BERGMAN DOESN’T ALLOW A RUNNER INTO SCORING POSITION
What happened: Christian Bergman turned in a scintillating starting performance and the Seattle Mariners (19-22) beat the Oakland Athletics (17-23) 4-0 in the rubber match of a three-game series on Wednesday at Safeco Field.
Bergman allowed two hits and two walks with a career-high nine strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings. The A’s never really threatened and didn’t have a runner reach second base. Bergman didn’t allow a hit through four innings and was the main reason the game finished in a crisp 2 hours, 39 minutes.
The big hit came from Jean Segura, a two-run single through a drawn-in infield in a three-run fifth inning. Nelson Cruz contributed two RBIs without a base hit.
- After an uneventful top of the first from Bergman, in the bottom with one out Ben Gamel laced one into right that short-hopped Matt Joyce and skidded all the way to the wall for Gamel’s first MLB triple. He then scored on Nelson Cruz’ medium-deep fly to right.
- Bergman issued a four-pitch walk to Stephen Vogt to lead off the third, but struck out Mark Canha, got Adam Rosales to fly out and Joyce rolled over to second. With one out in the fifth, Trevor Plouffe picked up the A’s first hit, a ringing single to left. But Bergman K’d Vogt and Canha to avoid any damage.
- M’s did some work in the fifth. Boog Powell walked and went to second on Guillermo Heredia’s single. Tuffy Gosewisch sacrificed them to second and third, then Jean Segura bounced one up the middle with the infield drawn in to plate them both.
- Gamel lofted a fly to right center and as center fielder Canha (a first baseman by trade, in his second career game in center) and left fielder Khris Davis came together, Canha dropped the ball. Once the dust settled, Gamel was at second and Segura at third. Segura then scored on Cruz’ groundout to third.
- That’s all it took. Bergman cruised into the eighth and James Pazos mowed down five straight with three strikeouts to end it – without any late-night drama.
The M’s needed a shot in the arm after the debacles of the bullpen earlier in the week and Bergman really came through. His fastball tops out at 89 but the funky little hitch in his delivery plus the late movement make him tough to pick up. Special mention to James Pazos, who struck out three in 1 2/3 perfect innings and looked as dominant as any reliever for the M’s has all season.
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Players of the Game
Hero: Christian Bergman. Here’s a guy that was a 24th round draft pick, bounced around for pitching-starved Colorado, signed as a free agent in December and all of a sudden could very well be a critical piece to keep the M’s alive until the cavalry rejoins the team in June.
Goat: Tuffy Gosewisch. Went 0 for 2 with two strikeouts. He’s now 1 for 21 for the season and .192 lifetime in 413 plate appearances.
Chicago White Sox (17-21) at Seattle Mariners (19-22) on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. at Safeco Field. RHP Dylan Covey (0-3, 7.98 ERA) vs. Sam Gaviglio (0-0, 4.50)
What others are saying (and writing)
Bergman’s outing was stellar, and came at much-needed time for the Mariners. The 4-0 win allowed them to win a series without, seemingly, half their roster. … The roster shuffle with Tacoma continued, giving the M’s another arm in the bullpen. … Ouch. … James Paxton is getting closer. … When will Edwin Diaz see action again? … The A’s may have lost the series but they are feeling better about their catcher. So they have that going from them. … It’s May. Kyle Seager is beginning to hit again. Swallows, Capistrano. … There have been a couple bright spots this season.
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