(Seattle, WA) Finally, after an absolutely brutal nine-game road trip, the Seattle Mariners returned home as they began a nine-game homestand at T-Mobile Park on Friday night. Now, all three of the teams making their way to the Pacific Northwest are dangerous and are more than capable of keeping the Mariners slide alive and first up would be the Minnesota Twins.

Minnesota continues to play strong baseball since the M’s dropped three of four when they visited the Twins back in May. Another aggressive swinging club, the Twins offense has taken off in recent weeks which would make things tough on the Mariners. Seattle would also have to face three very strong starting pitchers as well in the series. The Mariner starters would need to make some adjustments and the lineup would need to figure things out to turn things back around for the M’s.

Mariners 3, Twins 2 (10 Innings) (Game 1, June 28th)

Opening up the homestand with a sold out crowd for the J.P. Crawford trident and City Connect bobblehead, Seattle looked to light a spark and bring back the good vibes that were lost on the road trip. To do so, Seattle sent one of the best pitchers in baseball in the month of June to the mound as Logan Gilbert got the start in game one against Bailey Ober for Minnesota.

Two good pitchers kept the game scoreless thanks to some solid defense from both teams. Both pitchers also pitched around some traffic but it would be the Mariners drawing first blood in the bottom of the 5th. After striking out the first two batters of the inning, Bailey Ober gave up a two-out walk to Mitch Haniger to keep the inning alive. Josh Rojas would come to the plate, hitting in the nine hole for the Mariners on Friday night. Rojas pulled a hard line drive down the right field line and it got into the corner. With Haniger not possessing great speed, it was a little surprising to see third base coach Manny Acta wave in Haniger to try to catch the Twins by surprise. The relay throw was strong and the ball easily beat Haniger to the plate. Catcher Christian Vázquez took his eye off the ball and missed it which allowed Haniger to score. Rojas came through on his 13th double of the season and the Mariners had taken a 1-0 lead.

Two batters into the 6th, that lead vanished. Logan Gilbert hit Willi Castro in an 0-2 count for his first real mistake of the game. That brought up the red hot Carlos Correa who worked ahead into a 2-1 count. Gilbert threw him a curveball on the inside corner and at the bottom of the zone, but Correa dropped the barrel on it. A fly ball went to deep left center and left the park. Correa’s ninth home run of the season was a big two-run blast and put Minnesota out in front, 2-1.

Austin Voth and Collin Snider kept the Mariners in it with a couple of scoreless innings and the game entered the bottom of the 8th. Griffin Jax took over for Minnesota and the usually reliable reliever continued to have his issues against the Mariners. A leadoff walk to Mitch Haniger resulted in Luke Raley entering the game as a pinch runner. Josh Rojas followed with a grounder into right field for a base hit to put runners on first and second with the top of the order coming up. J.P. Crawford’s bunt attempt was popped up to third baseman Jose Miranda who made the catch for an important first out as the runners had to stay put. A chopper by Julio Rodríguez to Miranda at third looked like it could be a double play, but Raley avoided the tag going to third and the throw to first was low and couldn’t be dug out by Carlos Santana at first. The ball rolled away which allowed Raley to score and tie the game at 2-2. With runners on second and third and just one out, Seattle had a golden opportunity to take the late lead, but an intentional walk to Cal Raleigh was followed by a very shallow fly out by Mitch Garver. Dominic Canzone would strikeout to end the threat but the M’s had still changed the game by tying things up.

Andrés Muñoz only needed eight pitches in a 1-2-3 top of the 9th and Seattle would look to walk it off in the bottom of the 9th against Minnesota closer Jhoan Duran. Ty France singled to center to put the winning run on and Victor Robles entered as a pinch runner. Jorge Polanco laid down a great bunt that resulted in a base hit rather than a sacrifice to put runners on first and second. Luke Raley would then lay down a sacrifice bunt to move runners to second and third with just one out. Unfortunately, the strikeout once again hurt the Mariners in a brutal way. Josh Rojas went down swinging for a massive second out and J.P. Crawford grounded out to second to end the inning. Seattle dropped to 0-9 with runners in scoring position as the game went to extra innings.

