Athletic mom a big influence on Montgomery

Athletic mom a big influence on Montgomery

SEATTLE - When Mariners pitcher Mike Montgomery needed a throwing partner last offseason, he didn't hesitate.

"Mom, grab your glove," the lanky left-hander said. And next thing you know, mother and son were playing catch in the street in front of the home where he grew up in Valencia, Calif.

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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.

Power move: Mariners complete sweep of A's

Power move: Mariners complete sweep of A's

OAKLAND -- Rookie first baseman Dae-Ho Lee launched two home runs and Nelson Cruz added a bomb of his own as the Mariners outslugged the A's, 9-8, on Wednesday to finish off a three-game sweep at the Coliseum.

Lee, a 33-year-old Korean who played the past four years in Japan, put Seattle ahead with his second homer of the day, a two-run shot off John Axford in the seventh as the Mariners overcame an 8-4 deficit.

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Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the A's on Wednesday.

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.

Boomstick bros: Cruz, Lee crush home runs

Mariners DH reaches seats in CF at Oakland Coliseum; rookie goes deep twice

Boomstick bros: Cruz, Lee crush home runs

OAKLAND -- Nelson Cruz is a strong man, as evidenced again by a thunderous home run hit by the Mariners' designated hitter in Wednesday's 9-8 victory over the A's at Oakland Coliseum. But the big man has new company in that department as teammate Dae-Ho Lee ripped a pair of homers himself to propel Seattle to a series sweep.

Cruz reached the upper deck in straightaway center field -- rare territory, indeed -- on a shot off A's rookie left-hander Sean Manaea on a 1-0 fastball to give Seattle a 4-2 lead, only to see Oakland erupt for six runs off Felix Hernandez in the bottom of the fifth to take an 8-4 lead.

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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.

No win for the King, but Felix relishes rally

Mariners complete comeback vs. A's after ace struggles

No win for the King, but Felix relishes rally

OAKLAND -- Felix Hernandez has endured a number of narrow losses in his 12-year tenure with the Mariners due to lack of offense, so you can't blame the 30-year-old ace for relishing a dramatic 9-8 win over the A's on Wednesday when his team took him off the hook for a likely loss with its late-game heroics.

"This is baseball. It was a crazy win for us," Hernandez said after winding up with a no-decision in a game in which he gave up eight runs (four earned) in four-plus innings. "It was unbelievable. I love my teammates. They did a great job today."

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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 look to stay hot in Houston

Mariners look to stay hot in Houston

A Mariners team riding six straight series victories opens a four-game set at Minute Maid Park on Thursday with Wade Miley facing Astros rookie Chris Devenski.

The Mariners took two of three from the Astros last week at Safeco Field in the middle of a run that has seen them move into the American League West lead, while Houston has struggled at the bottom of the division pack in a disappointing start.

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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 crush Gray, A's as Kuma cruises

Mariners crush Gray, A's as Kuma cruises

OAKLAND -- Robinson Cano, Leonys Martin and Kyle Seager homered for the Mariners, backing a tremendous seven-inning performance from right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma to help Seattle secure an 8-2, series-clinching victory over the A's at the Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Iwakuma held Oakland to one run and four hits en route to his first win of the season, while A's ace Sonny Gray scattered 11 hits with seven runs allowed -- both matching career highs -- across seven-plus innings as his ERA moved to 4.84.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

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.

Iwakuma fires efficient gem in long-awaited win

Iwakuma fires efficient gem in long-awaited win

OAKLAND -- It took a month for Hisashi Iwakuma to notch his first victory of the season, but the veteran right-hander was sharp in Tuesday's 8-2 win over the A's as the Mariners continued their surge in the American League West.

Iwakuma allowed four hits and one run over seven innings in a command performance. It was a much-needed outing for the 35-year-old, who improved to 1-3 with a 4.03 ERA after enduring a winless April.

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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.

Martin adds surprise jolt to Mariners' power surge

CF slugs 5th homer to help fuel rout of A's

Martin adds surprise jolt to Mariners' power surge

OAKLAND -- Leonys Martin isn't supposed to be a power hitter. Nor does he have a history of faring well against A's ace Sonny Gray.

So of course it was Martin who launched a two-run homer off Gray in the third inning on Tuesday to kick-start Seattle's 8-2 victory over Oakland on a night Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager also went deep to help the Mariners clinch their sixth consecutive series and move into a half-game lead over the Rangers in the American League West at 15-11.

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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 making impact despite struggles at plate

Mariners leadoff hitter has .483 OBP over last 7 games

Aoki making impact despite struggles at plate

OAKLAND -- The Mariners need leadoff hitter Norichika Aoki to get on base and they don't care how he does it, as long as he's out there running and bothering opposing pitchers and putting himself in position to score.

So while Aoki's batting average stood at .226 after Tuesday's 8-2 win over the A's, manager Scott Servais was encouraged by the 10 walks the 34-year-old had drawn in his last eight games after walking just twice in his first 17.

