(Seattle, WA) When it rains it pours and the Seattle Mariners have been finding that out recently as late June was not so friendly to the AL West leading M’s. With a record of 4-8 in the last 12 games in June, the Mariners division lead had almost completely disappeared as once at 10 games that lead was down to just 3 1/2 over the Houston Astros. If that isn’t reason enough to panic, the Mariners had another heavyweight come to down when they opened up the month of July with a three-game series against the World Series contender Baltimore Orioles.

After Seattle was fortunate enough to avoid being swept in Baltimore back in May, the M’s knew that they would have to flush the recent tough stretch they had been facing over the last two weeks with one of the best and youngest lineups in all of baseball across the diamond. Offense has continued to cause the Mariners a lot of problems so far in 2024 and the M’s would see some of the very best pitching that Baltimore has to offer including Cy Young contender Corbin Burnes.

Orioles 2, Mariners 0 (Game 1, July 2nd)

In game one of the three-game set, George Kirby looked to build off of a strong start against Tampa Bay as he took on Grayson Rodriguez. When the M’s and O’s played in May, Rodriguez had a very good outing before the Baltimore bullpen collapsed late.
Both starters rolled through the first three innings as Kirby had faced the minimum while Rodriguez allowed just one hit. In the top of the 4th, Gunnar Henderson began the inning with a single. Adley Rutschman then reached on a fielder’s choice that put runners on first and second with nobody out. After getting a fly out, Kirby coughed up the first run of the game. Anthony Santander chopped a single just past the diving Jorge Polanco and into right center. Henderson scored on the RBI single and Baltimore had the 1-0 lead.
Photo by @Mariners on X

Seattle couldn’t capitalize on a couple of walks in the bottom of the 4th as Polanco hit into a double play. Josh Rojas seemed to be the only Mariner that could hit on Tuesday night and in the bottom of the 6th he singled to center for his second hit of the night. Ty France joined Rojas on base with a one-out walk which brought Luke Raley to the plate. A grounder right back to Rodriguez looked like it would be a routing double play, but Rodriguez stepped off the mound as he threw the ball to second and that resulted in a low throw. Henderson couldn’t bring it in cleanly as everyone was called safe. After Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde challenged the call at second, it was determined that France was actually out, putting runners on the corners with two away. Despite Raley stealing second, Cal Raleigh couldn’t come through this time around and struck out swinging to end the inning and the Mariner threat.

Sometimes it’s about where you hit the ball and not how hard you hit the ball and that’s just what Baltimore did in the top of the 7th. Back-to-back one out singles by Jordan Westburg and Colton Cowser put runners on the corners with one out. Manager Scott Servais went out to pull George Kirby, but the young right-handed talked his way into staying in the game. Cedric Mullins would chase Kirby with another seeing-eye grounder into center field to score Westburg and make it 2-0. Servais had to pull Kirby after that and Austin Voth worked his way out of a bases loaded jam to keep the score 2-0.
2-0 was still the score going into the bottom of the 9th as future Hall of Famer Craig Kimbrel took the mound to try to close things out for Baltimore. After hitting Luke Raley to begin the inning, Kimbrel recorded his first out with a strikeout of Cal Raleigh after the Mariner catcher pulled what would have been a game-tying home run just foul. Another Mariner was hit as Jorge Polanco also just got grazed by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out and the winning run at the plate. Dominic Canzone hit a soft grounder to Ryan O’Hearn at first and the Oriole first baseman took the sure out at first. That put runners on second and third with two outs and Julio Rodríguez at the plate. J-Rod was bumped down to seventh in the lineup but found himself at the dish with the game on the line. Kimbrel went right after Julio with five fastballs, striking out the Mariner center fielder to end the rally. The shutout loss kept the Mariners slide alive as they dropped the opener to Baltimore, 2-0.

