Seattle Mariners news was good from Friday night (August 5), as pitchers Felix Hernandez and Edwin Diaz combined to hold the Los Angeles Angels to just three hits. The Mariners would beat the Angels 6-4, with all but one of the runs coming in the first inning. After giving up a three-run homer in the first inning, Hernandez would only allow a single hit for the next seven innings.
Hernandez went eight innings, allowing just three hits and striking out six batters. He made it to 100 pitches and improved his record on the season to 6-4. Edwin Diaz then entered the game in the ninth inning to completely shut the door on the Angels. Diaz used 13 pitches to strike out the side, registering his third save in less than a week. He also dropped his ERA to just 1.93 and showed the Angels some amazing control with his pitches.
The offense for the Mariners scored six runs in the first inning, spurred by a three-run homer by Mike Zunino. It was Zunino’s sixth homer of the year and it proved to be his most important one so far. Aiding in the offense was Adam Lind, who went 3-for-4 from the plate, and Nori Aoki, who was 3-for-5 as the leadoff hitter on the night. The Mariners did manage 14 hits in the game, but couldn’t get a run across after the successful first inning.
With this win, the Seattle Mariners improved to 55-53 on the year. The American League West leading Texas Rangers lost to the Houston Astros, allowing the Mariners to pick up a game in the standings. Entering play on Saturday, August 6, the Mariners trail the Rangers by seven games for the division title. The teams have a lot of games against each other in the final weeks of the season, so this could become a very interesting race.
Taijuan Walker takes the mound for the Mariners on Saturday night, making his first start since returning from the disabled list. The 23-year old right-hander is 4-7 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.14 WHIP on the season. He has started 16 games for the Mariners but hasn’t been able to find sustained consistency yet. The Mariners could really use a good outing from Walker to ensure that the team gets a series victory against the Angels.
Game time for Saturday night is 6:10 p.m. PT against the Los Angeles Angels. Tyler Skaggs is on the mound for the Angels, making just his third start of the season. Skaggs has posted a 1-0 record, with a 0.00 ERA and 0.81 WHIP so far. The Mariners will want to get to him early and often in this game to make sure that he doesn’t settle in and get comfortable.
The Seattle Mariners could really use more games from Nori Aoki like he had on Friday night. Aoki, playing left field and leading off for the Mariners, went 3-for-5 against the Angels. Aoki also scored a run and had two stolen bases, showing added value on the basepaths. If Aoki can take full advantage of his speed in the final two months of the season, that would provide the offense a noticeable boost.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Mariners have a lot of work left to do to make it back into the postseason for the first time since 2001. The team trails the Texas Rangers by seven games in the AL West and the Boston Red Sox by five games for the second Wild Card spot. The schedule is very favorable in August, so the time has arrived to either make a run or start seriously rebuilding for next year. Can the Seattle Mariners capitalize on the momentum of Felix Hernandez’s victory on Friday night?
[Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]