After a disappointing series against the Texas Rangers, the Seattle Mariners came home for the first time this season after playing their first eight games on the road. They dropped their home opener, but bounced back to take two of three games from the Oakland A’s. The series victory not only put Seattle over .500 on the season (6-5), but they are firmly in second in the A.L. West getting an early jump on the A’s and Angels. The Mariners have six games left on the home stand before they have to hit the road again April 24th.
Good News: It was another series victory for the Mariners, who are now 5-2 against the A’s this season. After a rough Mariner debut and a surprising Mariner loss with Felix Hernandez on the hill for the home opener, Hector Noesi bounced back to stop the Mariner slide on Saturday. Noesi notched his first win throwing eight scoreless innings as the Mariners won 4-0. The other player who came with Noesi in that deal, Jesus Montero, has been on fire to spark the offense. Montero did have an eight-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday, but the night before he smashed his first home run as a Mariner and drove in three runs to support Noesi. Montero, with the hitting streak, upped his season average to .286 with 1 HR and 5 RBI.
Bad News: Lack of offense shown by the Mariners, who have struggled with this for the last two seasons, is concerning to any Mariner fan. Seattle was shut out in their home opener, the second time they were shut out this week. Felix Hernandez, who struggled against the A’s in Oakland giving up 6 ER in 6.1 IP, showed more of the old Felix we’ve been used to. He gave up only 2 ER on 7 hits in 7 IP, but got the loss with the lack of run support. It was a bad week for young OF Michael Saunders. Covering CF for the injured Franklin Gutierrez, Saunders went 0-for-6 against the A’s. Combined with the Texas series, Saunders was 2-for-17 on the week lowering his season average to .200.
On the Horizon: The Seattle Mariners continue their home stand as the Cleveland Indians come in for three games. This will be the first series for the Mariners against a team from outside the A.L. West. Cleveland went 1-4 at home to start the season, but they swept three games from the Royals in Kansas City to even their record at 4-4 on the season. The Mariners have a strong rotation to go this series: Kevin Millwood, who looked good against Texas in his Mariner debut, Jason Vargas, and Felix Hernandez in the finale. Vargas and the Mariners on Wednesday will face the red-hot Derek Lowe. Lowe is 2-0 for the Indians with a 1.98 ERA in 13.2 IP.