(Cleveland, OH) Two division leaders would meet this week as the AL West leading Seattle Mariners visited the AL Central leading Cleveland Guardians for a three-game series. With Cleveland winning two out of three in Seattle back in April, this serious would be pivotal for the Mariners as these two teams battle for a potential first-round bye in the playoffs.

Seattle and Cleveland both have had their issues with one in another as the two teams always seem to play close games against one another where the road team tends to come out on top in recent years. While Seattle’s strength has been pitching all season long, Cleveland’s lineup is made to give teams like the Mariners some serious problems. Aggressive and very disciplined at the plate, the Guardians can make a starter’s day short with long at-bats and their bullpen consistently is one of the best in baseball. That put the pressure on the Mariners to try to get to the Cleveland starters and the starting pitching to try to quiet down the dangerous lineup.

Mariners 8, Guardians 5 (Game 1, June 18th)

Coming into the opener with a ton of momentum after the Texas sweep, Seattle looked to get off to a good start and win the series opener in a potential playoff matchup. Bryce Miller looked to set the tone in game one as he got the ball for the Mariners against Triston McKenzie for Cleveland.

Seattle would not be able to strike first as they found themselves with an early deficit. In the bottom of the 2nd, Josh Naylor drew a lead off walk and David Fry followed with a single to put runners at first and second. Will Brennan then loaded the bases with nobody out with a base hit to center to bring Daniel Schneemann to the plate. A chopper to Ty France was snagged at first and he would cut down Brennan going to second base, but the M’s could not turn two and Naylor scored, making it 1-0. That would be all Cleveland could muster with that threat as the M’s got David Fry at the plate for the second out before Miller struck out Bo Naylor to end the inning.

Things then began to click for the Mariner offense. In the top of the 3rd, Dylan Moore began the inning with a walk and his 12th stolen base of the season. It wouldn’t matter what base he was on as J.P. Crawford skied a high fly ball that had enough height to carry out of the park for a two-run shot and Crawford’s seventh home run of the season. Very quickly Seattle had taken the lead at 2-1 but they weren’t done. Josh Rojas singled and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Cal Raleigh then drove in the Mariner third baseman with his eighth double of the season, making it 3-1. After walking Ty France, Triston McKenzie’s day was done as Cleveland went to their bullpen very early. Mitch Garver however kept the extra base hit party alive with his 11th double to score Raleigh. Seattle had three extra base hits in the inning and grabbed a 4-1 lead.

Plenty of doubles and homers were still to come for the Mariners as their lead grew in the 4th on back-to-back doubles by Dylan Moore and J.P. Crawford to make it 5-1. A couple of solo shots opened things up as the M’s scored in five consecutive innings in this one. Ohio native Luke Raley went opposite field for his eighth home run of the season as he sent a long ball to his uncle in left field who couldn’t quite make the catch. Dylan Moore had the most impressive home run with a 402-foot solo blast in the 6th for his seventh home run of the year and the Mariners were feeling pretty good with a 7-1 lead.

Cleveland would not go down without a fight. In the bottom of the 6th, two straight one-out singles by José Ramírez and Josh Naylor put a couple of men on but Bryce Miller caught David Fry looking for an important second out. An RBI single by Will Brennan looked harmless enough as the Mariners still led 7-2, but an error on a pickoff attempt by Miller gifted Cleveland another run, making it 7-3. Scott Servais had to go to his bullpen after Miller walked Schneemann and Austin Voth came in trying to escape the jam. A fly out off the bat of Brayan Rocchio to Julio Rodríguez did just that and Seattle escaped with a still fairly comfortable lead.

