Game 56: Mariners 12, Rays 4

Danny Valencia is kind of like Grandpa Simpson. His sleep patterns are like those of a caricatured narcoleptic, but when he wakes up, it’s sputtering, loud, and gets everyone’s attention. Valencia sputtered his way to five RBIs, Bergman turned in another quality start and the M’s destroyed the Rays for their fifth win in a week.

Motter earns another hair flip

If Mitch Haniger can keep up his pre-injury numbers, he has a strong case for Mariner MVP, and Motter should be crowned this season’s most unexpected surprise. After Danny Valencia drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the first, Motter stepped up and sent one into the left-field seats for his second career grand slam.

“There’s a lot of things that run through my head, to answer that question,” Motter told the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish about the feeling of homering against his former team. “Specifically, they got rid of me to come here. To do it against them means more than anything. They gave me my chance in baseball, but I’m going to succeed somewhere else. I’m glad to show them that.”

Motter now stands with six home runs and 20 RBI on the season, and hopefully can add more to that as he fills in at shortstop for Jean Segura for the foreseeable future.

Danny Valencia broke out for a career-high five RBIs between a bases-loaded walk, three-run homer, and a single to the neckbeard from hell, Colby Rasmus. It’s honestly the most disgusting facial hair I’ve seen.

Good hell.

Bergman solid again

Christian Bergman is a prime example of why the M’s can afford to keep Felix and their other guys on the DL for a bit longer, rather than rushing them back to action as we’re so accustomed to seeing in the MLB. He ate up six innings against the Rays, allowing just two earned runs and striking out six.

His efficiency was a bit off, as it took him 105 pitches to get through six, but his ability to eat innings over his starts so far this year has been invaluable to a tired bullpen.

“That’s huge when they come out and score,” Bergman said of his run support. “That allows me to just go out and focus on making pitches, stay ahead in the count and just go after them.”

The M’s face the Rays again today, Sam Gaviglio, the other pleasant surprise from the minors, gets the start.