DETROIT — This week, the Mariners took advantage of the momentum into Comerica Park. They saw an opportunity to take advantage of the last team. They beat the Tigers 7-0 on Thursday afternoon for a three-sweep victory.
No team in baseball will undercut their opponents, but this series — their ninth sweep of the year — has a very business-minded feel to it, especially when the calendar turns to September and there’s a potential to snap up the 20-year-old The postseason drought is even closer.
Seattle surges to 15 games with a .500-plus lead, and with Tampa Bay idle, the clubs are tied for the top spot in the AL wild-card standings, the most important seed in the non-divisional champions, to host three games The best tournament wild card series in .
With only 31 games remaining, and with the AL West firmly in Houston’s grasp, this final few weeks will no doubt aim to seal the home playoffs for the October baseball-hungry fanbase. The Mariners believe they are on the right track.
“I think we’re getting better. I think that’s the best way to put it,” Mariners manager Scott Servius said. “You often hear me say, ‘It’s okay; get better.’ We’re better at the right time. … That’s what excites me, these guys are excited to be on the court every day because I don’t think we’ve reached our ceiling — and it’s a very high ceiling.”
The Mariners’ approach in Detroit this week is an extension of their success in late August — slugs, more slugs.
Julio Rodriguez and Ty Francis hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning, capping off the club’s seven-run home run series. It was followed by August, and Seattle was second in the AL with 39 homers, the Mariners’ all-or-nothing offense in the first year of rebuilding since June 2019. The most in a month. Seattle has won 11 of its last 15 games, and they’ve gone 25-6 in that span.
The Tigers haven’t come as close as the Mariners have seen in the playoffs, but nonetheless, Seattle’s roster is showing returns as management has long envisioned, and it’s coming together at the right time.
“Ty France is better now than it was a few weeks ago,” Servais said. “We’ve got a lot of people popping — I’ll use Julio’s words, ‘moving in the right direction.’ That’s a really good sign.”
Equally important to Thursday’s win was the domination — and turnaround — from Logan Gilbert, who blew his fastball past the Tigers for most of the afternoon while playing pro A career-high nine.
Gilbert has a 5.26 ERA and a .858 OPS allowed in nine games since his last win on July 5, giving up two hits (both singles) and a walk. Because the Mariners have built such a lead, Servais was able to pull him down in six innings with just 84 pitches. Gilbert was in uncharted territory, with a career-high 155 2/3 innings, and Thursday gave him the proverbial respite from a higher-pressure outing.
“August wasn’t my best, but I felt good,” Gilbert said. “I don’t feel like I’m very far off, and if that makes sense, hopefully it’s just a good sign to move on from here.”
Next up is a three-game weekend in Cleveland, home to the AL Central-leading Guardians, where the Mariners took two from last weekend’s three games in Seattle.