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Jun 1, 2024 9:23 am

Mariners seeking spike in offense in rematch vs. Angels

Seattle Mariners

First-place teams don’t usually fire members of their coaching staff.

But the Seattle Mariners presumably felt they had to do some something to shake up an offense that ranked 29th in the major leagues with an average of just 3.64 runs per game and was on pace to set an MLB record for strikeouts in a season.

Offensive coordinator/bench coach Brant Brown was dismissed Friday, and the Mariners responded with three first-inning runs in a 5-4 victory against the Los Angeles Angels.

The American League West rivals will continue their three-game series Saturday in Seattle.

“Obviously we’ve had some struggles on the offensive side, and it’s not all (Brown’s) fault, by any means,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It’s just, you know, we want to make a change there, maybe a little bit different voice. With our players, we really need to get our guys focused back into doing what they do best. That’s coaching; how do you get the most out of your guys? That’s what we’re going to focus on here going forward.”

The Mariners had nine hits Friday and just five strikeouts. They fanned 10 or more times in 38 of their first 58 games.

That was one of the things that led to the dismissal of Brown, who was hired in the offseason after serving as the Miami Marlins’ hitting coach last year.

“Some of these things as a player are way above your head, so that stuff we try not to focus on,” Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger said. “But if affects us, and unfortunately, our collective production as an offense kind of led to this decision. All of us don’t feel too great about that. … (Brown) is not the one to blame for that — it’s not his fault.”

Ty France went 3-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBIs for the Mariners Friday. His solo shot off the facade off the second deck broke a 4-all tie with one out in the eighth inning.

“It’s been a grind of a year, so to be able to help the team like that, it was awesome,” France said.

The Angels rallied from a four-run deficit to tie the score on a pinch-hit grand slam by Jo Adell with two outs in the seventh inning. It was just the seventh pinch-hit slam in franchise history and the first since Alberto Callaspo accomplished the feat off Seattle’s Felix Hernandez on May 26, 2012.

The Angels’ Kevin Pillar singled in the ninth but was picked off first by Mariners closer Andres Munoz for the final out with Adell at the plate.

“It’s not discouraging; we just have to do the right things. We have to make better decisions, that’s all,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “(Pillar’s) just trying to get into scoring position with two outs. Just misread his jump, and the end result was what it was.

“I thought we did a good job of coming back in this ballgame. … France got us (at first base), and then we make a bad decision at the end. Just keep getting after it every day, that’s how we get this stuff right.”

On Saturday, the Angels are scheduled to send left-hander Reid Detmers (3-5, 5.76 ERA) to the mound against Seattle right-hander Bryce Miller (4-5, 3.48).

Detmers, who has lost his past five decisions and is seeking his first win since April 12, is 2-0 with a 4.75 ERA in six career starts against the Mariners.

Miller snapped a string of four straight losses with a 3-2 victory against visiting Houston on Monday. He is 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in one previous start against the Angels.

–Field Level Media

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