Zunino shows off power with 452-foot homer

Zunino shows off power with 452-foot homer

SEATTLE -- Catcher Mike Zunino went where few have gone in Safeco Field history on Tuesday night, blasting a home run over the out-of-town scoreboard behind the Mariners bullpen in Seattle's 8-4 loss to the D-backs.

Nelson Cruz put a ball in the same area three innings later, but Zunino got the edge in the Statcast™ measurements, with his third-inning blast blast projected to land 452 feet from home plate compared to 440 for Cruz's smash.

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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.

Iwakuma's struggles too much to overcome

Iwakuma's struggles too much to overcome

SEATTLE -- Rookie right-hander Zack Godley won his second straight start to open his D-backs career as Arizona topped the Mariners, 8-4, on Tuesday night at Safeco FIeld.

Godley (2-0, 2.25 ERA) gave up three runs on seven hits -- including tape-measure home runs by Mike Zunino and Nelson Cruz -- in six innings, but he got plenty of offensive support as the D-backs racked up 12 hits and a home run of their own from Ender Inciarte. Arizona has won four in a row to improve to 48-51.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nuno proving to be vital cog in bullpen

Nuno proving to be vital cog in bullpen

SEATTLE -- In a bullpen searching for solutions in recent weeks, Mariners left-hander Vidal Nuno is becoming a name to remember.

The 28-year-old Californian, acquired from the D-backs along with Mark Trumbo on June 3, has begun taking on an increasingly important role. With veteran southpaw Charlie Furbush on the disabled list and the overworked bullpen taking on water on various fronts, Nuno has stepped up with nine straight scoreless innings with five hits, two walks and six strikeouts over his last seven outings.

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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.

Soccer star Lloyd to throw out first pitch

Soccer star Lloyd to throw out first pitch

SEATTLE -- Carli Lloyd, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and hero of the U.S. Women's World Cup soccer championship team, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Mariners-Orioles game on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at Safeco Field.

Lloyd is a midfielder for the Houston Dash in the National Women's Soccer League and her team will be in Seattle to play the Seattle Reign FC on Aug. 12 at Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium.

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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.

Felix looks to keep rolling in series finale vs. D-backs

Felix looks to keep rolling in series finale vs. D-backs

If the D-backs want to notch their first sweep in a three-game series since June 12-14, they'll have to conquer one of the game's elite pitchers in Felix Hernandez during Wednesday's series finale at Safeco Field.

Hernandez has lost just one start since June 22 and is 2-1 with a 1.09 ERA in his past five starts. He has not faced the D-backs since June 21, 2009, when he allowed two runs over 7 1/3 innings and wound up with a no-decision.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners burned in 10th by Seattle native Lamb

Mariners burned in 10th by Seattle native Lamb

SEATTLE -- Jake Lamb, a Seattle native playing his first Major League game back in his hometown, hit the game-winning sacrifice fly in the 10th as the D-backs knocked off the Mariners, 4-3, in Monday night's opener of a three-game Interleague series at Safeco Field.

Lamb drove in Paul Goldschmidt with a fly ball to center off former D-backs reliever Vidal Nuno, who came into a one-out, bases-loaded situation after Seattle closer Carson Smith walked two and hit a batter.

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Greg Johns is a reporter and Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Montgomery takes big step forward

Montgomery takes big step forward

SEATTLE -- While the Mariners' bullpen continues to spring leaks, Seattle got a much-needed solid start from rookie southpaw Mike Montgomery on Monday in a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the D-backs.

Manager Lloyd McClendon said his bullpen's woes are largely because it's been overtaxed due to too many short outings from the rotation, but Montgomery overcame a shaky first two innings to throw 6 2/3 innings of five-hit ball in his 11th start of the season.

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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.

Edgar helping Mariners' bats get turned around

Edgar helping Mariners' bats get turned around

SEATTLE -- A Mariners offense that struggled through a tough first half has awakened considerably since the All-Star break, and manager Lloyd McClendon is happy to point to new hitting coach Edgar Martinez as a big reason.

Martinez replaced Howard Johnson five weeks ago, and his work appears to be paying off with youngsters Mike Zunino and Brad Miller, as well as with a veteran group that has finally begun putting things together.

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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.

Is Rodney tipping his pitches?

Is Rodney tipping his pitches?

SEATTLE -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Monday that former closer Fernando Rodney, who allowed four home runs over his last eight appearances, may have been tipping his pitches.