Notable Performances


  • Grayson Rodriguez (W, 10-3)- 6.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 SO
  • Anthony Santander- 2-4, RBI
  • Cedric Mullins- 1-3, RBI, BB


  • George Kirby (L, 7-6)- 6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
  • Josh Rojas- 2-2

Orioles 4, Mariners 1 (Game 2, July 3rd)

Maybe the most trusted Mariner starting pitcher right now, Logan Gilbert would try to be the stopper in game two of the three-game set, looking to end the Mariners three-game losing streak. Meanwhile for Baltimore, Dean Kremer would take the ball in the middle game of the series as he was activated off of the IL on Wednesday before the game.
Once again, Gilbert looked to be unhittable while the lineup looked like they were unable to get hits. One thing that did cause problems for Logan was the walks. In the top of the 3rd, he would issue two free passes to Ramón Urías and Adley Rutschman to put a couple of runners on with two down. Ryan O’Hearn then drove a ball slicing out to left center. After Julio Rodríguez missed a home run by inches in his first AB, he would miss this one by inches with his glove as it just went off the end of his glove. With two outs, Urías and Rutschman both scored easily as O’Hearn reached with his 10th double of the season. He would then come around to score on an RBI single by Ryan Mountcastle to extend the lead. Baltimore capitalized on the opportunity and took a 3-0 lead.
Seattle finally got their first hit of the game in the bottom of the 4th on a single by Ty France. However they were still looking for their first run since Sunday. Meanwhile, the Orioles added on. In the top of the 5th, Ryan O’Hearn added to his already big line on a cutter that just caught the insider corner. The Baltimore first baseman pulled it for his 11th home run of the season. Things were looking more and more bleak as Baltimore’s lead grew to 4-0.
While the Orioles continued to hit and find offensive success, the Mariners could not get anything going. With their scoreless streak extending to 16 innings, they finally would get a tally on the board. In the bottom of the 6th after just pulling one foul the night before, Cal Raleigh would try to light a fire under the M’s. Batting from the right side of the plate, Raleigh pulled a slider on the outer half and got every inch of it. A long 423-foot blast would end a different drought as Raleigh circled the bases for his 15th home run on the year. There was still plenty of work left to do however as the Mariners still trailed 4-1.
In the opener Seattle managed to put together some rallies late to try to execute a classic Mariner comeback. In game two, they weren’t able to even put pressure on the Oriole bullpen. Craig Kimbrel would come in to close it out in the 9th and went right through Ty France, Jorge Polanco, and Julio Rodríguez. A quick 1-2-3 inning handed the Mariners a 4-1 loss and their fifth consecutive series defeat.

Notable Performances


  • Ryan O’Hearn- 2-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB
  • Dean Kremer (W, 4-4)- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO
  • Ryan Mountcastle- 1-4, RBI


  • Cal Raleigh- 1-4, HR, RBI, R
  • Logan Gilbert (L, 5-5)- 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO

Mariners 7, Orioles 3 (Game 3, July 4th)

With the losing streak up to four, Seattle’s streak of not being swept this season was in jeopardy as the Mariners and Orioles met for some day baseball on the 4th of July. Bryce Miller would lead the Mariners, who had not lost on America’s Independence Day since 2019 coming into the game. Miller would have to be on his A+ game as he would take on AL Cy Young contender Corbin Burnes for Baltimore.
Things looked bad early for the Mariners as Gunnar Henderson began the game with a line drive to right center. He would get thrown out trying to extend it to a triple, but his next time up would be much worse for the M’s. In the top of the 3rd, James McCann began the inning with a single to set the table for the AL All-Star starting shortstop. Henderson will also compete in the Home Run Derby and gave a preview to the Mariner faithful. A slider running in would get blasted the other way and into the bullpen for Henderson’s 27th long ball on the year. The two-run blast was his fourth against the Mariners this season and gave Baltimore a 2-0 lead.
Outside of that, Bryce Miller was pretty good for the M’s against the potent Baltimore lineup. He did have to deal with pretty consistent traffic on base, but Miller never seemed phased by it. Facing a pitcher the caliber of Corbin Burnes can light a fire under a guy and that can bring out the best in him. While the line wasn’t earth shattering, Miller did go 5 2/3 innings and allowed just the two runs on eight hits while walking just one and striking out six. While the hits number was high, Miller kept the important number low as he stranded a lot of Orioles.
Two runs is usually enough for Corbin Burnes to get the win and with a struggling Mariner lineup it looked like it would be enough. But in the bottom of the 5th, the entire Pacific Northwest let out a little sigh of relief. Leading off the inning, Julio Rodríguez fell behind quickly at 0-2 but Burnes would miss his spot with a cutter on the inside corner. Julio got the barrel to it and launched it out to The Pen for his eighth home run of the year, making it 2-1. That got the Mariners going as Ty France and Josh Rojas followed with back-to-back singles while Mitch Haniger walked to load the bases with nobody out. While Ryan Bliss didn’t quite do the damage many had hoped for, his hitting into a 6-4-3 double play did allow France to score. Seattle got to the ace of the Baltimore staff and tied things up at 2-2.
After an injury scare for Julio in the top of the 6th, he put any concerns to rest as J-Rod began the bottom of the 7th with his seventh double of the season. With the go-ahead run in scoring position, Ty France drew a walk but Josh Rojas couldn’t get a bunt down to move the runners up. Instead, Rodríguez stole third for his 18th stolen base on the year and put runners on the corners. After Rojas struck out, Haniger walked to load the bases for Ryan Bliss once again. This time, Bliss couldn’t get the job done as he struck out for a huge second out. Lefty Keegan Akin came in from the Baltimore bullpen to face J.P. Crawford with the bags packed and two outs. After getting ahead 3-1, Crawford’s clutch gene once again came through. A line drive got all the way to the wall in right center and let everybody run. All three runners scored on Crawford’s 12th double of the year as the Mariners took their first lead of the series. There were still some fireworks to be had as Mitch Garver followed with a bomb into The Pen for his 11th of the season. A sudden explosion of offense was needed for the Mariners as they had taken a 7-2 lead.
Jordan Westburg’s 14th home run of the year got a run back for the Orioles but they still trailed 7-3 going into the 9th. Andrés Muñoz would pitch for the first time since Friday but had some rust to knock off. After Cedric Mullins singled to welcome him to the game, Muñoz got Jorge Mateo to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to clear the bases with two outs. A walk to James McCann only extended the game by a batter as Gunnar Henderson hit a grounder off of Muñoz and to Ryan Bliss. The rookie took care of it and threw out Henderson go end the game and help the Mariners avoid the sweep. At last, the four-game losing streak was over as the Mariners salvaged the the finale and extended their 4th of July winning streak to four with a 7-3 win over the Orioles.