With Jose Miranda starting the 10th at second, Ryne Stanek made easy work of keeping him from scoring with a nine-pitch inning to again give the M’s a chance for the walk-off in the home half of the inning. J.P. Crawford was the automatic runner starting at second and he moved up to third on a Julio Rodríguez ground out. Cal Raleigh came to the plate and after Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli elected to intentionally walk Cal in the 8th, they decided to pitch to him in the 10th. Clutch Cal would not hit a rocket, but a soft chopper between the pitchers mound and first base forced Cole Sands to make a tough play. A spinning, barehanded throw to the plate was well off line as Crawford scored on another Raleigh walk-off. The late surge pushed the Mariners to a series opening win, 3-2.

Notable Performances


  • Carlos Correa- 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Willi Castro- 1-3, R, HBP
  • Bailey Ober (ND)- 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO


  • Josh Rojas- 2-4, 2B, RBI
  • Cal Raleigh- Walk-Off RBI
  • Logan Gilbert (ND)- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO

Twins 5, Mariners 1 (Game 2, June 29th)

In game two, the Mariners broke out their batting practice hats for a new look as they looked to wrap up the series early. Bryce Miller looked to right the ship after a couple of tough starts on the road trip facing off against a disappointing ace for Minnesota in Pablo López.

This time, Minnesota would strike first and they did it early against the young Mariner starter. In the top of the 2nd, Max Kepler sent a one-out double to right center for his 15th two-bagger of the season to put the first runner in scoring position of the game. Jose Miranda then dumped a single into center field that was read well by Kepler. He scored on Miranda’s parachute single struck the first blow to give the Twins a 1-0 advantage.

While López has struggled in 2024, he was off to a strong start in Seattle. In the bottom of the 3rd, Seattle would draw even with a long overdue home run. Mitch Haniger was the home run hitter this time around as he sent a hanging curveball out to left center for a solo shot. It was Haniger’s seventh home run of the season and his first since May 14th as the game was even at 1-1. Seattle would leave two runners stranded in scoring position to end the inning as they continued to not hit with runners on.

Just like in the opener, Minnesota had a quick response ready. Carlos Santana led off the top of the 4th with his 15th double of the season to put the go-ahead run in scoring position to start the inning. Bryce Miller would quiet down the threat by striking out Max Kepler and getting Jose Miranda to ground out to short. While the grounder did move Santana to third, Miller just needed the one out to escape the inning. However, Byron Buxton found his MVP talent and unleashed in on Saturday night. Buxton smoked a double to left for his 13th double of the season. That drove in Santana and Minnesota had retaken the lead at 2-1.

It was a short outing for Bryce Miller as he only went five innings before giving way to Trent Thornton in the top of the 6th. He would quickly get in trouble as Carlos Correa and Carlos Santana recorded back-to-back singles to put a couple runners on with nobody out. A strikeout of Max Kepler was followed by a ground out by Jose Miranda as Carlos Santana was erased at second. With runners on the corners and two outs, Byron Buxton came through once more in a clutch situation. This time, Buxton just left the yard with a three-run bomb into the Mariner bullpen. The eighth home run of the season for Buxton brought his RBI total for the game to four as the Twins lead quickly grew to 5-1.

Seattle would put some good ABs together against the Minnesota bullpen, but could not string hits together as they couldn’t cut into their deficit. Cal Raleigh was thrown out trying to extend a single to a double to end the 8th and that ended up being the last gasp for the M’s. Griffin Jax made very quick work of the Mariners in the 9th by striking out the side to slam the door on any thoughts of a comeback. The Twins evened the series by beating the Mariners 5-1 to force a rubber game on Sunday afternoon.