The long ball has bitten Rodney in a big way. He's allowed eight home runs in 39 2/3 innings this year, compared to eight over 207 2/3 innings his previous three seasons combined. Rodney lost the closer's role to rookie Carson Smith in early June and pitched well as a setup man for a stretch, but has seen his ERA rise to 5.90 and suffered his fifth blown save of the season on a two-run homer to Toronto's Ezequiel Carrera in his last outing, on Saturday.

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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.

Mariners acquire reliever Ramirez from D-backs

Mariners acquire reliever Ramirez from D-backs

SEATTLE -- Right-handed reliever J.C. Ramirez was re-acquired by the Mariners on Monday in a cash deal with the D-backs and will be assigned to Triple-A Tacoma.

Ramirez, 26, was signed by the Mariners in 2005 as international free agent out of Nicaragua, but was one of three players sent to the Phillies in 2009 in exchange for Cliff Lee.

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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.

Johnson tips cap to Mariners during Hall speech

Johnson tips cap to Mariners during Hall speech

Though Randy Johnson entered the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday as a D-back, an emotional Big Unit gave plenty of credit to the Mariners as well during his induction speech in Cooperstown, N.Y.

"The trade to Seattle set my career in motion," Johnson said. "It was my apprenticeship, 10 years there. I played with Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Omar Vizquel, Dan Wilson and so many more. Ken Griffey Jr. will surely be here next year.

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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.

Mariners turn wacky triple play vs. Toronto

Carrera falls off third base to become the final out

Mariners turn wacky triple play vs. Toronto

SEATTLE -- In a truly wacky series of events, the Mariners turned their 11th triple play in franchise history in the fourth inning of their 6-5 win over Toronto, their first since Aug. 9, 2010. It was the first time the Blue Jays had hit into a triple play since June 6, 2014 against the Cardinals.

Leading, 4-3, the Blue Jays put runners on first and third with nobody out, when second baseman Ryan Goins grounded a 1-2 curveball to first baseman Mark Trumbo.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gutierrez's HR the culmination of a long road back

Gutierrez's HR the culmination of a long road back

SEATTLE -- Coming into Spring Training this season, Franklin Gutierrez didn't have many expectations.

The 32-year-old outfielder had been sidelined for the entire 2014 season with a viral infection and just wanted to know if he could play again. He wanted to know if he could recover quickly enough after games and if his health would improve.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Big Unit among quartet inducted into Hall

Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, Biggio take their places in Cooperstown

Big Unit among quartet inducted into Hall

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- For anyone who has been there to make the comparison, Sunday's induction ceremony for the National Baseball Hall of Fame was much like a World Baseball Classic contest with the defending-champion Dominican Republic participating.

Dominican flags were waving in clusters as the rhythmic sound of cymbals clanging and congas beating resounded throughout the grounds behind the Clark Sports Center.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Guti's beauty propels Mariners to victory in 10th

Guti's beauty propels Mariners to victory in 10th

SEATTLE -- Franklin Gutierrez hit a walk-off home run as the Mariners beat the Blue Jays, 6-5, in 10 innings in Sunday's series finale at Safeco Field.

"Guti's a veteran, and he's been big for us. He's really playing extremely good baseball," said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon afterward. "It's kind of hard to keep him out of that lineup."

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McClendon aims to lighten Smith's workload

McClendon aims to lighten Smith's workload

SEATTLE -- In what has so far been a strong first full season with the Mariners, Saturday was a bit of a hiccup for reliever Carson Smith.

The 25-year-old right-hander faced four hitters without recording an out and allowed the two decisive runs in the ninth inning of Seattle's 8-6 loss to the Blue Jays. He was charged with his third loss of the season, his first since May 8.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Umpire Joyce exits after being struck by foul ball

Umpire Joyce exits after being struck by foul ball

SEATTLE -- Third-base umpire Jim Joyce exited with a leg injury in the 10th inning of the Mariners' 6-5 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday at Safeco Field.

Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano fouled a fastball from Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Loup down the third-base line with no outs in the 10th. The ball made contact with Joyce, who hesitated momentarily before calling the ball foul.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

How sweet it is: Sucre belts first MLB homer

Mariners catcher notches dinger in 116th at-bat for second hit of season

How sweet it is: Sucre belts first MLB homer

SEATTLE -- It took 116 at-bats and nearly three seasons, but Mariners catcher Jesus Sucre finally has his first Major League home run.

Sucre drove a first-pitch fastball from Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison 387 feet and over the left-center-field wall Saturday for his first career homer, with one out in the second inning of the Mariners' 8-6 loss.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stand-up Happ calls early exit an 'anomaly'

After breezing through first, Mariners starter loses all command in wild second

Stand-up Happ calls early exit an 'anomaly'

SEATTLE -- J.A. Happ needed just nine pitches to retire the Blue Jays in order during the first inning. Just two outs and 43 pitches later, however, his afternoon was done.

