SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez earned his sixth All-Star bid on Monday, surpassing Randy Johnson for the most invitations for any pitcher in Mariners history.
Hernandez, 29, was the only Mariners player added to the American League team on Monday, when pitchers and backup position players were announced. He joins teammate Nelson Cruz, who was voted by the fans as the AL's starting designated hitter.
OAKLAND -- When the Mariners signed Nelson Cruz to a four-year contract last winter, they hoped to add a productive veteran right-handed bat to the middle of their order. And Cruz has certainly lived up to his end of the deal, becoming an American League All-Star starter at designated hitter with an outstanding first half.
Cruz was named to the AL team on Sunday's Esurance All-Star Starters Selection Show on ESPN. He becomes the second Mariners designated hitter elected by fans to start the All-Star Game in Cincinnati, joining his new hitting coach, Edgar Martinez, who topped the balloting in 1997, 2001 and 2003.
SEATTLE -- The Tigers pounded out 19 hits and four home runs to earn a 12-5 series-opening win at Safeco Field on Monday night. Nick Castellanos had four hits and four RBIs and Victor Martinez added another four hits for a Detroit offense that scored 10-plus runs for the sixth time this season.
The Mariners took a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth on a three-run home run by Logan Morrison, but Final Vote candidate Yoenis Cespedes started a decisive five-run sixth inning with the Tigers' fourth solo homer. Detroit then knocked five straight singles to open a four-run seventh inning that blew the game open.
Command is a critical element for any young pitcher and Tuesday's matchup at Safeco Field between the Mariners and Tigers represents a perfect example in the recent track records of starting pitchers Taijuan Walker and Kyle Ryan.
Walker, 22, is working on a streak of 27 1/3 innings without a walk for the Mariners, and his improved command has been a critical part of his early-season turnaround. He's gone 6-1 with a 1.68 ERA over his last seven starts to improve to 7-6 with a 4.34 ERA overall.
SEATTLE -- Last Tuesday night in Tacoma, Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma kept the ball down, kept hitters off balance and threw his 84-mph splitter with consistency in his third and final Minor League rehab start. Mentally and physically, he said he was ready for his return to the Mariners.
Six days later, Iwakuma (0-1, 7.17 ERA) left his first Major League start since April 24 disappointed he could not keep the Tigers in the ballpark in a 12-5 loss for the Mariners, but he was pleased with his health after the five-run, 68-pitch outing.
SEATTLE -- For David Rollins, the second time wasn't the charm. But Seattle's Rule 5 Draft pick hopes to grow from the rugged experience of giving up seven hits and four runs in a critical sixth- and seventh-inning stretch of the Mariners' 12-5 loss to the Tigers in his Safeco Field debut on Monday night.
Rollins threw a perfect inning of relief in his Major League debut on Saturday in Oakland, the first day he joined the Mariners after serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a steroid after being acquired from the Astros over the winter in the Rule 5 process.
SEATTLE -- Lloyd McClendon missed just his third game in two years as the Mariners' manager on Monday as he was away to attend funeral services in Indiana for his sister, Angela Price, who died Wednesday from health complications.
Bench coach Trent Jewett will assume managerial duties for the Mariners' three-game series against the Tigers, his first time doing so since last August, when McClendon missed two games against the Nationals to attend his daughter's wedding.
Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Best highlights for the AL All-Star starting lineup
By Michael Clair |
If you thought the Fourth of July was full of fireworks, just wait until July 14 in Cincinnati when baseball's biggest stars converge at Great American Ballpark for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game.
And with home-field advantage in the Fall Classic on the line, you can be sure that the Junior Circuit is going to send the best of their best to Cincy. We're talking guys on pace for 50 homers, guys on pace 50 steals, rookies, veterans ... the best of the best regardless of how they get it done.
OAKLAND -- Mike Montgomery couldn't duplicate his back-to-back shutouts, but the Mariners' rookie southpaw won his third straight start Sunday as Seattle topped the A's, 2-1, to split a four-game series at the Coliseum.
