There have been more downs than ups this season, but the Seattle Mariners are on a definite up after their recent six-game road trip. Seattle faced two teams both ten games over .500, Texas and Cincinnati, and took both three-game series. While it’s true the Mariners still haven’t swept any team this season, a 4-2 road trip against that kind of competition is a step in the right direction. It was their first winning road trip since a 3-2 road trip early in May against Toronto and Pittsburgh. Seven games before the All-Star Break, the Mariners stand at 39-49. I take a look at what went right on this trip.
Production From Starters Other Than The Front Two. Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are both headed to New York to represent the Mariners in the All-Star Game. On this trip, though, the pitching stars were Joe Saunders and Aaron Harang. Saunders now stands at 7-8 on the season with wins in both Texas and Cincinnati. It was quite a road trip for Joe, who allowed only two earned runs, three overall, in 13.2 IP. Saunders has now gone 3-1 in his last four road starts after starting the season 0-4 on the road in six road starts. Aaron Harang, pitching in Cincinnati for the first time as a visitor, handcuffed his former team winning 4-2 on Friday. Harang allowed six hits and two earned runs over six innings. He is now 2-1 against the National League this season; 3-1 against team who played in the National League last season as he also has a win over the Astros.
Offense. The Mariners’ offense started off the road trip with a bang putting up nine runs against Texas in a 9-2 win on Tuesday. Kendrys Morales homered twice and drove in six to power the Mariners’ series opening win. The Mariners showed some clutch offense the next night with Kyle Seager hitting a two-run two out home run in the tenth to give Seattle a 4-2 win. For the road trip, the Mariners scored at least four runs in every game except yesterday when they won 3-1. Nick Franklin continues to swing a hot bat since being called up from Tacoma. Franklin blasted his sixth home run of the season on Sunday, and he is batting .287 on the season with 18 RBI. Despite only appearing in thirty-seven games, Franklin is sixth on the Mariners in RBI.
Roster Moves. Seattle continues to tinker with the rotation announcing Jeremy Bonderman was designated for assignment today. After a poor first start, Bonderman pieced together four solid starts resulting in a win and three no-decisions. He had been roughed up in his last two starts giving up six runs to the Cubs in 3.1 IP and six runs Saturday at Cincinnati in 5.0 IP. The Mariners added a relief pitcher in the call-up recalling Lucas Luetge for his third stint this season. Unless the Mariners make another roster move, there is no starter for the Thursday game against the Red Sox. Blake Beavan, who didn’t get used on the road trip, would be the default starter if no moves are made. Beavan hasn’t started a game for Seattle since a home loss to Houston on April 10th, being replaced in the rotation by Aaron Harang after he came over from a trade with Colorado.