A Mitch Garver RBI groundout in the 7th made it 8-3 as the Mariners got one of those runs back, but Cleveland continued to chip away. José Ramírez drove in a run in the bottom of the 7th with an RBI single to make it 8-4 and trouble really began to brew in the bottom of the 8th. Trent Thornton worked himself into a very messy situation after giving up a single to Will Brennan to begin the inning. Daniel Schneemann then grounded out for the first out while Brennan moved to second but back-to-back hit batters loaded the bases with just the one out and brought the tying run to the plate in Steven Kwan. Andrés Muñoz would enter looking for a potential five-out save and did get Steven Kwan to hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice as Seattle traded a run for an out. With the score 8-5 and runners on the corners with two outs, Andrés Giménez came to the plate but couldn’t come through for the Guardians. A grounder to Dylan Moore at second ended up being a routine third out as Muñoz put out the fire with the M’s still leading 8-5.

It looked like that would be the last stress for Mariner fans as Muñoz retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the 9th. Cleveland would look to put some pressure on as David Fry kept the game alive with a two-out double, bringing Will Brennan to the plate. He was not match for Muñoz as the right fielder struck out swinging for the final out of a stressful ballgame. The stress was worth it as the Mariners took the opener from the Guardians, 8-5.

Notable Performances


  • J.P. Crawford- 2-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, R, 2 BB
  • Dylan Moore- 2-4, 2B, HR, RBI, 3 R, BB, SB
  • Bryce Miller (W, 6-5)- 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO


  • Will Brennan- 3-5, RBI, R
  • José Ramírez- 2-5, RBI, R
  • Triston McKenzie (L, 3-4)- 2.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 0 SO

Guardians 8, Mariners 0 (Game 2, June 19th)

Returning to the mound after missing his last start was Bryan Woo as he tried to wrap up the series early for the Mariners in the middle game of the three-game series. Opposing him would be arguably the most consistent starter thus far in 2024 for Cleveland in right-hander Tanner Bibee. A high pitch count early ended up really hurting Woo as Bibee countered with one of the best starts of his young career.

A leadoff walk in the bottom of the 1st for Steven Kwan gave Woo some early traffic to work around. A single by José Ramírez put runners on the corners with nobody out and Woo’s pitch count was already at 20 as he looked to wiggle out of danger. It was a big day for Josh Naylor and he started doing damage to the M’s early. After fouling off a couple of 0-2 pitches, Naylor laced a single to right field. Kwan scored while Ramírez made his way to third with Cleveland leading 1-0. Woo would limit the damage by striking out David Fry and getting Will Brennan to fly out to center, but he needed 30 pitches to get out of the 1st with Cleveland striking for a 1-0 lead.

It looked like the young Mariner starter would bounce back in the bottom of the 2nd with a quick inning. Needing just five pitches for the first two outs, Woo got in some trouble when he allowed a two-out double to Bo Naylor to bring up the dangerous Steven Kwan with a runner in scoring position. While Kwan isn’t known to be a power hitter, he got into a fastball on the inside corner and hit it off the right field foul pole for his fifth home run of the year. The two-out surge continued to hurt Woo’s outing as the Guardians took a 3-0 lead.

A leadoff double by Josh Rojas in the 4th was wasted by the Mariners and a strikeout by J.P. Crawford on a couple of missed calls saw the Mariner shortstop and manager Scott Servais both ejected going into the bottom of the 5th and things snowballed out of control from there for the Mariners. Mike Baumann replaced Bryan Woo in the bottom of the 5th, but he did not fare any better than the starter. Another two-out rally ensued for Cleveland as Andrés Giménez walked and stole second. He came around to score on an RBI single by José Ramírez but it was Josh Naylor that dealt the big blow. A fastball right on the inner half would not be missed by Naylor as he launched his 18th home run of the season. Three more two-out runs doubled the Cleveland lead as they had a 6-0 advantage.

Bo Naylor added an RBI single and Josh Naylor hit another solo home run to give him 19 on the year, but the story of this one was Tanner Bibee. The righty was completely dominant against the Mariners as they struggled to get anything going off of him. Like many other starters facing the Mariners this season, Bibee set a new career-high in strikeouts to complete his outing. He would finish after six innings and allowed only three hits and no runs while walking one and striking out 12. Bibee was dialed in on the big zone the home plate umpire was giving him and took advantage of it with a phenomenal start.

