Mariners' 10 hits not enough against Astros

Mariners' 10 hits not enough against Astros

SEATTLE -- Houston third baseman Luis Valbuena slugged two home runs, including a go-ahead shot in the eighth inning off Seattle reliever Danny Farquhar, and the Astros won their third straight with a 7-5 victory over the Mariners on Monday.

"We showed a lot of character tonight," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I love the way we battled back on both sides. We had a chance to implode when they had a lot of traffic on and we didn't. We tacked on a few runs to tie the game and got a little momentum, and obviously Valbuena came through with some big hits."

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red-hot Cruz honored with AL Player of the Week Award

Mariners slugger slams eight HRs, caps stretch with walk-off single vs. Rangers

Red-hot Cruz honored with AL Player of the Week Award

SEATTLE -- Right fielder Nelson Cruz wasted no time making an impact on the Mariners' offense, and the big slugger's imprint was noticed, as he earned American League Player of the Week honors on Monday for his powerful performance over the previous seven days.

Cruz, 34, was selected for the week of April 13-19, during which he hit .500 with six home runs, 10 RBIs, seven runs and a 1.806 OPS in six games. The big man was so good in that stretch that his manager figures he already has a step up on his next award.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McClendon concerned about struggles of Mariners' rotation

McClendon concerned about struggles of Mariners' rotation

SEATTLE -- The formula seemed pretty simple: Add a little offense to one of baseball's best pitching staffs, and boom, the Mariners figured to be in pretty good shape this season.

But a disappointing 7-5 loss to the Astros on Monday poked another early hole in that plan. Seattle's pitching again did not live up to its end of the bargain after starter Hisashi Iwakuma was staked to a two-run lead after five innings.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wilhelmsen feeling 'loads better'

Most recent MRI shows no structural damage in reliever's elbow

Wilhelmsen feeling 'loads better'

SEATTLE -- Reliever Tom Wilhelmsen hasn't been cleared to begin throwing and likely won't be ready to return when he's eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, but he should know more after seeing the doctor again on Tuesday.

Wilhelmsen has been sidelined with a hyperextended right elbow since April 11. An MRI performed last week showed no structural damage; he has been waiting for the dye from the test to clear out and for the pain to entirely dissipate before resuming throwing.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walker looks for continued success vs. Houston

Walker looks for continued success vs. Houston

Astros right-hander Collin McHugh will start against the Mariners at Safeco Field on Tuesday night nearly a year to the day his career turned around with a brilliant game in Seattle.

It was April 22, 2014, when McHugh, claimed off waivers in the offseason, was called up to make a spot start and wound up striking out 12 batters in 6 2/3 innings en route to his first Major League win. McHugh's only other double-digit-strikeout game came on April 15 of this season in a win over Oakland, which was his ninth consecutive win.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cruz slugs 2 homers, winning hit as Seattle stuns Texas in 9th

Cruz slugs 2 homers, winning hit as Seattle stuns Texas in 9th

SEATTLE -- The Mariners rallied with two runs in the bottom of the ninth against Rangers closer Neftali Feliz in an 11-10 victory on Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field.

Nelson Cruz delivered the big hit with a two-out single through the left side for his fifth RBI of the day after hitting a solo home run in the first and a three-run shot in the third.

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Josh Liebeskind is a contributor to MLB.com. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Gritty' Mariners don't back down in comeback win

'This team is built for greatness,' McClendon says

'Gritty' Mariners don't back down in comeback win

SEATTLE -- Seattle fell behind by five runs on two separate occasions Sunday, so when the ninth inning arrived with the Mariners trailing the Texas Rangers by one, they didn't flinch. And it didn't surprise manager Lloyd McClendon when Nelson Cruz gave the Mariners an 11-10 walk-off win with a bases-loaded single in the ninth.

He attributes the comeback ability to the makeup of his club.