Happ gave up four walks, hit a batter and allowed three runs in the second before exiting after 1 2/3 in Seattle's 8-6 loss to Toronto on Saturday, marking his shortest start since May 7, 2013. He was nearly bailed out by the Mariners' offense before a late-inning bullpen collapse gave the Blue Jays the edge.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners allow lead to slip away late vs. Jays

Mariners allow lead to slip away late vs. Jays

SEATTLE -- Chris Colabello hit a go-ahead two-run single in the ninth inning as the Blue Jays came from behind to beat the Mariners, 8-6, in the second game of a three-game series Saturday afternoon at Safeco Field.

"Listen, I think our offense is starting to click," said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon. "I think we're playing extremely good baseball. Today was a hiccup. It was a tough loss, no question about it."

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Extended hitting work paying off for Zunino

Mariners catcher riding hot streak, feeling more comfortable under guidance of Edgar

Extended hitting work paying off for Zunino

SEATTLE -- Five games make a small sample size, but the Mariners' five most recent games have seen catcher Mike Zunino stringing together some of his most productive at-bats of the season.

Entering Saturday afternoon's game against the Blue Jays, Zunino was riding a five-game hitting streak, the third longest of his career. The 24-year-old had put together just two multihit games in July, but he was 6-for-his-last-16 with four doubles and four RBIs.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Felix limits powerful Blue Jays' lineup

Mariners ace allows one earned run in seven innings

Felix limits powerful Blue Jays' lineup

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez paid for two mistakes in the Mariners' 5-2 win over the Blue Jays on Friday night, one in the first inning and one in the sixth.

But over a seven-inning, two-run performance, one that tied Hernandez with the Astros' Dallas Keuchel for the American League lead with 12 victories, the AL's most prolific offense managed little else against Seattle's ace.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners top Jays behind Felix, offense

Mariners top Jays behind Felix, offense

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez forged a tie for the American League lead in wins with No. 12 as the Mariners beat the Blue Jays, 5-2, in Friday night's series opener at Safeco Field.

Mariners designated hitter Mark Trumbo hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the fourth and second baseman Robinson Cano followed with a two-run triple in the fifth to secure Seattle's first set of back-to-back wins since June 30 and July 1.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nuno performing well as 'pen swingman

Furbush likely to return to setup role when activated

Nuno performing well as 'pen swingman

SEATTLE -- Vidal Nuno has been a man of many roles out of the bullpen this season.

In 18 games with the D-backs and Mariners, he has appeared in both long relief spots and brief lefty-on-lefty situations. Recently, however, in the absence of Seattle reliever Charlie Furbush, who has been on the disabled list since July 9 with left biceps tendinitis, Nuno has been more of a setup man.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Unable to lay down bunt, Zunino hits RBI 2B

Game-winner caps off 5-for-12 series for struggling Mariners catcher

Unable to lay down bunt, Zunino hits RBI 2B

DETROIT -- Mike Zunino could have been kicking himself for not getting the sacrifice bunt down twice in the 12th inning of Thursday's battle with the Tigers, but instead the Mariners catcher wound up celebrating a game-winning RBI double in the Mariners' 3-2 victory.

"That's the way we planned it," manager Lloyd McClendon said with a wry smile after Zunino successfully swung away following his botched bunts.

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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.

Iwakuma displays value in seven-inning effort

Possibly on trade block, Mariners righty buckles down after allowing two early runs

Iwakuma displays value in seven-inning effort

DETROIT -- While trade rumors have swirled around Tigers ace David Price, there were plenty of scouts checking out Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma on Thursday as well as he continued his return from an injury-plagued start with another strong outing in Seattle's 3-2, 12-inning victory.

Iwakuma, like Price, will be a free agent at year's end. And the Mariners, 44-52 after wrapping up a 3-4 road trip, could be sellers as well at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. For teams looking for a quality starting pitcher, the 34-year-old standout may be a tempting addition after showing he's fully over a strained lat that sidelined him for much of the season.

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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.

Sharply dressed Snow striving for next level

Mariners pitching prospect experiencing improvement at Triple-A Tacoma this season

Sharply dressed Snow striving for next level

TACOMA, Wash. -- Forrest Snow has a habit of overdressing.

Snow's wardrobe has been his mark as a professional since he was chewed out by longtime Everett AquaSox trainer Spider Webb for wearing a T-shirt to his first professional practice in 2010. It was pro ball, Webb said, and Snow, a recent 36th-round Draft pick, needed to act and dress the part if he wanted to keep a job.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.