The Mariners may have to be taken seriously. Ariel Miranda threw six innings of shutout ball, allowing three hits, as Seattle beat the Angels 8-1 in Anaheim Monday night for its sixth win in a row an eighth in the past 11 (box). The victory was the 76th of the season, tying the 2015 mark with 18 games left, and closed the gap to 2½ games for the second wild card berth as the Yankees, Orioles, Royals and Astros all lost.
Opening the seventh with a 2-0 lead, CF Leonys Martin’s third double of the game — it would have been a triple except for interference by a fan, who was ejected — was followed by C Mike Zunino being hit by a pitch. Starter Rickey Nolasco was replaced by Deolis Guerra. SS Ketel Marte attempted a sacrifice bunt that turned into a no-play single. Then LF Nori Aoki hit an 0-2 grounder up the middle, past infielders playing in, for a two-run single and a 4-0 lead. Two more runs scored on a balk and and a throwing error.
In his seventh career major league start, Miranda was masterful, allowing two singles and a double to the powerful Angels lineup, walking one and striking out three with 71 pitches.
In the seventh, Nick Vincent gave up a run off two singles and a walk, but that was it for the Angels, who lost for the fifth time in six games. Vidal Nuno and Dan Altavilla finished up.
Martin went 4-for-4, accounting for a third of the Mariners’ 12 hits. 2B Robinson Cano had three hits, including his 33rd homer, a solo shot in the third, to tie his career high. Rookie Ben Gamel’s two-run, pinch-hit clout in the eighth was the first of his major league career.
“Awesome. Really an outstanding game for (Miranda). He’s starting to gain some momentum. Late in the game, his fastball velocity started to spike. It’s great to see. We have a very confident crew. Our offense is clicking, starting pitchers are keeping us in the game, the bullpen has been great. We’re playing our best ball when it really matters most.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais
1B Adam Lind is out three or four days with a sprained index finger after he dove for a ball in the second inning of Sunday’s game in Oakland . . . After Thursday’s off day, the Mariners will stay in rotation — Felix Hernandez will pitch Friday’s series opener against the Astros at Safeco Field, followed by James Paxton Saturday and Miranda Sunday . . . Entering the game, Seattle was the highest scoring team in the majors during September, scoring 71 runs in 10 games. Seattle hit .311 with 20 doubles, 18 home runs, 68 RBI, a .383 on-base mark and a .520 slugging percentage . . . Kyle Seager has improved his home run output in each of his first six seasons (3 in 2011, 20 in 2012, 22 in 2013, 25 in 2014, 26 in 2015 and 28 in 2016) . . . OF Tyler O’Neill, the Mariners’ No. 2 prospect per MLBPipeline.com, was named Double-A Player of the Year by Baseball America.
The second game in the series begins at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday when Seattle’s RH Taijuan Walker (5-10, 4.64) goes up against RH Alex Meyer (0-2, 7.71).