Call to arms: Ambidextrous Venditte shines in debut

Call to arms: Ambidextrous Venditte shines in debut

ARLINGTON -- After a rough start by Hisashi Iwakuma, the Mariners literally switched things up on the Rangers in Monday's 6-3 series-opening loss, with ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte striking out a career-best five in a three-inning relief stint.

Venditte came on in the fourth inning after Iwakuma fell behind, 5-1, and the unique 31-year-old hurler stemmed the tide as he allowed just one hit and one run in tying the longest outing he's had in his brief time in the Majors over the past two years with the A's, Blue Jays and now Mariners.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers jump on Iwakuma, Mariners early

Rangers jump on Iwakuma, Mariners early

ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma got the first crack at the Rangers in the Mariners' quest to hunt down the American League West leaders Monday night at Globe Life Park. But a four-run third inning cut his night short and he was outdueled by fellow Japanese righty Yu Darvish, who struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings, in a 6-3 win by the Rangers.

"I really hate when guys go out there and battle and fight and as an offense we don't score any runs," said Carlos Beltran, who hit a solo homer in the first. "So the fact that we scored some runs for him and he was able to continue to pitch a good game, that was fun to see."

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011.

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Dallas.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Leonys Martin picked up some air to rob a home run

|
Leonys Martin picked up some air to rob a home run

Generally speaking, we're all brought up with a keen understanding that stealing things is wrong. If it doesn't belong to you, leave it be, and so on.

Theft is a crime, at least in the so-called "real world" outside the baseball field -- but baseball, like all sports, falls outside those parameters and exists in its own universe.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Left out: Mariners scuffling against southpaws

Left out: Mariners scuffling against southpaws

ARLINGTON -- It's not hard to figure out why the Mariners have struggled with left-handed pitchers this season when you look at a lineup heavy on lefties and with several right-handed counterbalances struggling to contribute.

Seattle is 20-28 against southpaw starters compared to 48-34 against right-handers going into Monday's series opener against the Rangers and the offensive numbers are telling.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paxton looks for strong start vs. Rangers

Paxton looks for strong start vs. Rangers

A Mariners team that has struggled against left-handed pitching will see another quality southpaw on Tuesday when the Rangers roll out a red-hot Cole Hamels to face James Paxton in the middle game of the series at Globe Life Park.

The Mariners need to get rolling to make up ground in the AL West.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners appreciate Walker's aggressive effort

Despite loss to White Sox, Servais likes righty's approach

Mariners appreciate Walker's aggressive effort

CHICAGO -- He didn't get a win to show for his efforts, but Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker proved a few things in Sunday's 4-1 loss to the White Sox.

Pitching with an aggressive approach, Walker allowed just four hits in 7 1/3 innings and looked far more like the youngster who dazzled the American League for the first six weeks of the season before foot troubles and a stint back in Triple-A derailed his progress.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Mariners on roller-coaster ride to contention

Mariners on roller-coaster ride to contention

There are some great stories in these wild Wild Card races as we steamroll into September. The Royals' dream of three straight American League pennants has not died yet. The Yankees are, amazingly, still alive. (Who knew Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran were holding them back?) The Pirates have a pulse despite dealing away some pieces. The Marlins are alive without their feared slugger, Giancarlo Stanton.

But no team has more riding on the results of this late-season postseason pursuit than the Mariners, for theirs is not just a battle with the whims of the Wild Card but a bout with the game's longest ongoing October drought.

Continue Reading

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cano's HR only offense behind Walker in loss

Cano's HR only offense behind Walker in loss

CHICAGO -- Dealing with left-handed pitching has been an Achilles' heel for the Mariners all season, and the White Sox exploited that again Sunday as Carlos Rodon hurled six-plus innings of one-run ball in a 4-1 victory at U.S. Cellular Field.

Rodon surrendered the lone run on Robinson Cano's solo shot in the sixth and allowed five hits as he improved to 5-8 with a 3.91 ERA. Rodon is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA, 26 strikeouts and seven walks over his past five starts covering 30 2/3 innings. The Mariners are 20-28 against southpaw starters this season, including a loss the previous night against lefty Jose Quintana, compared to 48-34 against righties.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Switch-pitcher Venditte hoping to find fit with Mariners

Ambidextrous 31-year-old called up Saturday, gives Seattle options

Switch-pitcher Venditte hoping to find fit with Mariners

CHICAGO -- In case you're wondering, yeah, Pat Venditte has times when his left arm isn't feeling the best. Or maybe the right. It can work either way, which is how life rolls when you're the only full-time ambidextrous pitcher in the Major Leagues since the late 1800s.

The easy joke is that the Mariners added three arms to their bullpen on Saturday when they called up rookie Dan Altavilla and the switch-pitching Venditte. Surely Venditte has heard all the one-liners by now, but for him, this is just life.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altavilla unleashes 'electric stuff' in MLB debut

'It was an unbelievable feeling,' reliever says of retiring side in 8th

Altavilla unleashes 'electric stuff' in MLB debut

CHICAGO -- Mariners manager Scott Servais said before Dan Altavilla's Major League debut that it wasn't fair to draw any comparisons to rookie closer Edwin Diaz in spite of their similar path to the big leagues this season, but it was hard not to see the same kind of sizzle in the rookie right-hander's impressive opening act in Saturday's 9-3 loss to the White Sox.

