France likes life as Mariner, looks to keep hitting vs. Diamondbacks

MLB

Ty France is one of the new Seattle Mariners, having arrived on Aug. 31 in a trade with the San Diego Padres.

He has been facing National League teams that he was familiar with early in his time with the Mariners. This weekend it has been the Arizona Diamondbacks, against whom France has hit home runs in consecutive games.

And France is playing every day. He has been in the lineup in all eight games since joining the Mariners, a streak that began Sept. 4. The Mariners and Diamondbacks wrap up their regular-season series Sunday afternoon in Phoenix.

“It’s been nice getting the consistent at-bats,” France said after Seattle’s 7-3 win on Saturday. “Getting settled at the plate has made a huge difference. It’s definitely a confidence thing just knowing you’re going to get the start the next day regardless of if you’re 4 for 4 or 0 for 4. Just building off that momentum.”

The Mariners (20-25) also scored seven runs off one of the top starting pitchers in baseball on Saturday, Zac Gallen of the Diamondbacks.

Gallen hadn’t allowed more than three runs in any of the first 23 starts of his career until he allowed four in five innings at San Francisco on Monday, and he had been particularly stingy at home.

“Our guys did a really good job of controlling the strike zone,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We really made him make pitches.”

The Mariners have come to Chase Field and hit the ball hard consistently in consecutive games.

“It’s not just one guy. It’s a number of guys chipping in there,” Servais said, “and that’s what it’s going to take.”

Right-hander Justin Dunn (3-1, 4.09 ERA) gets the start Sunday.Dunn, also 24, will be making his first career start against Arizona. In three starts against National League teams, he has no wins or losses and a 15.43 ERA in 4 2/3 innings.

The Diamondbacks (17-30) seek their first series win since a three-game sweep of the Padres on Aug. 14-16. Their bullpen has been effective of late despite their record, with three earned runs allowed in 18 innings over the last four games.

That’s good for a shiny 1.50 ERA.

“The bullpen continues to be an area that even though there are some moving parts down there, they seem to take the ball when asked and go out and execute a game plan,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “They’ve been real solid for us.”

Arizona concludes its second-to-last homestead of the regular season Sunday with right-hander Luke Weaver (1-6, 7.12 ERA) on the mound. Weaver has a 4.30 ERA in his last five starts, having lowered it from an 11.85 ERA from 18 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings pitched in his first four.

Weaver is set to make his first career start against the Mariners.

The Diamondbacks are 5-10 in series finales this season, 1-23 in games in which they’ve scored three or fewer runs, and 5-7 in day games.

The Mariners are 7-4 in the third game of a series and 5-2 on Sundays this season.

–Field Level Media

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