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Josh Liebeskind is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cruz drives in 5 with 2 home runs, walk-off single

Mariners slugger hit 8 HRs in first 12 games

Cruz drives in 5 with 2 home runs, walk-off single

SEATTLE -- Nelson Cruz capped a two-home run, five-RBI afternoon with a walk-off single to send the Mariners to an 11-10 come-from-behind victory over the Rangers on Sunday.

After striking out with the bases loaded in the eighth -- when Seattle scored three times to pull within a run -- Cruz came up with the bases full and two outs in the ninth. Austin Jackson had already tied the game with a single, and Texas closer Neftali Feliz -- who had fanned Cruz an inning earlier -- intentionally walked Robinson Cano to bring up Cruz. With the count even at 2-2, Cruz grounded a single to left field to score Seth Smith with the winning run.

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Josh Liebeskind is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paxton labors through another rough outing

Mariners lefty matches shortest start of career

Paxton labors through another rough outing

SEATTLE -- James Paxton hasn't had the start to his 2015 season he envisioned. Sunday's outing did nothing to change that for the second-year pro.

The Mariners left-hander allowed seven runs -- two earned -- and wasn't able to make it out of the third inning in an eventual 11-10 Seattle win over the Texas Rangers. It also matched the shortest outing of his career. Paxton has a 5.40 ERA in three starts this season.

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Josh Liebeskind is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller makes strides in improving defense at shortstop

Miller makes strides in improving defense at shortstop

SEATTLE -- Brad Miller broke camp in 2014 as the Mariners' starting shortstop, but shaky moments at the plate and in the field got Chris Taylor called up from Triple-A Tacoma in late July and the competition between the two was on this year in Spring Training.

Miller got the starting job for the beginning of the season when Taylor's right wrist was fractured in a Cactus League game, and while the Mariners expect Miller to become more of an offensive force than he was in 2014, the club needs him to improve on defense first. Miller made 18 errors in 107 games last year.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hernandez rewards manager's trust in stellar 7th inning

Seattle ace strikes out side to cap 12-K outing

Hernandez rewards manager's trust in stellar 7th inning

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez likes ending losing streaks. Now he and his Mariners teammates are hoping to enjoy starting a winning one.

Hernandez was in brilliant form on Saturday night when his team needed it the most -- on the mound and in a discussion with Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon prior to his final inning, the seventh, in which he struck out the side to help seal his team's 3-1 win over the Rangers.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

One and done: Zunino's timely blast sweet relief for Seattle

One and done: Zunino's timely blast sweet relief for Seattle

SEATTLE -- It was only one swing, but it was a big one.

Mike Zunino's home run that led off the bottom of the fifth inning in Saturday's 3-1 Mariners win over the Texas Rangers was a relief for a team that had been battling for positives. Throughout their four-game losing streak, which spanned the three-game set against the Dodgers early in the week and the series opener against the Rangers on Friday night at Safeco Field, Seattle hitters were hitting the ball hard in key situations and watching run-scoring, game-winning opportunities disappear into the webbing of their opponents' gloves.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Felix the finisher: Hernandez K's 12, Seattle snaps skid

Felix the finisher: Hernandez K's 12, Seattle snaps skid

SEATTLE -- The Mariners had been in search of a momentum starter, and the Rangers were seeking to continue the good vibes from the previous night's victory. Saturday's game was set for high drama on a beautiful night at Safeco Field, but when it was over, Felix Hernandez had become the story once again. On his bobblehead night, Seattle's ace gave up only two hits and a run while striking out 12 in seven innings, and the Mariners got enough timely hits to break a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 win before 43,017.