The hard-throwing 24-year-old touched 100 mph on the radar gun and unleashed a couple of nasty sliders in a 1-2-3 eighth inning in which he zipped through the heart of the White Sox order, getting easy grounders from Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu and then striking out Todd Frazier.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miranda, Nuno struggle in loss to White Sox

Miranda, Nuno struggle in loss to White Sox

CHICAGO -- Jose Quintana continued his outstanding season with 7 2/3 strong innings on Saturday, and this time he got some help from his friends as the White Sox rolled to a 9-3 victory over the Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field.

The 27-year-old southpaw allowed just five hits and two runs (one earned) as he improved to 11-9 with a 2.77 ERA. Quintana had the second-lowest run support of any American League starter coming into the game, but the White Sox clubbed four home runs in a 15-hit night.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners promote Altavilla, Venditte to bolster bullpen

Lee recalled, Wilhelmsen placed on DL, Aoki and Freeman optioned

Mariners promote Altavilla, Venditte to bolster bullpen

CHICAGO -- A Mariners team that has already used a franchise-record 29 pitchers this season added two new arms to the mix on Saturday as general manager Jerry Dipoto called up right-hander Dan Altavilla from Double-A Jackson and recently-acquired switch-pitcher Pat Venditte from Triple-A Tacoma to bolster the bullpen.

The club also recalled first baseman Dae-Ho Lee from Tacoma to take the place of reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back issue. Outfielder Norichika Aoki and infielder Mike Freeman were optioned to Tacoma to make room for Altavilla and Venditte.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Long list of heroes secure crucial Mariners win

Gutierrez's slump-busting HR, O'Malley's defense back Felix in duel with Sale

Long list of heroes secure crucial Mariners win

CHICAGO -- Some days it takes a village, especially when you're facing an ace like Chris sale, and the Mariners got help from many fronts on Friday to pull out a 3-1 victory over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

There was Franklin Gutierrez, breaking out of an 0-for-15 slump to hit a home run off Sale. There was Adam Lind, the platoon first baseman who's not supposed to face southpaws, ripping an RBI double off one of the game's premier lefties.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aoki optioned as Mariners bolster bullpen

Altavilla, Venditte expected to be added before Saturday's game

Aoki optioned as Mariners bolster bullpen

CHICAGO -- While his teammates celebrated Friday's 3-1 victory over the White Sox on Friday night, veteran left fielder Norichika Aoki quietly dealt with Mariners officials and then made some phone calls after being informed he was being optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma.

Aoki will be one of several roster moves announced by the Mariners on Saturday as they look to shore up a bullpen that was already running a man short and now is dealing with a sore back by Tom Wilhelmsen as well.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paxton settles in, feels good in return from DL

After shaky first, Mariners lefty twirls four scoreless

Paxton settles in, feels good in return from DL

CHICAGO -- James Paxton's return from the disabled list didn't go exactly as planned Thursday, but the lanky lefty overcame a rocky start and had the Mariners in position to win until the White Sox rallied late for a 7-6 victory at U.S. Cellular Field.

Despite allowing a trio of runs in the first, Paxton turned a 6-3 lead over to the bullpen in the sixth in a 90-pitch outing as he returned from an 18-day absence due to a bruised elbow.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Powerful heart of the order has Mariners contending

Cruz, Cano, Seager help put Seattle in Wild Card hunt

Powerful heart of the order has Mariners contending

CHICAGO -- Pop quiz time.

Which team has three of the 25 most productive hitters in Major League Baseball?
A: The Chicago Cubs
B: The Toronto Blue Jays
C: The Boston Red Sox
D: The Baltimore Orioles
E: None of the above

Continue Reading

Phil Rogers is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Felix, Mariners survive Sale to gain in WC chase

Felix, Mariners survive Sale to gain in WC chase

CHICAGO -- Felix Hernandez is starting to look more like, well, Felix Hernandez these days. And it couldn't come at a better time for the Mariners as they rode their ace to a 3-1 victory over Chris Sale and the White Sox in a battle of two of the American League's top hurlers on Friday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Hernandez allowed just a solo home run by Todd Frazier in the seventh over 7 1/3 innings, scattering eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts. The 30-year-old is 5-0 with a 3.46 ERA in eight starts since returning from a two-month stint on the disabled list with a strained calf.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners let White Sox rally, then walk off

Mariners let White Sox rally, then walk off

CHICAGO -- As far as the Mariners are concerned, they can't change the name of U.S. Cellular Field soon enough. A day after the White Sox announced they'll be renaming the facility Guaranteed Rate Field for next season, Seattle's struggles on the South Side continued as Todd Frazier singled in Adam Eaton for a 7-6 walk-off win on Thursday night.