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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 place Zych on DL, add Johnson to 'pen

Rookie reliever sidelined with right rotator cuff tendinitis

Mariners place Zych on DL, add Johnson to 'pen

OAKLAND -- While the Mariners bullpen has been a pleasant surprise so far this season, that group took another hit on Tuesday as hard-throwing rookie Tony Zych became the fifth reliever to go on the disabled list since the start of Spring Training as a result of soreness in his right shoulder.

Zych flew home to Seattle on Tuesday to have Mariners physicians check out what was tentatively diagnosed as tendinitis in his rotator cuff. The Mariners called up right-hander Steve Johnson from Triple-A Tacoma.

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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.

Marte's 'outstanding' D helps Karns get W

Marte's 'outstanding' D helps Karns get W

OAKLAND -- Right-hander Nathan Karns has benefited from strong run support in his early going with the Mariners, but Monday it was several defensive gems by young shortstop Ketel Marte that helped Karns notch his third straight victory as Seattle topped the A's, 4-3.

"It felt like he was all over the place," Karns said. "Those were key double plays in the second and third. That's a quality shortstop right there."

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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.

Cano fuels Mariners' 12-hit attack to edge A's

Cano fuels Mariners' 12-hit attack to edge A's

OAKLAND -- Robinson Cano notched three hits and scored two runs, helping the Mariners spoil a two-homer night from Khris Davis in a 4-3, series-opening victory over the A's at the Coliseum on Monday night.

Nelson Cruz also finished with three hits for Seattle, which used a two-run sixth inning highlighted by run-scoring hits from Kyle Seager and Chris Iannetta to break a 1-1 tie. The Mariners tacked on a run in the seventh, which proved vital when Davis hit his second home run of the night in the bottom half of the frame, a two-run shot to center off Mariners starter Nathan Karns.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

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.

Kennewick teacher named Honorary Bat Girl

Cancer survivor to thow out first pitch May 15 at Safeco

Kennewick teacher named Honorary Bat Girl

OAKLAND -- Betsy Haffner, a school teacher and mother of five from Kennewick, Wash., has been selected as the Mariners' 2016 Honorary Bat Girl as part of Major League Baseball's "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" program in conjunction with upcoming Mother's Day festivities.

Haffner, who is battling Stage IV breast cancer, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Angels-Mariners game at Safeco Field on Sunday, May 15. The Mariners will be on the road this coming Sunday, which is Mother's Day.

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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.

Benoit won't come off DL when eligible Friday

Mariners reliever has yet to throw off mound in shoulder rehab

Benoit won't come off DL when eligible Friday

OAKLAND -- Veteran reliever Joaquin Benoit felt good after playing catch in the outfield Sunday at Safeco Field, but the Mariners right-hander did not accompany the team on its seven-day road trip and probably won't throw off the mound until the end of this week, manager Scott Servais said Monday.

Benoit is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Friday, but he'll need more to return from the sore shoulder that has hindered him since Spring Training.

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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 outright contract of Wieland to Triple-A

Mariners outright contract of Wieland to Triple-A

OAKLAND -- The Mariners outrighted the contract of right-handed pitcher Joe Wieland to Triple-A Tacoma on Monday, which opens a spot on the club's 40-man roster for future use.

Wieland is 1-3 with a 17.31 ERA in his first five starts for Tacoma. He cleared waivers and remains in the organization, with his next start scheduled for Wednesday for the Rainiers.

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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.

Seattle gaining confidence after 5th series win

Despite Sunday's loss to KC, Mariners go 4-2 on homestand

Seattle gaining confidence after 5th series win

SEATTLE -- The last time the Mariners loaded their bags for a road trip, they had just lost five of six games on their first homestand of the season.

Seattle rebounded on the road, winning six of nine, and carried that momentum into the recently completed homestand, where the Mariners won four of five before a 4-1 loss to the Royals on Sunday.

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Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners thwarted in bid for sweep of Royals

Mariners thwarted in bid for sweep of Royals

SEATTLE -- The Royals looked a lot more like themselves on Sunday, snapping a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Mariners at Safeco Field that allowed them to head home with one victory from an otherwise dreary West Coast swing while slowing down hot Seattle in the process.

It was a typical Kansas City victory blueprint, with five effective innings from starter Ian Kennedy (one run on four hits and six strikeouts), good bullpen work (Danny Duffy, Joakim Soria, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis pitched innings 6-9), solid defense and timely hits.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Royals on Sunday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

Jim Hoehn is contributor to MLB.com and covered the Mariners on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smith putting a charge in Mariners' offense

Smith putting a charge in Mariners' offense

SEATTLE -- Two swings in a 24-hour span pretty much summed up the offensive side of Seth Smith's first month of the season.

Smith's solo homer off Royals starter Kris Medlen in the sixth inning was the Mariners' only hit in a 1-0 victory on Friday night in the series opener at Safeco Field.

