Oakland – This looked more like the Mariners team we were expecting to see this year.
Seattle claimed its fourth straight victory Thursday afternoon, defeating the Athletics, 5-3, to complete the Mariners’ second sweep of the season.
After the bat erupted for seven runs in the final four innings on Wednesday night, she remained hot in the series finale on Thursday. Taylor Tramell hit a pinch-hitter homer in the third inning, and six straight batters reached base with two in the fourth to spark a three-run rally.
“It’s like a breath of fresh air,” Tramell said of the first innings. “We really want these newbies to have some rest in the later rounds. That was huge for us.”
Trammell missed the first month of the season with a broken Hammett fibula in his right hand, but in just four games since his return, he has already shot two crucial homers and drove in seven runs.
“Trammell brings a lot,” said Scott Service, head coach. “The biggest thing he brings is that he made some adjustments to his swing. That ball he hit today, he couldn’t do that a year ago, or any time in the last few years. I mean, [it’s so] Effortless, didn’t swing hard, just trying to connect, and had some kind of ability. The ball just bounces off his racket. great success.”
Colten Wong, who was struggling with his new team to start the year, got the go-ahead, hitting a two-run single in the fourth to make it 5-3. He added another single in the sixth for his third multi-hit game of the season.
“It was huge,” Servis said. “He’s had opportunities, and he didn’t come from here until this point in the season. But everyone has to participate. All five RBIs came from the bottom of the lineup today. We need them.”
The Mariners finished the game with seven hits, including three extra base hits and, perhaps most impressively, a season-high seven walks.
Trammell had his third RBI of the game when he drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning to tie the game at 3.
“It’s huge,” he said. “Just let the stick move.”
After a shaky first few innings, George Kirby settled down to score his fifth straight start, allowing three runs in seven innings pitched.
Kirby (3-2) kept Auckland goalless after the third.
“These runs, they bother you a little bit,” Kirby admitted. “But at the end of the day, you just have to keep pounding the area and attacking hitters. … I would say it wasn’t my best, but I did a really good job going inside with the guys all day with the sinker.”
The bullpen was again impressive, holding the break lead in the final two frames and extending their scoreless streak to 16 runs. Paul Sowold made a perfect ninth for his ninth save.
“I think he threw the ball really well after maybe the first outing or two of the season,” Servis said. “He’s got a nice rhythm and a broken ball touchdown is crucial to Paul. Paul has a lot of confidence. Paul thinks he’s one of the best relievers in the league, and he is. When he’s sacked, he’s hard to hit.”
After dunking as many as five games under . 500, the Mariners nearly leveled their record at 15-16 heading into a showdown series against the defending World Series champion Astros this weekend in Seattle.
“We’re looking forward to this series,” Trammell said. “It’s going to be a good test for us. We obviously know about Houston. They’re a good team. We’re going to go out, do our thing, compete every day we go out and hopefully get some wins.”
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