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Jul 10, 2024 4:10 am

Mariners’ offense aims for encore against Padres

Mariners, Padres

Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais knows what has to happen for his team to reach its full potential.

“You need to have better at-bats, make consistent contact up and down the lineup, and everybody has to do their job,” he said. “I believe in the talent we put together and the makeup of the guys here, but ultimately, you need to produce.”

Seattle did that on Tuesday night, banging out eight extra-base hits in an 8-3 win over the host San Diego Padres. The Mariners look to duplicate that performance on Wednesday in the finale of a two-game series.

Julio Rodriguez collected four of the Mariners’ 13 hits and Cal Raleigh homered from both sides of the plate, going 3-for-5 with four RBIs, as Seattle posted its highest run total since a 9-0 win at Miami on June 22.

For one night, the Mariners didn’t resemble the team that entered play Tuesday with the worst batting average in the majors (.217) and with the fourth-lowest run total. While they mixed in a characteristic 11 strikeouts — they lead the majors in whiffs and average more than 10 per game — they at least offset that with their slugging.

Servais said, “Whatever your job is on the club — some guys we brought in to drive the ball, other guys need to figure a way to get on base — do your job and if everybody collectively does that, we have a really good ball club.”

Seattle’s pitching, which has held the opposition to an major-league-low .219 average and owns an American League-best 3.54 ERA, was on point Tuesday night. The Mariners gave up only four hits to a team ranked second in the bigs with a .262 average.

Bryce Miller (6-7, 3.84 ERA) will try to keep that going on Wednesday.

The right-hander is coming off a no-decision Thursday in the Mariners’ 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles, who got to him for eight hits and two runs over 5 2/3 innings. This will be his first career appearance against San Diego.

The Padres will call on one of their most reliable starters, Michael King (7-5, 3.51 ERA). His latest start was a 3-1 win Thursday at Texas, where he allowed four hits and a run in 5 1/3 innings with two walks and five strikeouts. King has faced Seattle twice in relief, both times while pitching for the New York Yankees last year, and he gave up one run in 2 2/3 innings.

While San Diego has lost three consecutive games, it is about to get help for its already-potent lineup. Second baseman Xander Bogaerts, sidelined since fracturing his left shoulder on May 20, took batting practice before the Tuesday night game and was spraying line drives around the field against minor-leaguers.

The plan is for Bogaerts, who went 2-for-11 in four rehab games for Triple-A El Paso last week, to play in one or two games at Class-A Lake Elsinore. If things go to plan, he could be activated before the Padres’ Friday home game against the Atlanta Braves.

“Feels good,” he said. “Getting there, getting close. Hopefully, I’ll come around soon.”

Bogaerts is batting .219 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 187 at-bats for San Diego this year, but he was picking up the pace on offense when he got hurt. He was 8-for-25 (.320) in his last seven games.

–Field Level Media

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