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Apr 11, 2024 9:35 pm

Mariners hope offense stays hot vs. Cubs

Cal Raleigh

A getaway road game before tax day might not seem important in the broad scheme of the Major League Baseball season.

But for the Seattle Mariners, it did.

The Mariners’ moribund offense finally exploded in the 10th inning Wednesday in Toronto as Seattle pulled out a 6-1 victory to snap a three-game losing streak.

The Mariners hope that gives them a much-needed boost when they return home Friday night to play host to the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a three-game interleague series.

“This is big for our team,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I know it’s early in the season, but it’s really big for our club. Putting an ending together like that in the 10th inning was great. We got some big hits. That’s what we’re capable of doing.”

The Mariners finished 2-4 on their six-game trip to Milwaukee and Toronto.

They salvaged a strong outing from right-hander Logan Gilbert, who steadied the rotation by allowing one run on five hits with a walk in 7 2/3 innings, striking out eight. Seattle ace Luis Castillo and George Kirby lost the first two games of the series.

“The win means a lot,” Gilbert said. “I think it’s how we did it too, because that’s kind of the identity we’ve had for a few years now. Those types of games, pushing back, especially in the 10th there. It’s just needing a win and then doing it.”

Catcher Cal Raleigh hit the first pitch of extra innings into the Mariners’ bullpen in right field.

“We needed that,” Raleigh said. “It was huge. We didn’t come out swinging it too hot today. We needed that step-up, and (Gilbert) came up big for us. It’s what we needed, especially after Luis and George were very unlike themselves in the first two games.”

The Cubs are coming off a 10-2 road loss Wednesday against the San Diego Padres.

Cubs left-hander Jordan Wicks (0-1, 4.15 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday against Mariners right-hander Bryce Miller (1-1, 3.00).

Wicks, a first-round pick in 2021 out of Kansas State, hasn’t gotten through five innings in either of his first two starts this season. He went 4 2/3 innings in a 4-1 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, when he gave up two runs on six hits, with one walk and seven strikeouts. In his first start, which the Cubs won 9-5 against the Texas Rangers, Wicks allowed five runs — though just two were earned — over four innings on March 31.

“I love it. Two great tests to start the season,” said Wicks, who will be making his 10th career big league start Friday and first appearance against Seattle. “But the beauty of this league, though, is you face tough tests in every lineup. That’s kind of the fun challenge of going from team to team: Each team presents its own unique challenge, and so going from outing to outing, it keeps you on your toes.”

Miller beat Milwaukee 5-3 on Saturday after pitching seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and one walk and striking out seven. Miller will be facing the Cubs for the first time.

–Field Level Media

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