Seattle wouldn’t do any better against the dominant Cleveland bullpen. They did not record a hit off of any relievers as the game headed to the 9th and unfortunately for Seattle, Emmanuel Clase had not pitched in a few days so he came on in a non-save situation. Things did not go well for the M’s against arguably the best closer in baseball as Clase retired Josh Rojas, Victor Robles, and Cal Raleigh in order. The game mercifully came to an end as Cleveland evened up the series by shutting out the Mariners, 8-0.

Notable Performances


  • Dominic Canzone- 1-3, 2B
  • Bryan Woo (L, 3-1)- 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO


  • Josh Naylor- 3-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
  • Steven Kwan- 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB
  • Tanner Bibee (W, 5-2)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO

Guardians 6, Mariners 3 (Game 3, June 20th)

The series hung in the balance on Thursday morning when Luis Castillo got the ball for the Mariners against the pitcher that has received the most run support in all of baseball in 2024, Logan Allen. Seattle was looking to earn a split of the season series that could affect the postseason tiebreakers but the Guardians had the opportunity to wrap up the season series against the M’s.

This one couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for the Mariners. J.P. Crawford led off the game with an infield single in his return after being ejected in the middle game of the series. Dylan Moore then gave the Mariners the lead on the second batter of the game. Moore crushed a fastball at the top of the zone and it just stayed fair hooking around the foul pole for his eighth home run of the season. A tremendous start had the M’s feeling good early, leading 2-0.

Cleveland got one back in the home half of the 1st. Steven Kwan led things off with his 11th double of the season and he moved up to third on a single by Andrés Giménez. With runners on the corners and nobody out, Luis Castillo got the first out by getting José Ramírez to fly out to left field. Josh Naylor then hit a hard grounder down the first base line. Tyler Locklear fielded the grounder on the bag for an out. The throw to second resulted in Giménez getting in a rundown between first and second base as the force out was taken off when Locklear tagged first. He stayed in the rundown long enough for Kwan to score on the double play and the Guardians were on the board trailing 2-1.

Not known for being a power hitting team, Cleveland flexed their muscle in these three games against the Mariners. Will Brennan got in on the fun in the bottom of the 2nd. Castillo tried to sneak a fastball by Brennan on the inside corner, but the right fielder got the barrel to it and sent his seventh home run of the season out to right center. Cleveland had quickly evened the score back up at 2-2.

This time, it would be the Mariners to put together the two-out rally in the top of the 4th. After Ty France was hit by Logan Allen to begin the inning, both Mitch Haniger and Tyler Locklear were retired for the first two outs. Victor Robles put together a nice AB to draw a walk and put runners at first and second. After hitting the ball hard his first time up and having nothing to show for it, Ryan Bliss jumped all over a first pitch sweeper and smoked it off the wall in the left field corner. France was able to score as Bliss recorded his first career double and the Mariners had retaken the lead 3-2.

Seattle caught a break in the bottom of the 4th as Will Brennan hit what would have been a game tying extra base hit, but the ball hopped over the wall and forced David Fry to stop at third on the ground-rule double. While La Piedra was able to work out of a jam in that inning, he wasn’t as fortunate in the bottom of the 5th. Steven Kwan drew a two-out walk after Brayan Rocchio was caught stealing by Mitch Garver. While Andrés Giménez had been pretty quiet in the series, he saved his biggest hit for the biggest game. Giménez took advantage of a changeup in the middle of the plate and drove it out to right center for his fifth home run of the season. That gave Cleveland their first lead of the day at 4-3, but they weren’t done in the 5th. A walk to José Ramírez was followed by an RBI double for Josh Naylor and Cleveland ended up chasing Castillo after just five innings with the Guardians leading 5-3.

For the M’s their best opportunity to fight back came against the Cleveland bullpen in the top of the 7th. A single by Victor Robles was followed by a walk for Ryan Bliss to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Tim Herrin would get J.P. Crawford to fly out to right before giving way to Cade Smith. Cleveland’s bullpen would extinguish the Mariner rally rather quickly as Dylan Moore hit into a 6-4-3 double play to kill the rally and keep the M’s deficit at 5-3.

Will Brennan added his second home run of the game and eighth of the season in the bottom of the 8th to make it 6-3. For the second consecutive game, Seattle was down to their final three outs and needing to comeback against Emmanuel Clase. For the second consecutive game, they failed. Clase retired Mitch Haniger, Josh Rojas, and Luke Raley rather easily to put a wrap on the season series. Once again it would be Cleveland taking the rubber game from the Mariners 6-3 and taking the season series four games to two.

Notable Performances


  • Dylan Moore- 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB
  • Ryan Bliss- 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB
  • Luis Castillo (L, 6-8)- 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO


  • Will Brannan- 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
  • Andrés Giménez- 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Logan Allen (W, 8-3)- 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO


What’s Next

Unfortunately, with the series loss, Seattle (44-33) also lost some of their division lead with Houston winning their series against the Chicago White Sox. The Astros are now in second place in the AL West, eight games behind the Mariners but they also just had to put Justin Verlander on the IL. Texas lost two of three at home against the New York Mets and the third-place Rangers are still 8 1/2 games behind the M’s.

Next up for the Mariners, they will take the rest of their nine-game road trip down to Florida for a couple three-game series against the teams from the Sunshine State, starting with the Miami Marlins. Since LoanDepot Park opened up in 2012, the Mariners have struggled to find success down there as the M’s are 1-5 in Miami’s ballpark. Miami (25-49) is one of just a few surefire sellers for the upcoming trade deadline as they already traded away their best bat when they sent Luis Arraez to San Diego back on May 4th. The next big pieces to go for the Marlins will be a couple of pitchers in reliever Tanner Scott, who could be a Mariner target, and starter Jesús Luzardo who will pitch in game two. Another bat the Mariners could pursue at the deadline is Miami centerfielder Jazz Chisholm Jr.

The Marlins that we will spotlight are the two potential targets for the Mariners. First up is Tanner Scott. The lefty closer has only allowed two runs in 18 1/3 innings since the beginning of May with both of those runs coming on June 13th against the Mets. With a .144 average against and a 1.16 WHIP, Scott is following up a career year with another All-Star caliber season. Much like the rest of the Mariner bullpen, Scott is a fastball-slider guy but does not have as much velocity as other bullpen arms but still averages around 96-97-mph with his fastball and a slider that is well above league average. Scott would be an incredible addition to the Mariner bullpen and would add a left hander to a pitching staff that just has one lefty on it right now in Tayler Saucedo.

Now let’s move to the bat in Jazz Chisholm Jr. The former second baseman was moved to center field last year and has struggled with some injury problems in his short career. With a flare that is unmatched in the sport today, Jazz has gotten better each month this season in what has been the healthiest season of his career thus far. So far in June, Chisholm seems to be more focused on increasing his average as he his hitting .302 this month to bring his season average up to .266 on the season. With 10 home runs and 36 RBI, he also has some power in his bat and that RBI total could be higher if he wasn’t on the worst team in the National League. Recently named by other players in the league as the most overrated player in baseball, his stats are still up there with the very best bats in the Mariner lineup and could add either at a corner outfield spot or at second base depending on how Jorge Polanco looks in his return.

  • Game 1, Friday 4:10pm- George Kirby (6-5, 3.54 ERA) vs. Trevor Rogers (1-8, 5.09 ERA)
  • Game 2, Saturday 1:10pm- Logan Gilbert (4-4, 2.93 ERA) vs. Jesús Luzardo (3-6, 5.00 ERA)
  • Game 3, Sunday 10:40am- Bryce Miller (6-5, 3.46 ERA) vs. Braxton Garrett (2-2, 5.35 ERA)


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