Montgomery (4-2, 1.62 ERA) allowed one run on six hits in 5 2/3 innings as he continues his strong showing as a replacement for the injured James Paxton. Seattle (38-44) closed out its road trip with a 5-4 mark and is now 7-3 against the A's.
Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
SEATTLE -- Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma was activated off the 15-day disabled list as expected in order to start Monday night's game against the Tigers at Safeco Field, with outfielder James Jones optioned to Triple-A Tacoma to open a 25-man roster spot.
Iwakuma has been sidelined since his third start of the season on April 20 when he strained the lat muscle behind his right shoulder. The 34-year-old made three Minor League rehab starts, one in Class A Everett (0-0, 2.45 ERA) and two in Tacoma (1-0, 0.93 ERA) in the past two weeks.
OAKLAND -- A's rookie Kendall Graveman outdueled Mariners ace Felix Hernandez on Saturday as Oakland won a Fourth of July afternoon showdown, 2-0, at the Coliseum.
Graveman allowed just five hits over seven scoreless innings, improving his record as a starter to 5-2 with a 1.78 ERA in nine games since being recalled from Triple-A in late May. The win pulls the A's (38-46) to a half-game behind Seattle (37-44) at the bottom of the American League West.
Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
OAKLAND -- Even on a bad day, Felix Hernandez is good enough to keep his team in a game. But even the King needs a little help, and he didn't get any on Saturday as the Mariners fell to the A's, 2-0, to end his string of 13 straight games without a loss at the Coliseum.
Hernandez gave up a season-high 10 hits but wiggled out of trouble and limited the damage to two runs over seven innings. But two runs, on a day when the Mariners couldn't muster any offense against A's rookie Kendall Graveman, were too much to overcome.
OAKLAND -- David Rollins has taken the tough route to the Majors, but the Mariners' Rule 5 Draft pick arrived on Saturday ready to make amends for his mistake and make the most of his new opportunity.
Rollins, a left-handed reliever who drew an 80-game suspension after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol late in Spring Training, had to be added to the 25-man roster on Saturday or be returned to the Astros now that his suspension is complete.
OAKLAND -- David Rollins, the Mariners' Rule 5 Draft pick last December from the Astros, was one of three players added to Seattle's 25-man roster on Saturday morning, along with reliever Mayckol Guiape and outfielder James Jones.
Rollins, a 25-year-old left-handed reliever who drew an 80-game suspension after testing positive for an anabolic steroid during Spring Training, had to be added to the 25-man roster on Saturday or be put through waivers and offered back to the Astros, per Rule 5 Draft rules, now that he's no longer suspended.
The Mariners, who managed just two hits in Thursday's series-opening loss, tallied 13 this time, including nine in 6 1/3 innings against A's starter Jesse Chavez, who was responsible for Morrison and Smith's home runs that wiped away a three-run lead gained by the A's in the second against J.A. Happ -- highlighted by RBI hits from Mark Canha and Billy Burns. Canha also hit a two-run double in the ninth.
No corresponding moves will be announced until Saturday, but the club figures to add left-handed reliever David Rollins as well as another reliever and possibly a temporary position player to fill out the 25-man roster.
OAKLAND -- When Edgar Martinez signed on as hitting coach of the Mariners two weeks ago, the questions started coming at Willie Bloomquist as well. Would he consider getting into coaching when his playing days ended?
"Yeah, I was getting that a lot recently. Maybe I should have seen the writing on the wall," Bloomquist said with a laugh.
OAKLAND -- Scott Kazmir held the Mariners to two hits over eight innings, leading the A's to a 4-0 victory in Thursday night's opener of a four-game series at the Coliseum. It was Oakland's American League-leading 10th shutout of the season.
"That's probably the best we've seen him here," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "More cutters and sliders today, especially to right-handers. He had been basically fastball-changeup to them, where he worked everything to both righties and lefties today. Was on it from the very beginning, his velocity grew as the game went along."
OAKLAND -- Chris Taylor was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday for his second stint with the Mariners this season, but this time the infielder from Virginia will be used more in a part-time role rather than replacing Brad Miller at shortstop.
Miller shifted to the outfield and more of a utility role when Taylor was called up in late May, but has since re-established himself at shortstop in the time since Taylor was demoted after hitting just .159 in 11 games.
OAKLAND -- Willie Bloomquist has come full circle in his Major League days, returning the past two years to the Mariners club with whom he began his career in 2002. But the veteran utility man isn't ready to let it end that way after being designated for assignment by Seattle on Thursday to open a roster spot for young infielder Chris Taylor.
Bloomquist told MLB.com he's not ready to retire and hopes a spot opens for him on another team that has more of an opportunity for him to contribute in the final half of the season.
Mariners agree to terms with int'l shortstop prospect Vargas
Sources say club and Dominican teen settled on $1.7 million signing bonus
By Jesse Sanchez
At 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, teenage shortstop Carlos Vargas is one of the biggest middle infielders on the international market this year.
Now, Vargas, ranked No. 26 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, is taking a huge step toward his future. The Mariners have agreed to a $1.7 million signing bonus with the teenage infielder from the Dominican Republic, according to industry sources.
SAN DIEGO -- Nelson Cruz didn't want to wait for the cake, so the Mariners slugger sliced his own gift -- a two-run homer in the top of the ninth -- in Seattle's 7-0 victory over the Padres in Wednesday's Interleague series finale at Petco Park.
Cruz cranked his 20th home run of the season on his 35th birthday to close out the day's scoring.
SAN DIEGO -- Taijuan Walker and four relievers combined to shut out the Padres on three hits Wednesday as the Mariners took both games of the series at Petco Park with a 7-0 Interleague victory.
Walker threw six scoreless innings, allowing just one hit before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. The 22-year-old is 6-1 with a 1.68 ERA with 51 strikeouts and three walks over his last seven starts. Seattle held the Padres to no runs and four hits over 18 innings in the two games and won the season series, 3-1.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
SAN DIEGO -- With Taijuan Walker cruising through six innings on just one hit with a 1-0 lead, manager Lloyd McClendon chose to lift the 22-year-old for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh in what turned into a 7-0 victory for the Mariners over the Padres.
McClendon had just made a quick trip to the mound with trainer Rob Nodine with two out in the sixth to check on Walker, but he said that had no bearing on his decision for the surprising early hook with the right-hander at just 76 pitches.
SAN DIEGO -- Mike Montgomery didn't allow a hit until the seventh inning on Tuesday and finished with a shutout as the Mariners topped the Padres, 5-0, at Petco Park.
Montgomery, coming off a five-hit shutout of the Royals the last time out, allowed his only hit with one out in the seventh as Yangervis Solarte doubled. Montgomery walked four, hit a batter and struck out seven. He became the 12th Major League rookie to throw consecutive shutouts since 1980 and first since Jeremy Sowers of the Indians in 2006.
SAN DIEGO -- Since being called up four weeks ago to fill in for the injured James Paxton, rookie southpaw Mike Montgomery has opened eyes for the Mariners. But the 25-year-old took it to another level on Tuesday as he allowed just one hit and threw his second straight shutout, this one a 5-0 blanking of the Padres at Petco Park.
Montgomery maneuvered through 6 1/3 innings with three walks and a hit batter before Padres third baseman Yangervis Solarte doubled down the left-field line. But that was all the damage San Diego could muster as Montgomery became the first Mariner to throw a one-hit shutout since Jarrod Washburn in 2009.
That'd be Alex Jackson, the highly touted outfielder who is baseball's No. 22 overall prospect. Playing for Class A Short Season Everett, he connected on his first homer of the year, a two-run shot that provided the winning margin in the AquaSox's 5-3 win over Boise.