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Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miley, homers secure series win over Royals

Miley, homers secure series win over Royals

SEATTLE -- Wade Miley pitched his first career shutout and Kyle Seager and Seth Smith hit home runs as the Mariners clinched their fifth straight series victory with a 6-0 win over the Royals on Saturday at Safeco Field.

"We're playing good baseball right now," Miley said. "We're coming together, we're jelling, we just need to keep it rolling."

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

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

Miley on 1st shutout: 'I'm in pretty good place'

Miley on 1st shutout: 'I'm in pretty good place'

SEATTLE -- This was the Wade Miley the Mariners expected.

After a sluggish start with his new Mariners team, the 29-year-old lefty found his groove early in his last start in Anaheim, and then he put all the pieces together Saturday with his first career shutout in a command performance against the Royals as Seattle topped the defending World Series champs, 6-0, at Safeco Field.

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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.

Vincent quickly earning Mariners' trust

Vincent quickly earning Mariners' trust

SEATTLE -- Nick Vincent was general manager Jerry Dipoto's last addition to the Mariners' bullpen, acquired in a trade from the Padres just five days before the regular-season opener in what appeared a minor deal at the time for a player to be named.

But Vincent has quickly become an integral part of the Mariners' early relief success, posting a 1.86 ERA in 10 outings while allowing just four hits in 9 2/3 innings with no walks and 12 strikeouts entering play Saturday vs. the Royals. And the 29-year-old right-hander notched his biggest out yet in Friday's 1-0 victory over the Royals, replacing Felix Hernandez with a runner on third and two out in the eighth inning and immediately getting Lorenzo Cain to ground out to second.

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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.

Felix stymies KC to tie Mariners' wins mark

Felix stymies KC to tie Mariners' wins mark

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings and Seth Smith belted a decisive homer to give the Mariners a 1-0 win over the Royals, who allowed just one hit, in Friday night's series opener at Safeco Field.

Hernandez evened his record at 2-2 with a 1.38 ERA as he allowed five hits with three walks and four strikeouts, while tying Jamie Moyer for most career wins by a Mariners pitcher with 145.

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

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

Martin goes 'wall' out for game-saving catch

Mariners center fielder hangs on for final out in win over Royals

Martin goes 'wall' out for game-saving catch

SEATTLE -- Leonys Martin said he knew he had it all the way. But 38,364 fans at Safeco Field -- not to mention his Mariners teammates and manager Scott Servais -- were holding their collective breaths as the center fielder tracked down a deep drive by the Royals' Salvador Perez and then crashed into the wall for the final out in a 1-0 victory on Friday night.

On a night the Mariners got just one hit -- a home run by Seth Smith -- they capped things off with their best defensive play of the season on Martin's game-saving catch with the potential tying run on second as closer Steve Cishek tried to save Felix Hernandez's franchise record-matching 145th win.

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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.

Felix hits mark by keeping Royals in check

Mariners ace pitches out of several jams for 145th career victory

Felix hits mark by keeping Royals in check

SEATTLE -- Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, who has found himself on the short end of far too many 1-0 games in his career, came out on top Friday in a dramatic nailbiter over the Royals on a night Seattle won despite totaling just one hit. 

The Mariners became the second team to win a game this season despite recording just one hit, but this time Hernandez came out on top. The Mariners' ace limited the Rangers to one hit on April 4, but Texas came away with the win.

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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.

Servais plenty happy with big hits from Cano

Mariners skipper will take run production over high batting average

Servais plenty happy with big hits from Cano

SEATTLE -- Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano hasn't hit for a high average in April, but manager Scott Servais is plenty happy with the production.

Cano entered Friday's series opener against the Royals leading the American League in RBIs (24) and home runs (eight), so Servais certainly isn't sweating the .247 average.

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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.

Acta adds duties as VP in Dominican League

Mariners third-base coach preparing for potential front-office position

Acta adds duties as VP in Dominican League

SEATTLE -- Mariners third-base coach Manny Acta loves being involved with the action on the field, but the former big league manager wants to expand his options in the game, which is why the 47-year-old will now also be working in duties as the vice president of baseball operations for the Aguilas Cibaenas club in the Dominican Winter League.

After being dismissed as Indians manager late in the 2012 season, Acta worked the past three years as general manager of Licey in the Dominican Winter League and now will take a higher front-office position with Aguilas in conjunction with current GM Ramon Pena.

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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.

Inbox: How will transition affect Mariners?

Inbox: How will transition affect Mariners?

How certain is the Mariners' new ownership group that MLB will approve the sale?
-- Debbie R., Camano Island, Wash.

Given that the new group is simply the 17 current Mariners minority owners taking over 45 percent of the team previously controlled by Nintendo -- which is retaining 10 percent of its share -- this transaction figures to be pretty straightforward when Major League owners meet at their next quarterly meeting from Aug. 16-18 in Houston.

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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.