A pair of hot hitters will be in the spotlight when the visiting Seattle Mariners open a three-game series in Atlanta on Friday.
Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. has homered in four straight games and Seattle’s Ty France brings a career-best 14-game hitting streak into the interleague series.
The Braves have the second-most wins in the National League (27, one behind the Dodgers), despite going 2-4 on their recently completed road trip against Toronto and Texas. The Mariners are in the final leg of their nine-game road trip and have lost two straight.
The teams have little history with each other, who are playing for just the seventh series all time. The Mariners won two games against Atlanta in the three-game series held last season in Seattle. The games were all decided by two runs or less. The Mariners are 11-8 all-time against the Braves. Atlanta’s last series win against Seattle came in 2011.
Acuna went 1-for-4 with his 11th homer in the series finale against Texas and was 8-for-24 with four homers, five RBI, six runs scored, four walks and three stolen bases on the six-game road trip. Acuna has gone deep in five of his last seven games.
For the season, he’s hitting .345 with 27 RBIs, a .437 on-base percentage and .613 slugging percentage.
“What he’s done has been incredible,” Atlanta third baseman Austin Riley said. “You catch yourself on the edge of your seat watching every swing because you think something magical is going to happen. Just incredible.”
France was 1-for-5 in Seattle’s 12-3 loss at Boston. The first baseman is hitting .333 (20-for-60) with seven runs, four doubles, one homer, five RBI and two walks since the streak began on May 3. France is the first Seattle player with a 14-game hitting streak since Kyle Seager in 2019.
The pitching matchups feature a pair of young right-handers — Seattle’s Bryce Miller (2-0, 0.47) against Atlanta’s Bryce Elder (3-0, 1.94).
Miller will be making his fourth start of the season. In 19 innings, he has struck out 18 and allowed only one run on seven hits. In his last start at Detroit on May 13, Miller pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and three strikeouts.
He has the lowest WHIP (0.421) in any pitcher’s first three career starts in MLB history and is one of two pitchers in Seattle history — joining Felix Hernandez — with a sub-1.00 ERA in their first three starts. He will be making his first career appearance against Atlanta.
“Bryce Miller continues to roll,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said after the Detroit game. “I just am amazed at how calm this young guy really is. He’s under control all the time. Nothing really gets to him.”
Elder will make his ninth start of the season and has given the injury-plagued Atlanta rotation a boost. He has not allowed more than four runs in any appearance and has allowed two or fewer runs six times. He has posted three scoreless appearances, the best a seven-inning win at Miami on May 2.
In his last start on May 13 at Toronto, Elder pitched five innings and allowed two runs on five hits, one walk and three strikeouts. He left with the lead, which the Atlanta bullpen failed to hold, and received no decision. This will be Elder’s first time to face Seattle.
–Field Level Media
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