Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners win two in a row for first time in a month

It's true, the Seattle Mariners hadn't won back-to-back games since June 16-17 before scoring nine times in consecutives wins against Kansas City, their latest tonight's 9-6 victory.

Blake Beavan went six innings in his return and looked like, well, Blake Beavan. The Mariners survived a scare when lefty Charlie Furbush had to leave after two pitches when his bicep tightened up, though he wound up throwing 15 more pitches in the covered batting cage without discomfort.

Offense? A team that seemed to have been in a collective slump got 14 hits, including home runs from Justin Smoak (No. 13) and Michael Saunders (No. 9) and three hits from DH Jesus Montero. Yes, Kyle Seager had two more two-out RBI - that's 31 - and Dustin Ackley has five hits in the past two nights.

So what's happening?

Part of it has been the Royals pitching. Monday starter Jonathon Sanchez, gave up seven runs to Seattle and Kansas City designated him for assignment tonight. Tonight's, starter was rookie Ryan Verdugo, making his big-league debut.

He allowed six runs in 1 2/3 ininngs and now owns a career earned run average of  32.40. Ouch.

Still, the Mariners seem to be making the most of life on the road, where they have scored the most runs in the American League - as opposed to at home, where they've scored the fewest. And among the three teams in the AL with losing records, the Mariners now have the most wins (39).

No one in the Seattle clubhouse was talking about a major turnaround or even a second half surge. Manager Eric Wedge has hammered the one-game-at-a-time approach into them for 1 1/2 seasons, and they seem to be have bought in.

The last four games, three of them wins, the Mariners have scored seven, nine and nine times in their victories - and zero in a Sunday loss to Texas. Would you take three out of four games like that the rest of the season?

They would. It may be that young hitters like Seager, Ackley and Montero are simply awakening after under-performing all season. Smoak can hit home runs on fastballs, Saunders has made himself a viable big-league hitter and Casper Wells is playing wonderfully since returning from Class AAA.

Is it enough in a division where the other three teams are above .500 and Seattle is 14 games under? No. Is it a start? Maybe.

Will the Mariners take it? You bet.

  Comments