Notable Performances


  • Byron Buxton- 2-4, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, R
  • Carlos Santana- 3-4, 2B, R
  • Pablo López (W, 8-6)- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO


  • Mitch Haniger- 1-3, HR, RBI, R
  • Bryce Miller (L, 6-7)- 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO

Twins 5, Mariners 3 (Game 3, June 30th)

With the series on the line in the finale, Seattle and Minnesota both looked to seize the opportunity for a series win over a playoff caliber team. Luis Castillo moved up a game to start in the finale with La Piedra still getting his usual rest. For Minnesota, it would be Joe Ryan who has been the Twins best pitcher in 2024.

It didn’t take too long for the Twins to jump on Castillo and take another early lead. Willi Castro singled on the third pitch of the game and stole second. With one out, Trevor Larnach planted the seeds for what would be a big day for him with a base hit back into center. Castro flew around the bases and scored on the Larnach single. Just three batters into the game, Minnesota had taken the lead 1-0.

Seattle had runners on second and third with one out but couldn’t score as Cal Raleigh and Luke Raley both struck out to end the 1st. They got a runner to second in the 2nd as well but again could not get a hit with a runner in scoring position. A leadoff double to start the bottom of the 4th for Luke Raley again put a runner in scoring position with nobody out. Mitch Garver was the starting catcher in the finale for the M’s but Cal Raleigh was still in the lineup at DH. Garver was hit on the wrist in the 2nd and had to leave the game due to the injury. That meant Raleigh had to move to catcher which forced the Mariners to give up their DH. Luis Castillo would have to enter the lineup and hit in the 4th, but was clearly told to not swing the bat as he struck out to follow the Raley double. Jorge Polanco and Ty France did not fare any better than La Piedra at the plate as they both struck out as the Mariners continued to be miserable with runners in scoring position as they continued to face a 1-0 deficit.

That deficit grew in the top of the 5th. Max Kepler singled and was quickly driven in on Austin Martin’s ninth double of the season to make it 2-0. Martin then moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt by Christian Vázquez but he remained there after Willi Castro struck out for the second out. Jose Miranda continued the Twins stretch of two-out hitting with a single to left to drive in Martin and capitalize on his opportunity with a runner in scoring position. Seattle saw their deficit grow to what felt like an insurmountable 3-0 hole.

Photo by @Mariners on X

It looked impossible for the Mariners to waste a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the 5th as Dylan Moore began the inning with his third triple of the season. J.P. Crawford squared one up with a bullet out to right but the catch was made by Max Kepler and D-Mo had to stay put at third. Josh Rojas then laid down a bunt and Joe Ryan quickly flipped it to the plate, but Moore never broke for home. That allowed Rojas to reach and brought Julio Rodríguez to the plate. J-Rod hit a chopper right back to Ryan, but the Twins pitcher dropped it. He recovered in time and made the throw to the plate to cut down Moore…or so it appeared. The Mariners challenged and the call was overturned as the Mariners got on the board, trailing 3-1. Cal Raleigh kept chaos ball alive as he hit what looked to be a routine fly ball to center. Byron Buxton lost it in the sun however and the ball dropped for a single to load the bases. Luke Raley then hit a ground ball that was gloved by the sliding second baseman Austin Martin, but nobody was covering first, allowing everyone to reach safely and scoring Josh Rojas. The bizarre bottom of the 5th brought the M’s back from the dead, but they would leave the bases loaded while still trailing 3-2.

Seattle’s bullpen was looking very strong as they kept the deficit at one heading into the bottom of the 7th. Luke Raley reached on a one-out single off of Steven Okert to put the tying run on. He moved up to second on a ground out by Victor Robles, but with two outs the confidence was not high for the Mariner fans. Former Minnesota Twin, Jorge Polanco finally got to his old team with two outs. Polanco laced a hard line drive off the wall in right field. While he could only reach first on the liner, Raley was able to score as the game was back on with Seattle tying it up 3-3.

