Seattle Mariner second baseman Nelson Cruz’s walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth gave the M’s an 8-7 victory over the Texas Rangers and earned the home side its first sweep of the season.
The win was dramatic and in sweeping the Rangers, erased some doubts about where the team was headed after a disastrous start in which the Mariners were 2-6 before the three-game sweep of last year’s American League West Champions.
A beautiful afternoon for a walk(off).
— Mariners (@Mariners) April 17, 2017
The win had to be satisfying and encouraging for Seattle manager Scott Servais who got tossed in the sixth inning for arguing a call by first base umpire C.B. Bucknor. Regardless of his viewing point, Servais is will be hoping that the Mariners ability to rally from 6-1 and 7-6 deficits will build momentum.
“This was a big one for us,” Servais said after the game. “Obviously we know what Texas has done in our division the last two years. We’re starting to get some momentum going our way. Wins like that hopefully lead to some bigger things here coming up the next series against Miami.”
While Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1, 540 ERA) lasted just three innings in allowing seven hits and six runs, reliever Evan Marshall pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings and the rest of the bullpen did its work in helping secure the win.
“Obviously you never want to start the season the way we did. Some unfortunate luck, bad timing, bad pitching, bad hitting. We had a better team that we were showing. You sweep a team like this, not just for us, people outside realize we have a good team, and we’ll be alright at the end of the day.” Mariners reliever Marc Rzepczynski said after the game.
The Mariners will welcome an old friend Monday night when Ichiro Suzuki and the Florida Marlins roll into town for a three-game series. Ichiro’s last visit in Seattle was on June 12, 2014 when he played for the New York Yankees. Marlins RHP pitcher Tom Koehler (0-0, 3.27 ERA) will face off against the Mariners LHP Ariel Miranda (0-1, 5.06 ERA) in the opening game of the series.