W, 6-7)- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO
  • Mitch Garver- 1-2, HR, 2 RBI, R, 2 BB
  • J.P. Crawford- 1-3, R, BB

Mariners 7, Rangers 5 (Game 2, June 15th)

Game two was the most intriguing pitching matchup coming into the weekend series. Nathan Eovaldi would get the ball for Texas in just his fourth start since coming off the IL. For Seattle, George Kirby got the ball still looking to put together a dominant run which we haven’t quite seen from him yet this season.

This time around it was only the Mariners getting off to a good start. In the bottom of the 1st, Josh Rojas was the first Mariner to reach base with a one out walk and he moved up to third on a single by Julio Rodríguez. With runners on the corners, Cal Raleigh put the M’s on the board with a base hit into right field. Rojas scored while Julio got to third to keep runners on the corners with the M’s leading 1-0. While Raleigh did steal his second base of the season, Seattle left two runners stranded in scoring position in the 1st.

Kirby kept the Rangers off the board as the Mariners opened things up a little bit in the bottom of the 3rd. Once again it was Josh Rojas starting the rally with a one out walk. This time Julio Rodríguez delivered the big blow on a 1-2 cutter at the top of the zone. J-Rod has been finding a lot of success lately with high heaters and that continued here. His seventh home run of the season got out to left center and the two-run shot extended the Seattle lead to 3-0. But they still weren’t done. A couple of walks by Cal Raleigh and Mitch Garver put two men on with two outs. Dominic Canzone came through with an opposite field base hit to drive in Raleigh and make it 4-0.

For the first time, George Kirby got in some trouble in the 4th, but got out of it unscathed. He wasn’t as fortunate in the top of the 5th. Ezequiel Duran laid down a bunt and the throw to first got away from Kirby. Duran moved up to second on the error and with two outs Texas got on the board and ended a 12-inning scoring drought. Marcus Semien smoked a grounder down the left field line for an extra base hit. Semien reached second with his 14th double as Duran scored to make it 4-1.

Since Duran got to second on an error and Texas scored with two outs, the run was not earned. And outside of that, Kirby rolled through the defending champions. While Kirby has been great this season, this could be the start that really gets him going. While it was a rare occurrence with Kirby walking multiple batters, they never amounted to anything. He went six innings and allowed just three hits and one unearned run while walking two and striking out six. Castillo passed the baton to Kirby who kept things rolling for the Mariner rotation.

After George Kirby left the game, the Mariners started to open things up. Leading off the bottom of the 7th, Rojas continued to build upon his solid day. A sinker in the middle of the plate was deposited into the seats in right center for his fourth home run of the season. Maybe the biggest surprise for the Mariners this season had extended the Seattle lead to 5-1. He did it again an inning later with bases loaded and two outs as Rojas sent a grounder into center field to drive in a couple more and make it 7-1 Mariners going into the 9th.

Things got a little tight in the 9th as Texas mounted a comeback. Eduard Bazardo started the top of the 9th but did not receive a warm welcome as Adolis Garcia and Nathaniel Lowe singled to put runners on the corners immediately. Wyatt Langford hit into a 5-4 fielder’s choice as the Mariners traded a run for an out. With the score 7-2 and a runner on first with one out, Travis Jankowski and Robbie Grossman singled to load the bases as the pressure started to ramp up. After Ezequiel Duran lined out for the second out, Josh Smith entered the game as a pinch hitter and did not have to swing the bat as he drew a bases loaded walk to make it 7-3 and bring the tying run to the plate. Ryne Stanek came in looking to bail Bazardo out but a two-run single by Marcus Semien made it 7-5 and brought the go-ahead run to the plate in Corey Seager. Seager would smoke a grounder down the first base line, but a diving stop by rookie Tyler Locklear capped off a pretty good first week in The Show for the Mariner first baseman. He would get up and step on first to put a stop to the Rangers comeback as the Mariners wrapped up a series win with a 7-5 victory.

Notable Performances


  • Marcus Semien- 3-4, 2B, 3 RBI
  • Wyatt Langford- 1-4, RBI, R
  • Nathan Eovaldi (L, 3-3)- 3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 6 SO


  • Josh Rojas- 2-3, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB
  • Julio Rodríguez- 2-5, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • George Kirby (W, 6-5)- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO

Mariners 5, Rangers 0 (Game 3, June 16th)

Photo by @Mariners on X

Seattle saved their best pitching performance for last as Logan Gilbert took the mound in the finale. The league leader in quality starts, Gilbert has been a victim of lack of run support this season. In this game, Gilbert didn’t need a lot of run support as he took on Dane Dunning as the M’s looked for their biggest sweep in years.

