The Seattle Mariners picked up a much-needed win Friday night in Anaheim, edging, again, to within one game of .500. Most importantly, Seattle (40-41) pulled to within a half game of the Angels (42-42), pulled ahead of the Rangers (39-41) who served up a 4-run lead late in Chicago, and kept pace with the Royals (40-39) and Rays (42-40).
The Mariners gained a game on the Twins (40-38) and Orioles (39-40), too.
Ariel Miranda‘s line was solid and he earned every bit of it:
The M’s offense took Miranda’s counterpart to task, hitting two homers and plating four in the fifth inning to extend a 1-0 to 5-0. That was all Miranda and the bullpen needed.
Biggest Stat of the Day
Miranda threw a first-pitch ball to nine of 24 batters faced, an acceptable rate of first-pitch strikes — you don’t want predictable pitches or locations. But he came back to either even the count or get the out on the 1-0 pitch on seven of those nine, avoiding the dreaded 2-0 count.
The American League is batting .361 with a .528 slugging percentage on 2-0 counts this season and after a 2-0 count the league’s on-base percentage is .514. The Angels are batting .266 with a .405 slugging percentage when they put the ball in play on a 1-1 count. After a 1-1 count: .284/.322/.428. On 2-0 counts? .378 with a .598 slugging percentage. After 2-0 counts: .341/.449/.557.
Miranda stayed away from those counts and it paid off big time.
But here are the big hits in the game for the M’s, who looked like they’d be BABIP’d to death eary on when in two straight PAs Mitch Haniger would line out sharply and on both lineouts Kyle Seager would be doubled off the bag.
Jean Segura doubled in a run on a fastball (92.7 mph) from Bridwell:
Robinson Cano hit a three-run blast off Bridwell, taking a 90.4 mph sinker out to right field (102 mph).
Cano did it again, this time a two-run shot off Yusmeiro Petit‘s curveball (77.4 mph) on an 0-2 offering, 99 mph off the bat.
Ben Gamel‘s fourth hit of the night drove in two in the top of the 8th on a fastball (90.9 mph) from Brooks Pounders.
Kyle Seager joined Gamel in the four-hit club with a first-pitch fastball (91.4 mph) long ball down the right-field line (105 mph).
Zunino ended June 24-for-79 (.304) with 10 home runs and 31 RBI. Zunino also drew seven walks and added three doubles to help counter the too-high strikeout totals (32 in 89 PAs)…
Cano’s two homers gave him 16 for the year and six in June. He also had six in May after a four-homer April. Through June last season, Cano had 19 home runs en route to a career-high 39…
Gamel’s four hits gave him 42 hits in June (.393) and his 13th multi-hit game of the month. It was his second four-hit game of the year. Gamel ended the month with with 23 strikeouts in 115 PAs (20 %), which is a significant move in the right direction after a 29.5 percent K rate in May…