Manager: Scott Servais (3rd season)
Last 10 games: 4-6
Who to watch: DH Nelson Cruz (33 HR, 83 RBIs), 2B Dee Gordon (30 SB), RF Mitch Haniger (23 HR, 84 RBIs), SS Jean Segura (.321) 1B Ryon Healy (24 HR, 66 RBIs) LHP Wade LeBlanc (8-3, 3.71 ERA), RHP Edwin Díaz (51 saves, 1.93 ERA)
Season series vs. Orioles: 4-0
Sept. 3: LHP Josh Rogers (1-0) vs. RHP Erasmo Ramírez (1-3), 9:10 p.m., MASN
Sept. 4: RHP Alex Cobb (4-15) vs. LHP Wade LeBlanc (8-3), 10:10 p.m., MASN2
Sept. 5: RHP Andrew Cashner (4-13) vs. RHP Mike Leake (8-9), 10:10 p.m., MASN2
Inside the Mariners:
The 2018 campaign for Scott Servais’ ballclub has been quite the roller coaster. Robinson Canó’s 80-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance had him away from the Mariners from mid-May to mid-August. This was supposed to be the Mariners’ year. They have performed close to par and although still in the mix for the postseason, their odds have declined. The series loss to Oakland on Sunday afternoon was detrimental to the club’s hope of returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2001, currently the longest playoff drought in baseball. Seattle is 5 1/2 games behind the A’s for the final wild card slot in the American League with just 25 games remaining in the regular season, and only three left between the two clubs for the Mariners to pick up steam. It doesn’t help that Oakland has the best record in baseball since June 15, when Seattle was leading them in the AL West by 11 games.
Right fielder Mitch Haniger started off Sunday’s series finale with a double and is currently on 14-game hitting streak, the longest of his career and the longest active streak in the majors. Veteran designated hitter Nelson Cruz hit his 33rd homer of the 2018 season in Friday’s victory over the A’s. The 38-year-old is on track to get back to the 40-homer plateau for the fourth time in the last five years. Ryon Healy has been rolling in his last three starts, going 6-for-13 and accruing a homer, four RBI and three runs in that span. Saturday’s contest was no different, as Healy went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI single in the victory over Oakland.
Erasmo Ramírez (6.28 ERA) will be competing in his 18th career matchup against the O’s in tonight’s series opener, while this will be the right-hander’s eighth start. He currently maintains a 2.98 ERA against Baltimore. In his last start against the Padres on Wednesday, he gave up seven runs in just three innings. Prior to that Ramírez, had only allowed two runs over the previous 16 innings in his last three starts. Tuesday starter Wade LeBlanc only gave up three hits and just three walks with four strikeouts in seven innings on Thursday against Oakland. The lefty has allowed five or more earned runs in two of his last six starts, albeit giving up two or less earned runs in the other four games. Mike Leake , who starts Wednesday’s series finale, struggled in his last go-round for Seattle on Friday, taking the loss versus Oakland after allowing six earned runs on 11 hits in just over four innings. Seattle lost 7-5 as the right-hander only struck out three batters and gave up two walks. His ERA jumped up to 4.25, as he has now allowed five or more runs in two consecutive starts.
Closer Edwin Díaz recorded his 51st save of 2018 in Saturday’s victory over the A’s. He has been stellar this year over 65 innings, maintaining a 0.80 WHIP.