Dunning needed 33 pitches in the 1st inning but still had a scoreless outing going into the 4th. After retiring Julio Rodríguez and Cal Raleigh quickly, the Mariners put a runner in scoring position as Mitch Haniger hit his 10th double of the season. It turned into some two-out thunder as Luke Raley sent a fly ball to deep right field and off the wall. Haniger scored while Raley made his way to second with his seventh double of the season. The back-to-back two-out doubles helped the Mariners strike first and grab a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the 5th, it was a little déjà vu as Dane Dunning retired the first two batters that he faced as Dylan Moore struck out and J.P. Crawford flew out to right. Just like both Haniger and Raley, Josh Rojas extended the inning with his 10th double of the season to put another runner in scoring position. Then, Dunning threw a wild pitch that kicked off the brick wall behind the plate and up towards the Mariner dugout. Rojas moved up to third and Manny Acta continued to wave him in and Rojas ended up scoring from second on the wild pitch as Seattle capitalized on the mistake to take a 2-0 lead.

While Logan Gilbert continued to roll right through the Rangers lineup, the lead for the Mariners continued to grow as they got closer and closer to the sweep. José Leclerc was the third man out of the bullpen but two pitches in and the Mariners had gotten to him. Tyler Locklear has been a tremendous replacement for the injured Ty France and he continued to show the pop in his bat. Locklear laced his second home run of the week and season over the scoreboard in left to make it 3-0.

The story of the game was Logan Gilbert. The tall righty was completely dominant and had his best outing of the season. Working ahead and generating 20 swings and misses, Gilbert was never in any trouble at all on this Father’s Day. By the time his outing was done, he had thrown 101 pitches with 72 of them being strikes. Eight scoreless innings of two hit ball with no walks and eight strikeouts against the defending World Series champions got all of MLB to pay attention to exactly what Logan Gilbert has done this season. While the entire rotation has been completely dominant, there is a very strong case that Gilbert has been the best and could have the best shot at the Cy Young.

Seattle got a couple more insurance runs in the 8th on an RBI single by Dominic Canzone and a wild pitch that allowed Luke Raley to score to make it 5-0. That added insurance made it a non-save situation which allowed Andrés Muñoz to get an extra day of rest. It would be Austin Voth looking to finish off the sweep as the Kentwood graduate was looking to extend his great run as he had pitched eight of his last nine outings without allowing a run. Voth got some defensive help as both Tyler Locklear and Luke Raley made nice plays to retire Andrew Knizner and Marcus Semien for a quick two outs. Corey Seager would not be able to extend the game as he dropped to 0-20 against the Mariners this season with a routine grounder to Locklear at first. The 45,584 people in attendance erupted as the Mariners completed the sweep with the 5-0 win and continued to pull away in the AL West as they look for their first division title since 2001.

Notable Performances


  • Nathaniel Lowe- 1-3, 2B
  • Dane Dunning (L, 4-6)- 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO


  • Logan Gilbert (W, 4-4)- 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO
  • Tyler Locklear- 1-4, HR, RBI, R
  • Luke Raley- 1-3, 2B, RBI, R, BB

What’s Next

With the sweep, the Seattle Mariners (43-31) now have the largest division lead in all of baseball as the M’s sit 8 1/2 games ahead of Texas and 9 games ahead of Houston. That is the largest division lead that the Mariners have had since their record setting 2001 season where they finished 14 games ahead of Oakland. Seattle also owns one of the best home records in all of baseball as the M’s are 27-12 at T-Mobile Park.

Now Seattle will head back on the road for a nine-game road trip after getting Monday off as a travel day. The Mariners will start their road trip with the toughest series of the three as the M’s will visit the Cleveland Guardians. Flying under the radar a little bit, Cleveland (44-25) owns the third best record in the American League and currently own the #2 seed in the American League playoff picture which would result in a bye straight into the Division Series. While New York and Baltimore have stolen headlines, Cleveland has been just as good while building up their five-game lead in the AL Central. Seattle dropped two out of three back in the beginning of April when the Guardians and Mariners faced off in Seattle. June has not been a great month for the Guardians as they are just 6-6 so far this month.

While he could miss the opener due to being placed on the Paternity List, José Ramírez is expected to be back for at least two of the three games in the series. The switch hitter has always been an underrated hitter and while the average is down this season, the rest of the numbers are at an MVP level. While he has slowed down a bit, Ramírez is still tied for second in all of baseball in runs driven with 62 RBI and he has also hit 18 home runs to this point in the season. What could be even scarier is that Ramírez has sneaky speed kind of like the Mariners Luke Raley. This season, Ramírez has stolen 11 bases which isn’t normal for a third baseman slugging .534. It has been a tough month for the Cleveland star as he has hit just .250 with a .425 slugging percentage and just five RBI and two home runs and one double through ten games in June. However, Ramírez is likely due to break out of his small funk so Mariner pitching has to be careful and hope that his skid can last at least the next three games.

  • Game 1, Tuesday 3:40pm- Bryce Miller (5-5, 3.48 ERA) vs. Triston McKenzie (3-3, 4.10 ERA)
  • Game 2, Wednesday 3:40pm- Bryan Woo (3-0, 1.07 ERA) vs. Tanner Bibee (4-2, 3.94 ERA)
  • Game 3, Thursday 10:10am- Luis Castillo (6-7, 3.32 ERA) vs. Logan Allen (7-3, 5.30 ERA


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