Taijuan Walker, a name we will start to hear a lot more going forward, had his stuff Friday as the Mariners stopped their 4 game skid and evened the series at one game a piece. It was Walker’s first Win since July 1, which came at San Diego, and the first time he had gone more than 6 innings since that very day. Walker’s stuff was overpowering, yet controlled, as he racked up 11 strikeouts with only one walk. His lone hit in the ballgame came as a solo shot from Twins third baseman Miguel Sano. On the other side of the spectrum, Twins lefty Tommy Milone struggled, conceding 11 hits and 4 earned runs.
Nelson Cruz had another big night, lengthening his hitting streak to 11 games as well as picking up 2 RBI’s in the 9th with an opposite field bomb. On his first night back from being called up, Jesus Montero added a double and a home run, which again showed just how far this guy has come in the past year. Additionally, Seattle’s No.2 prospect Ketel Marte made his debut at second, covering for the injured Robinson Cano. Marte went 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.
With many Mariners fans throwing the towel in on this season, they still unbelievably are only 7 games back of the wild card, and although this win may not seem like much, it could be the kickstart to the streak that is so bound to happen. They have a favorable August and baseball is a funny game, so who knows what could happen.
What is next?
Tomorrow sees lefty Mike Montgomery (4-4 3.20 ERA) take on Kyle Gibson (8-8 3.41 ERA). It will be interesting to see if Seattle can maybe get some momentum going, given that their bullpen had the day’s rest, and their offense is running. For the Twins, 2 more losses would mean 5 straight series losses out of the All Star break, as the Royals have seemingly taken control of the AL Central.