Timely hitting paves road to victory
The Headline: timely hits from Ackley and Seager secure another Mariners win.
Seattle Mariners 5, Minnesota Twins 2
When: 8:10 ET, Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis
Umpires: Home — Dana DeMuth, 1B — Doug Eddings, 2B — Kerwin Danley, 3B — Paul Nauert
1. Ackley Powers Up
Looking to continue a strong August, Dustin Ackley entered Tuesday night’s contest hitting .333 with seven RBI over his last 13 games.
The second baseman didn’t disappoint when, in the fifth, he launched a 3-run shot into right-center field.
It was his first in 15 games, and only his 10th of the season, but it did provide his 13th, 14th and 15th RBIs of the month.
2. Situational Seager
Despite the ups-and-downs, Kyle Seager has been an RBI machine for the Mariners this season. Tuesday night was no different as his two-run double upped his team lead to 75 RBI.
Those two also represented his 43rd and 44th two-out RBI on the season, which is the most amongst American League players. He leads the AL in road RBI as well, with 53.
Though it hasn’t been a perfect season for Seager, it’s good to see the M’s have a middle of the order bat who can be relied on in the clutch.
3. Players on the Move
It was an exciting weekend for the Mariners, as it seems a wave of troops may soon be on their way.
The biggest news was the return of Franklin Gutierrez Monday night. It was a good way for Seattle to kick off the series with the return of their defense savvy centerfielder.
It also appears that Mike Carp‘s return could be just around the corner. The first baseman/outfielder/DH was sent to the minors Monday to begin his rehab stint. He should make a return just in time to kick off the final stretch of the season.
1. Shaky Iwakuma
All-in-all Iwakuma was solid in his 10th start of the season, going 6 innings of one hit, one run, ball with four strikeouts. The win moved him to 5-3 on the season.
However, things aren’t as dandy as they seem for the rookie from Japan. Despite his one hit, he also allowed four walks in the game. Of his 92 pitches barely more than half were for strikes (49). In his six innings he allowed the leadoff man to get on four times, three times by walk and once by a hit by pitch.
Issues with control is a running theme with Japanese pitches, so hopefully this was just a rough night and not the new normal.
2. Still no Saunders
Despite the return of Guti, and possible return of Carp, Seattle’s outfield is still missing it’s most important player.
For a fourth game in a row Michael Saunders did not play. The M’s outfielder strained a groin muscle over the weekend and has been on the sideline since, hoping to miss a DL stint.
Latest reports have the 25-year old making progress, and he cold return by the end of the series. That’s certainly good news for Seattle.
3. Healing Furbush
Charlie Furbush is back in the bullpen, but he’s still working through the kinks. Making his fifth appearance since returning from the DL, Furbush allowed one run on two hits.
The setup man has now allowed five hits in five innings of work since his return.
It’s very uncharacteristic of the left hander, and it’s obvious he’s still getting back into the swing of things.
Ackley’s three-run blast snapped a 15-game homerless streak.
The Twins will be the host team for the 2014 Major League All-Star Game, according to the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis. An official announcement is expected Wednesday.
Minnesota last hosted the game in 1985.
Mariners ace Felix Hernandez‘s shutout on Monday night made him the third pitcher in major-league history to throw three 1-0 shutouts in one month, joining Carl Hubbell (1933) and Dick Rudolph (1916).
He also became the third pitcher since 1969 to post four 1-0 victories in one season.
Twins CF Denard Span sat out Tuesday’s game and is listed as day-to-day with a sore collarbone. Span initially suffered the injury on Aug. 12 while trying to make a diving catch.