Things weren't looking good early for the Mariners, who followed a recent pattern of knocking on the door but not capitalizing on chances early in the game. They took a 1-0 lead on a Seth Smith sacrifice fly in the fourth inning against Rangers starter Colby Lewis, but Texas tied the game in the top of the fifth on an Elvis Andrus fielder's choice RBI.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners at forefront of establishing Jackie Robinson Day

Griffey Jr. was first to don No. 42 to honor MLB trailblazer

Mariners at forefront of establishing Jackie Robinson Day

LOS ANGELES -- Ever since Ken Griffey Jr. donned a No. 42 jersey on April 15, 1997, the Mariners have been at the forefront of Major League Baseball's efforts to make Jackie Robinson Day special.

And the Mariners found themselves again in that spotlight Wednesday when they faced the Dodgers on the first combined Jackie Robinson Day and annual Civil Rights Game at Dodger Stadium.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Happ's home debut a bright spot in loss

Mariners lefty allows 2 runs on 5 hits in 7 innings

Happ's home debut a bright spot in loss

SEATTLE -- The Mariners needed a good outing from their starting pitcher on Friday almost as much as they needed a win. They got one of those, at least, courtesy of J.A. Happ.

The left-hander, acquired from Toronto in an offseason trade for outfielder Michael Saunders, made his Safeco Field debut as a Mariner an effective one, going seven innings and giving up two runs on five hits while striking out three and walking two. He didn't get the win because Seattle could only put up one run in a 3-1 defeat, but he gave the taxed bullpen a needed rest and his team every opportunity to rally and prevail.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Happ goes 7 solid but offense sputters in 4th straight loss

Happ goes 7 solid but offense sputters in 4th straight loss

SEATTLE -- The Mariners badly wanted a division win upon their return home to Safeco Field on Friday night after a tough road trip, but the Rangers had other ideas. Texas got a sterling start from its ace, Yovani Gallardo, a few timely hits and some key defensive plays in a 3-1 victory before 36,606.

Prince Fielder got the Rangers going with an RBI double in the first inning, Robinson Chirinos homered to dead center field to lead off the fifth, and that was all Gallardo would need. The veteran right-hander, acquired from Milwaukee in an offseason trade, twirled six innings of shutout ball, allowing six hits and striking out three. The Rangers tacked on an insurance run in the ninth.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodney not dwelling on early season struggles

McClendon confident in veteran closer: 'This is not his first rodeo'

Rodney not dwelling on early season struggles

SEATTLE -- Mariners closer Fernando Rodney entered Friday night's series opener against the Rangers in a rare funk, and he's had a couple of days to think about how he can break out of it.

Then again, he said his strategy has always been to not think about it at all.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners find themselves stuck in early funk

'Our guys are built for this,' says McClendon after 4th loss in a row

Mariners find themselves stuck in early funk

SEATTLE -- It was another one of those nights. There have been quite a few of them for the Mariners lately.

Logan Morrison hit a ball on the screws in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Safeco Field crowd got loud, the ball soared high above right field, and Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo jumped at the wall and hauled it in.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McClendon: Early adversity will help Mariners 'build character'

Club with high expectations finishes 3-6 vs. Angels, A's, Dodgers

McClendon: Early adversity will help Mariners 'build character'

SEATTLE -- The Mariners were a trendy pick to click in the 2015 season, with many prognosticators pegging them for the American League West title … and beyond.

This potential glory remains possible, but prior to Friday's series opener against the Rangers at Safeco Field, the Mariners were at 3-6, had lost three games in a row, and had already been in three one-run games (they're 1-2 in those), three extra-inning games (they're 2-1 in those), two two-run games (0-2) and two three-run games (1-1). All three of their opponents before Friday, the Angels, A's and Dodgers, made the postseason last year.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners determined to overcome pitching struggles

Walker, Paxton and Iwakuma lead slow start out of the gate

Mariners determined to overcome pitching struggles

SEATTLE -- A Mariners team expected to contend for its first playoff berth since 2001 has struggled out of the gate with a 3-6 start and it's not hard to point a finger at the problem. Pitching, expected to be the bread and butter of the club, has been more like toast as Seattle ranks 29th out of 30 Major League teams in ERA at 5.16 heading into Thursday's off-day.

