When and where: May 16, 2019, T-Mobile Park, Seattle, WA, 10:00 PM ET
The potentially resurging Seattle Mariners look to silence the naysayers on Thursday when they host the Minnesota Twins at T-Mobile Park. After losing four straight games, the Mariners bounced back with two straight wins over the Oakland Athletics. Meanwhile, the Twins barely scraped by the Los Angeles Angels in a three-game series. Michael Pineda is expected to get the pitching start for the Twins, while the Mariners field righty Erik Swanson.
Mariners back on the winning track
The Mariners were only ahead by one run in the seventh inning and bases were loaded in Tuesday’s game against the A’s. Mike Leake had already pitched himself out of the game in six-plus innings, and Cory Gearrin was in a bind. Cue the unexpected heroic entry of Roenis Elias to save the game for a Mariners team clearly on the brink of defeat.
“We sat down with him early and tried to simplify some things with him,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said after the game, per ESPN.com. “And we flat out told him, ‘Hey, you’re on the team, just go pitch.’ It’s amazing when guys hear that, because he’s never had that happen before. He’s taken it and has got a lot of confidence and has continued to grow. …He really saved the game for us — literally.”
Elias stepped right into the fire and struck out Chad Pinder to save the inning for the Mariners. He then went on to close out the rest of the game by retiring five total batters, while holding the A’s without a hit or a run. It was complete dominance by a pitcher that once upon a time had to be talked into believing he belonged in the big leagues.
Mitch Haniger, Daniel Vogelbach and Tim Beckham all hit homers in the game to forcibly drive in the four runs needed to win. J.P. Crawford was the other runner that came across home plate courtesy of Haniger’s home run in the 4-3 victory.
Twins hang on to beat the Angels
The Twins led comfortably late in Wednesday’s closeout game against the Angels, but some late-game drama nearly changed the narrative for the top team in the AL Central. After pulling ahead 8-4, the Twins’ bullpen got into trouble with Trevor Hildenberger once again struggling on the mound. The 28-year-old righty gave up three hits and three earned runs in the top of the ninth inning and nearly cost the Twins the game.
His disappointing outing follows a pair of bad performances against the Detroit Tigers when he gave up two runs each in back-to-back losses. The Twins wasted no time after the game in demoting him to Class AAA Rochester. If not for the early explosion of home runs by Jason Castro and Byron Buxton, the team would have been brooding over their fourth loss in six games.
“We just have a knack for hitting them, and it’s good to have,” Twins starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi said after the game, via ESPN.com. “You’re never out of a game and can get a lead. We needed every bit of that lead. It’s going to be a good year watching these guys keep progressing through these at bats.”
Odorizzi finished on the mound with two strikeouts in five-plus innings, while allowing nine hits and three earned runs.
- Twins are 11-23 in their last 34 games against teams in the American League West
- Twins are 0-5 in Pineda’s last 5 starts
- Twins are 0-5 in Pineda’s last 5 starts on grass
- Mariners are 5-1 in the last 6 head-to-head meetings in Seattle
- Mariners are 5-0 in the last 5 head-to-head meetings