Notable Performances


  • Gunner Henderson- 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Jordan Westburg- 1-4, HR, RBI, R
  • Corbin Burnes (ND)- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO


  • J.P. Crawford- 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI, R, SB
  • Julio Rodríguez- 2-4, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 R, BB, SB
  • Bryce Miller (ND)- 5.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO

What’s Next

With the series loss, the Seattle Mariners (48-41) have now lost five consecutive series and almost all of their once ten game division lead. Houston took three out of four from the Toronto Blue Jays while Texas lost two out of three to San Diego. The Los Angeles Angels were swept by the Oakland A’s this week so they will be forgotten for now in the division recap. The red-hot Astros will continue their road trip over the weekend with a three-game series at the Minnesota Twins while the Texas Rangers will host a playoff rematch when the Tampa Bay Rays visit Arlington for three.

Meanwhile for the Mariners, they get set for the battle of the PNW with the neighbors to the north as the Toronto Blue Jays (39-48) make their way to T-Mobile Park for a three-game set. While Toronto did take two out of three from the Mariners back in April, the teams had gone in opposite directions since then. While the M’s still sit atop the AL West, Toronto resides at the very bottom of the stacked AL East. Bullpen issues have really hurt the Jays this season as the Toronto bullpen has an ERA of 4.80, which is the second worst in all of baseball ahead of only Colorado. For comparison, Seattle’s bullpen ERA of 3.77 is right in the middle of the MLB ranks. Things in Toronto have gotten so bad that there are now rumors swirling of the Jays selling everyone, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, two of the best young stars in baseball.

Now, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. can always be highlighted as he leads the Blue Jays in virtually every offensive category. However, there is another player that has caught fire as of late and is a familiar face for the M’s. George Springer’s numbers won’t jump off the page at first. A .217 average with nine home runs and 28 RBI is actually a line that one might expect from a bottom of the order guy and not one of the most feared leadoff hitters in the game. However, over the last 15 days Springer has caught fire and really got his offense going. Over the last 15 days, the star outfielder is hitting .326 with a slugging percentage of .652 while clubbing four home runs and driving in 13. Adding in that Springer has hit 24 career home runs against the Mariners with 14 of those coming at T-Mobile Park, Mariner pitching will have to be careful with an all-around talented player that can strike in the blink of an eye.

  • Game 1, Friday 6:40pm- Kevin Gausman (6-7, 4.75 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (6-9, 3.87 ERA)
  • Game 2, Saturday 1:10pm- Yariel Rodríguez (0-3, 4.63 ERA) vs. Emerson Hancock (3-3, 4.79 ERA)
  • Game 3, Sunday 1:10pm- José Berríos (8-6, 3.63 ERA) vs. George Kirby (7-6, 3.32 ERA)




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