One storyline of this series was the Twins ability to answer the few times the Mariners scored. In the top of the 8th, they took the wind right back out of the Mariners sails. Ryne Stanek retired Willi Castro to start the inning, but then gave up a single to Jose Miranda. What came next was one last gut punch by the Twins to the Mariners. Trevor Larnach got his barrel to a splitter and sent it out into the J-Rod Squad in right center. It was Larnach’s eighth home run of the season and put the Twins back out in front, 5-3.

While Seattle was downright awful with runners in scoring position in the series, going 4-34 over the course of the three games while the Twins hit .250 in the same situations in the series, things didn’t get worse in the bottom of the 9th. Jhoan Duran carved up the Mariners for a quick 1-2-3 inning. The 5-3 win gave the Twins the series victory and was the Mariners first series loss at home since April 12th-14th and handed the M’s their fourth consecutive series loss overall.

Notable Performances


  • Trevor Larnach- 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, R
  • Jose Miranda- 2-4, RBI, R
  • Joe Ryan (ND)- 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO


  • Luke Raley- 3-5, 2B, RBI, R
  • Jorge Polanco- 1-4, RBI
  • Luis Castillo (ND)- 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO

What’s Next

Seattle continues to slip as things get tighter and tighter in the AL West. The Mariners (47-39) enter the month of July still atop the AL West but that ten game division lead is long gone. Houston has now won nine of their last ten and have cut the Seattle division lead down to just 3 1/2 games with momentum firmly on Houston’s side. Texas has fallen way back as they sit 8 1/2 games behind Seattle, while Los Angeles has played back into it at just 9 1/2 games back. Oakland is way back at 17 games out. Houston will spend their 4th of July in Canada as they visit the Toronto Blue Jays for a four-game series while Texas hosts the San Diego Padres for three.

Out of the entire AL West, it is the Seattle Mariners that have the toughest series this week as they host the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles for a three-game series beginning on Tuesday at 6:40pm. With the best run differential in the American League, Baltimore has been streaky in the last couple of weeks. After taking two of three from both Philadelphia and New York, the O’s lost five straight and then won four straight before losing Sunday night to Texas. Seattle and Baltimore met in May when the Orioles defended their home field and took two of three from the Mariners. Just entering their championship window, Baltimore looks to be the new team to beat in the American League but they still have to find some postseason success to truly take that mantle.

You could close your eyes and point at the Baltimore roster and find a player worth spotlighting. There is one MVP candidate that we have to look at because he could be the best player in baseball in just a couple of seasons. Gunner Henderson broke into the league in 2022 but was still a rookie last season en route to winning the American League Rookie of the Year. After hitting 28 home runs and driving in 82 runs last season, Henderson has quickly raised the bar on expectations for the young shortstop moving forward. In just 83 games, Henderson has hit 26 home runs and driven in 58 while hitting .288 which would be the best season average he has had in his young career. Add in his elite defense and Henderson is right up there with Bobby Witt Jr. for being the best all around shortstop in the sport. Of course the Mariners got a good look at Henderson back in May when he went 5-12 with a homer in each game of the series, while driving in four runs. Now he could go hitless in the series and the Orioles could still sweep the Mariners, but if the M’s can slow down Henderson a little bit, Seattle will have more of a chance in what is going to be a very difficult series regardless.

  • Game 1, Tuesday 6:40pm- Grayson Rodriguez (9-3, 3.72 ERA) vs. George Kirby (7-5, 3.35 ERA)
  • Game 2, Wednesday 7:10pm- Corbin Burnes (9-3, 2.28 ERA) vs. Logan Gilbert (5-4, 2.72 ERA)
  • Game 3, Thursday 1:10pm- Albert Suarez (4-2, 2.43 ERA) vs. Bryce Miller (6-7, 3.88 ERA)




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