Two things to consider. One, the Mariners are the only team in baseball to have faced three 2014 playoff teams -- the Angels, A's and Dodgers -- in their first three series. Secondly, the numbers are skewed by a pair of poor starts from young right-hander Taijuan Walker, who is sporting a 17.18 ERA after giving up 14 runs in 7 1/3 innings.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cruz extends homer streak in Civil Rights Game, but Seattle is swept

Cruz extends homer streak in Civil Rights Game, but Seattle is swept

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers roughed up Seattle starting pitcher Taijuan Walker for five runs in four innings and ran their win streak to four games with a 5-2 victory in the 2015 Civil Rights Game on Jackie Robinson Night at Dodger Stadium.

In five-plus innings, Dodgers starter Brett Anderson allowed a fourth-inning home run by Nelson Cruz (who hit four in the three-game series) and an unearned run in the sixth, when a baserunning blunder by Robinson Cano at third base torpedoed the Seattle rally. J.P. Howell, the fourth Dodgers reliever, got the save.

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Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cruz goes deep in fifth straight game

Mariners slugger hits solo shot in fourth inning vs. Dodgers

Cruz goes deep in fifth straight game

LOS ANGELES -- Nelson Cruz continued his home-run barrage Wednesday by going deep for a fifth straight game. The Mariners slugger hit a solo shot in the fourth inning off Dodgers lefty Brett Anderson in Seattle's 5-2 loss in the Civil Rights Game.

Cruz has six homers and nine RBIs in the past five games for his new team and the five-game streak is the longest of his 11-year Major League career.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cano embarrassed after mental lapse on basepaths

Mariners second baseman erroneously thought bases were loaded

Cano embarrassed after mental lapse on basepaths

LOS ANGELES -- Robinson Cano has had many memorable moments on the baseball diamond, but the six-time American League All-Star made a mental error he'll have a hard time forgetting in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Dodgers when he got thrown out after strolling toward home plate following a one-out walk to Mariners teammate Logan Morrison.

Cano thought the bases were loaded and was heading home when Morrison drew his fourth ball from reliever Paco Rodriguez, but there were actually only runners on second and third and the Dodgers quickly realized they had Cano hung out to dry.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners drop a stunner to Dodgers

Mariners drop a stunner to Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- Howie Kendrick's two-run broken-bat single with one out in the ninth inning rallied the Dodgers to their second walk-off win in as many nights, 6-5, over the Mariners on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

"I got a sinker running in, pretty firm," Kendrick said of the pitch from Mariners closer Fernando Rodney, his Angels teammate in 2010-11. "The big thing was to get a pitch up that I could hit. It's always good to come through for my teammates."

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Ken Gurnick and Greg Johns are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cruz's homer streak reaches 4 games

Cruz's homer streak reaches 4 games

LOS ANGELES -- Nelson Cruz continued his home run tear on Tuesday, and this time Robinson Cano joined in the fun as the Mariners again flexed some early muscle at Dodger Stadium, but for a second straight night, the Dodgers rallied late for a 6-5 win.

Cruz hit a solo blast to left field in the first inning against Dodgers left-hander David Huff for his fifth home run in the past four games. The 34-year-old right fielder has homered in four straight games, a nice start to his tenure in Seattle after signing a four-year, $57 million deal this winter. That streak equals his career-best streak from April 1-4, 2011.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodney eager to move on from early struggles

Rodney eager to move on from early struggles

LOS ANGELES -- Mariners closer Fernando Rodney had his second straight rough outing on Tuesday night, and this time it cost his team a win as the Dodgers scored twice in the ninth for a 6-5 walk-off win.

Rodney suffered his first blown save since July 20, snapping a streak of 23 straight saves. The 38-year-old endured an equally rugged outing Sunday, when he gave up four runs in a non-save situation in the ninth at Oakland, but Seattle battled back to win that one in the 10th inning.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.