It’s Reunion Weekend (of a sorts) at Safeco Field as the Tampa Bay Rays arrive for a three-game series.
The Mariners and Rays executed three trades involving 12 players since Jerry Dipoto became the Mariners’ general manager on Sept. 28, 2015. So lots of familiar facing are in town.
The Rays are playing well. They’ve won 10 of their last 15 in climbing above .500 at 29-27 and won their last five road series. They've also been a resilient bunch with 15 come-from-behind victories, including five in their last at-bat.
One of the season’s bigger surprises is first baseman Logan Morrison, an ex-Mariner who leads the Rays with 15 homers and 36 RBIs while compiling a 148 OPS+.
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***Brad Miller, who is playing second base, was activated Friday from the disabled list after missing the last two-plus weeks because of an abdominal strain. Before that, his production was spotty: two homers, 14 RBIs and a .205 average.
***Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, traded by the Mariners to the Rays under the previous administration, is 3-0 with a 3.66 ERA while pitching mostly in relief, but he’s slotted to start Sunday’s series finale.
***Catcher Jesus Sucre is batting .246 in 20 games as the backup to Derek Norris.
***Reliever Danny Farquhar is 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA in club-leading 28 games.
***Rickie Weeks played 37 games for the Mariners in 2015 before getting released. He played last year at Arizona before signing with the Rays in February. He’s drawn time at DH and first base and is batting .233 with two homers and eight RBIs in 90 at-bats.
***The Mariners haven’t yet announced the status of Jean Segura and Nelson Cruz. Both left Thursday’s game because of injuries: Segura twisted his ankle on a slide at second, Cruz was hit in the left hand by a pitch.
***Unless Segura and Cruz are both cleared for action Friday, which seems unlikely, the Mariners are expected to make one or more roster moves to bolster their already-thin bench.
***Felix Hernandez, sidelined since April 25, will test his recovery from bursitis in his shoulder by throwing a few innings in a simulated game. If all goes well, he should begin a rehab assignment next week, probably at Triple-A Tacoma.
***Outfielder Mitch Haniger will take the next step in his recovery from a strained right oblique muscle by participating in batting practice. If he avoids any weekend setbacks, he should also depart next week to Tacoma.
***The pitching matchup for Friday’s series opener is right-hander Christian Bergman (2-2 with a 4.67 ERA) against Tampa Bay righty Jake Odorizzi (3-2 and 3.14). The game starts at 7:10 p.m, and can be seen on Root Sports Northwest.
***A postgame fireworks display Friday will be set to what the Mariners characterize as a "Seattle-based soundtrack," including Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Nirvana and others.
TIME CAPSULE I
It was 30 years ago Friday — June 2, 1987 — that the Mariners selected outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. with the first overall pick in the MLB Draft.
A senior at Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Griffey agreed to a $160,000 signing bonus and reported the Bellingham Mariners in the Short-A Northwest League.
Griffey also retired on this date in 2010 after a 22-year career.
TIME CAPSULE II
It was 27 years ago Friday — June 2, 1990 — that Randy Johnson pitched the first no-hitter in Mariners history. He had eight strikeouts and six walks in a 2-0 victory over Detroit at the Kingdome.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners