By: Joey Segur
What a night to be a Mariner fan, as they pummel the Astros 11-0 taking game two and the series tonight. Nathan Karns took the mound and was a tough pitcher to face tonight retiring the first 8 batters before giving up a walk to Jason Castro and Jose Alutve in the third, but ended up getting out of a small jam with a ground out from George Springer. Karns found his strike out pitch in the 5th inning when he struck out the side, all strike outs coming from his knuckle curve. Karns ended his night after 7 solid innings, only giving up 2 hits, 3 walks and striking out 6. Karns ERA goes down to a 3.63 and earns a positive 2-1 record for the season. With Karns facing a struggling Astros tonight it seemed to be an important start for him to determine if he is capable of taking advantage of teams when they are having problems playing good Baseball. I think we all can agree he is a solid #5 spot for the Mariners so far this season.
It was hard to determine what was more impressive, Karns shutting out the Astros through 7, or the Mariners batting in 11 runs tonight. Of course most people will go with the offense because the Mariners have had many issues putting more than 3 runs on the board this season, but when you see an outing from your #5 pitcher, especially one who has shown issues earlier this year, I would have to give Karns the most impressive performance for this game. Let’s start in the 4th inning where the Mariners get on the board. Ketel Marte started the inning with a double giving the Mariners a good chance to take the lead. After Cano moved Marte to third on a ground out, Nelson Cruz singled to left field bringing in Marte making it a 1-0 game. The big inning comes in the 5th with one out. Iannetta would get on base with a walk, followed by a single from Lee and another walk from Smith to load the bases. Aoki has a chance to do some major damage but fails to do so by grounding into a fielders choice, Iannetta getting thrown out at home. Up next is Ketel Marte who moves everyone up one base with a RBI single, scoring Lee. Cano drove in Smith, Aoki and Marte with a single, advancing on a throwing error that flew by the catchers head. The Mariners score 4 in the 5th inning making it 5-0. The 7th inning was probably the most exciting inning, one big reason for that was the big Grand Slam Robinson Cano hit driving in Lee, Aoki and Marte. Cano finishes the night 2-4 with 6 RBI’s bringing his average to a .238. The Mariners would tack on 2 more runs in the 8th to make it a game final 11-1.
The Mariners look for the sweep tomorrow with Iwakuma on the mound facing Collin McHugh. With tonights win the Mariners now have won their first home series of the season and last 4 series, including three series on the road. The M’s still have sole possession of first place being a half game ahead of the A’s. Keep it up Mariners!