Game 57: Mariners 9, Rays 2

I don’t think any of the Mariners will be able to give blood for a while, because they clearly brought something back with them from their road trip. It’s called offense, and it’s all but unheard of in the Pacific Northwest, at least until this season. Mike Zunino ended a triple shy of the cycle, Danny Valencia is batting 1.000 in this series, and the Mariners locked in their second straight series win.

Everyone does their job

As Mariner fans, we can’t express enough appreciation for Christian Bergman and Sam Gaviglio. These guys just stepped up out of the minors when the M’s needed them the most, and they’ve done far more than we could have expected from them. The Rays have stepped up their game to be a top-10 offense in all of baseball, and these guys came out and shut them down two games in a row.

“Everybody is chipping in offensively and Sam Gaviglio again tonight did a really nice job for us,” Scott Servais said. “It’s nice when the offense is churning like that, it takes a lot of pressure off the pitching. We were due for that to start to come. It’s really a tribute to our guys hanging in there, keep working through it and not getting down on themselves. I felt we’ve turned the corner recently.”

Perhaps the massive run support has taken pressure off the young arms, but the stellar performance is still there.

The offense has exploded the last two games for 21 runs and 27 hits. Last night they went 6-9 with guys in scoring position, and have gone 10-21 in the series. That’s a swig and major turnaround from their performances against Washington and Boston, where they were unable to capitalize on the few situations they were able to produce with guys in scoring position.

Zunino Barely Misses Milestones

One of my favorite things to watch growing up was a little VHS tape called “Greatest 20 Moments in Mariners History”, one of the 20 greatest moments was Jay Buhner’s cycle against the Athletics. Just like Buhner, Zunino saved the triple for last, but struck out before he could get the ball in play. Zunino ended up with seven RBIs, just one shy of the Mariner single-game RBI record of eight, but still set a record for RBIs by a Mariner catcher.

Nelson Cruz did what he does best, hitting a home run that ended up being his 100th as a Mariner.

The M’s look for the sweep today with Ariel Miranda on the mound.