Frazier delivered his third RBI of the game with one out in the ninth inning off reliever Nick Vincent as the White Sox rallied from a 6-3 deficit over the final three frames.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kuma's quality start guarantees club option

Starter allows three runs on six hits in six innings in loss to Yankees

Kuma's quality start guarantees club option

SEATTLE -- Hisashi Iwakuma has a knack for turning in good outings even when he's not at his sharpest. He did so again in Wednesday's game, turning a two-run deficit after two innings into a quality start.

"Sometimes you have your stuff, and sometimes you don't have your stuff," Iwakuma said through his translator Antony Suzuki. "When you don't have your stuff, it's about executing when you need to, making pitches when you have to."

Continue Reading

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cruz better after exiting with back spasms

Cruz better after exiting with back spasms

SEATTLE -- Designated hitter Nelson Cruz left the Mariners' 5-0 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday afternoon in the eighth inning with back spasms. After treatment and an adjustment to his pelvis, he said he feels better.

Cruz's back started bothering him Tuesday night when he had four at-bats.

Continue Reading

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners silenced at plate, drop finale to Yanks

Mariners silenced at plate, drop finale to Yanks

SEATTLE -- Masahiro Tanaka threw seven shutout innings and Gary Sanchez homered yet again in the Yankees' 5-0 victory over the Mariners Wednesday afternoon to close the series in Seattle. With its second consecutive win, New York took the three-game set.

"They pitched us well all series," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "We haven't been shut down like that in quite some time, and if you don't score, it's going to be tough to win."

Continue Reading

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Yankees on Wednesday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller among top prospect performers Wednesday

Red Sox flamethrower notches 10 K's with career-high seven frames

Miller among top prospect performers Wednesday

Michael Kopech may be the hottest pitcher in all of Minor League Baseball these days as he continues to shut down opposing lineups with a plethora of strikeouts.

The 20-year-old was on fire once again Wednesday, leading Class A Advanced Salem to a 9-1 win over Potomac.

Continue Reading

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walker battles in return but Mariners fall short vs. Yanks

Walker battles in return but Mariners fall short vs. Yanks

SEATTLE -- CC Sabathia got back on track and Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two-run home run to open up a close game en route to a 5-1 Yankees win over the Mariners on Tuesday night at Safeco Field. The Yankees evened the three-game series at a game apiece and knocked the Mariners back to two games out of the second American League Wild Card spot.

"It comes down to location for CC, and avoiding some of the bad breaks that he gets," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "And tonight we got him some runs, too. That always helps, too. I know what his ERA is, but I'm going to tell you, he's pitched a lot better than that ERA, I really believe."

Continue Reading

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Mariners on Tuesday.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Yankees on Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners add righties Zych, Walker

Mariners add righties Zych, Walker

SEATTLE -- The Mariners activated right-handed reliever Tony Zych from the 60-day disabled list Tuesday to fill the hole in their bullpen, and they optioned infielder/outfielder Stefen Romero to Triple-A Tacoma.

The move was in addition to recalling Taijuan Walker from Tacoma to make Tuesday's start vs. the Yankees. Cody Martin was optioned to Tacoma to make room for Walker.

Continue Reading

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cishek regains form following stint on DL

Cishek regains form following stint on DL

SEATTLE -- Safeco Field's lights don't dim and music doesn't blast every time Steve Cishek enters the game anymore. The win isn't on the line every time he jogs out from the bullpen. But since the former closer came off the 15-day disabled list, he has looked as good as ever.

"It's just nice to have some power in my legs," Cishek said. "That's the biggest difference, is being able to get my foot down and drive the ball."

Continue Reading

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Mariners on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners make homers count to topple Yankees

Mariners make homers count to topple Yankees

SEATTLE -- Not even a pair of home runs apiece by the Yankees' Gary Sanchez and Starlin Castro could derail the Mariners on Monday night at Safeco Field as Seattle rode a pair of three-run blasts by Kyle Seager and Mike Zunino to a 7-5 series-opening win.

"This team is picking one another up," Zunino said. "We had a tough loss [Sunday], but we know we're not going to be perfect through this stretch here. I think guys did a good job coming to the park with energy today, and to get a win like this, coming from behind, is huge."

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Yankees on Monday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zunino's confidence soars with sustained success

Zunino's confidence soars with sustained success

SEATTLE -- Oh, what a difference a year has made for Mike Zunino.

The Mariners catcher was sent down to Triple-A last season on Aug. 28, his big league season done after posting a .174/.230/.300 line with 11 homers in 112 games. As Seattle was winding up its year, the 2012 first-round Draft pick was left searching for answers in Tacoma.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Diaz regroups, runs saves streak to 10 games

Diaz regroups, runs saves streak to 10 games

SEATTLE -- It wasn't a perfect save for Edwin Diaz, but the hard-throwing rookie is a perfect 10-for-10 in save opportunities for the Mariners, and that's plenty good enough for a club contending for a playoff berth as the stretch run approaches.

Diaz set a Mariners record by converting his 10th straight save to start his career, breaking the record of Byron McLaughlin in 1979. And he did so Monday after putting runners on second and third with one out before slamming the door in a 7-5 victory over the Yankees at Safeco Field.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.