The Seattle Mariners hit plenty of baseballs hard at Chase Field on Friday night, but came up a run short in a 4-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It was Seattle’s third straight loss, and the Mariners (19-25) are 2 1/2 games behind the Houston Astros for second place and an automatic postseason spot in the American League West.
The Astros had Friday off. On Saturday, the Mariners play the second game of a three-game series with Arizona in Phoenix.
“That happens once in a while,” manager Scott Servais said. “We squared up a ton. There’s usually a few more runs on the board when that happens. Sometimes, baseball’s not fair.”
One of the players who made good contact on Friday was infielder-outfielder Dylan Moore, who hit his seventh home run of the season. Fifteen of Moore’s 29 hits this season have been for extra bases, a product of simplifying his approach, he said.
“Offensively, it continues. The thing for me that has changed so much in Dylan’s game is he’s getting to balls up in the strike zone. Last year, there were so many elevated against him. He doesn’t swing through them anymore. He hits them out of the ballpark. He’s made great adjustments. Happy for him, and we’ll continue to play him every day. He can do so much, it’s a great asset to have on the ball club.”
On Saturday, left-hander Justus Sheffield (2-3, 4.34 ERA) is set for his eighth start of the season. Sheffield, 24, got a no-decision in his last start against the Texas Rangers, despite allowing two earned runs in seven innings.
Sheffield will face Arizona for the first time in his career. He’s 1-0 with an 0.53 ERA in three career interleague games, all starts, with five walks and 18 strikeouts.
The Diamondbacks (17-29) have their first two-game winning streak since Aug. 17 and 18. They have scored one more run than the Mariners this season, 189 to 188, in two more games played.
Arizona seems to be taking a long look at middle relievers of late. Riley Smith pitched 3 1/3 innings in a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, and Alex Young went 5 1/3 against Seattle on Friday.
Young was seen throwing long toss in an alley outside Chase Field before the game.
“It’s kind of roll with the punches routine-wise. I want to make it as starter-ish as possible, so I came out of the dugout,” Young said of his entrance into Friday’s game as a reliever. “Got ready the same. My cutter, I thought that was the pitch I was getting a lot of swing and misses on.”
Saturday’s starting pitcher for the Diamondbacks has been their most consistent starter this season. It’s right-hander Zac Gallen, who had his major league-record streak of 23 starts allowing three or fewer earned runs to begin a career end on Sept. 7 against the San Francisco Giants.
Gallen (1-1, 2.29 ERA) is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four starts at Chase Field this season, and is 1-1 with a 1.67 ERA in four career interleague starts.
–Field Level Media