Mariners relive last year’s nightmare in 4-0 loss to Twins

MINNEAPOLIS – The first four games and results of what felt like an endless season of daily games certainly don’t provide defined or even predictive data for the months to come.

But the current version of the Mariners lineup, which is better and deeper and should be able to generate more offense than it was a year ago, hasn’t really set an example of what it would be like in the first series of the season. could. A somewhat disappointing four-game split.

And in their latest defeat, Seattle’s performance at the plate was disappointing in a way that was reminiscent of disappointing struggles in early 2021.

The Mariners scored just two hits – a double from Eugenio Suarez and a single from JP Crawford – while going scoreless with a combination of five Twins pitchers in a disappointing 4-0 loss on Monday evening at Target Field.

“We started the series on a high note, we could not continue it,” said manager Scott Servais. “Coming out here with a series split isn’t the worst thing in the world. But when you win the first two the same way we did, you’re hoping to get a little bit more and win the series.”

The Mariners will have a short turnaround, starting Tuesday at noon in the Chicago White Sox’s home opener at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Getting two hits in one game won’t win you many in Major League Baseball. In addition to two hits, seven Seattle runners reached base, three on foot and twice on errors.

Veteran right-hander Dylan Bundy used five different pitches to keep the Mariners off balance for five innings and secured their first win of the season.

“You don’t often get two fastballs in a row from him,” Servais said. “I think he only did it a couple of times. He feels good with his curveballs and dumps them early. The second time through the lineup, he gets his good variation and goes so much on the slider That you can stay off balance so that you are never really on fastball.”

The Mariners had only three runners in the game in scoring position. Suarez’s first hit of the season – twice to the left in the second innings – did not produce a run.

His best chance came in the third innings. Julio Rodriguez worked a leadoff walk, stealing second place and moving to third on Gary Sanchez’s throwing error in the play. But Bundy dismissed Cal Raleigh, got Adam Frazier to pop out in the shallow center and coaxed a weak fly ball to the left from Ty France with Rodriguez never scoring.

“In a game the way it was going tonight, every run is so valuable,” Servais said. “And when you don’t roll those runs around, it hurts you in the end. We got some chances late, and we needed a big innings to get back into it and we just couldn’t finish it.

In the first four games, the Mariners have a .177/.282/.292 slash line (percentage on batting average/base/slugging percentage) as a team – all three of which are second in the American League.

It’s too early to panic. But the disappointment and failure of last season will not be forgotten soon.

Seattle got the job done if not skilled from Chris Flexon in their first start of the season. After conceding just one run in the first innings after issuing a leadoff walk to Byron Buxton, the ever-sharp right-hander entered the fifth inning, scoring the latter on a one-out double from Jorge Polanco.

Flexon never made it to fifth. He conceded a leadoff single to Alex Kiriloff and another double to Buxton who placed the runners-up in second and third without any exclusions.

In facing his last batsman, Flexon got to shortstop Crawford to hit a ground ball to Carlos Correa, which immediately drove Raleigh home. The game was not close as Kirilloff was dismissed a few steps ahead.

With Flexon on 91 pitches and left-handed hitting Luis Arez coming to the plate and switch-hitting Polanco on the deck, Servais went to lefty Anthony Missiewicz.

The reliever looked strong in his previous outing, which featured two strikeouts and 12 strikes in 16 pitches with a scoreless knock.

“I thought it was a good place to bring The Miz in,” Servais said. “He’s had a good breaking ball going on lately, but they’re on him tonight.”

Servais’s logical strategy did not work.

Missiviz had no command of any of his pitches against the aggressive Twins hitters.

Arrez made a deposit in left field to score a run on a 1–1 cutter that never broke the plate, and Polanco followed with a ground-ball single on the first pitched curveball that hung in the middle of the plate. . Gio Ursella scored three consecutive singles, jumping right-center with a line drive on the first pitch cutter to make it 4–0.

“He dropped a few balls in the middle of the plate, and he was very aggressive,” Servais said. “They took good swings at him.”

Two runs were charged for Flexon, who finished with a finish line of 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with three runs and three strikes.

“I wasn’t very skilled,” Flexon said. “I wasn’t my best there. I wasn’t fast enough.”

Missiwicz was charged with a second run, which is all the twins required by the Mariners to provide no offense whatsoever.

Eric Swanson, Sergio Romo and Andres Munoz gave the Mariners an innings each, but the offense provided only one more scoring threat. In the eighth inning, Jared Kelenick worked a pinch-hit walk and Jesse Winker arrived when Kirilloff dropped a fly ball into left field. But veteran Joe Smith, who pitched for the Mariners last season, ended the innings by dismissing Mitch Hanniger on a check swing.

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