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Seattle Mariners

Logan Gilbert leads Mariners past Reds for first series win of season

By Ryan Divish Seattle Times

SEATTLE – The offensive numbers weren’t quite as gaudy in terms of runs scored or total hits or a lopsided outcome, the process remained the same for a second straight game. In the end, the outcome of the game – the most important result – was another victory for the Mariners.

With the roof open on clear but crisp Tuesday evening, and a frigid, swirling wind making T-Mobile Park a bit uncomfortable, the Mariners picked up their first series win of the 2024 season with a clean 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

They will go for a sweep in the three-game series on Wednesday afternoon and close out their second homestand of the season.

Using the same selective approach that was so effective in their decisive win just 24 hours earlier, the Mariners made Reds starter Hunter Greene throw a passel of pitches in a short amount of time, making him work for every strike and every out.

They did minimal damage in terms of runs scored, picking up just one run on four hits off the hard-throwing right-hander while striking out eight times. But they knocked the Reds’ ace out of the game early, forcing him to throw 98 pitches in four innings, including a 39-pitch third inning.

Meanwhile, Logan Gilbert produced an outing quite the opposite of Greene. He worked an efficient 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts. He threw only 90 pitches with 60 strikes and picked up his first win.

In four starts this season, Gilbert has posted a 2.33 ERA with 29 strikeouts and four walks. That this was his first win speaks to the lack of run support in his previous outings.

The Mariners gave him three runs, which turned out to be enough.

Seattle’s lone run against Greene came in the fourth inning. With one out, he hit Mitch Garver with a pitch. He came back to strike out Luke Raley, but left a first-pitch splitter over the plate to rookie Jonatan Clase, who was playing in just his second MLB game.

Clase sent the low pitch into the gap in right-center for a double. Garver, who will never be confused for one of the faster players in the league, was working his way around the bases when third-base coach Manny Acta waved him home.

Cincinnati shortstop Elly De La Cruz, who has one of the strongest arms in all of MLB, made a terrific relay throw to home. The ball beat Garver, but catcher Luke Maile couldn’t hang onto it as Garver slid into home. Home-plate umpire John Libka, not seeing the ball had come out of Maile’s glove, called Garver out.

But third-base umpire Jonathan Parra alerted Libka to what had happened and Garver, who went back and touched home plate again at the behest of on-deck hitter Josh Rojas, was called safe.

Cincinnati’s lone run off Gilbert came in the top of the fifth. With one out and runners on first and third, Stuart Fairchild, who was born and raised in Seattle and briefly played for the Mariners, hit a high chopper up the middle. The only play was to first base, allowing a run to score a tie the game at 1


With Greene out of the game after the fourth, the M’s picked up a run in the fifth and a run in the sixth against the bullpen.

Facing one-time Mariner reliever Emilio Pagan, Julio Rodriguez led off with his second of two hits to start the bottom of the fifth. A one-out single from mitch Haniger and a walk to Cal Raleigh loaded the bases. Garver worked another walk to force a run across.

Seattle made it 3-1 in the sixth. J.P. Crawford singled with one out and later came around to score on Haniger’s crisp, two-out single to center off Fernando Cruz.

The Reds threatened in the seventh. With two outs, Gilbert walked Jake Fraley. It snapped a string of 35 consecutive innings pitched without a walk for the Mariners – a new club record.

Manager Scott Servais called on Andres Munoz to face De La Cruz. He walked De La Cruz to put the tying run on base. It looked like the Reds had cut the lead to 3-2 when pinch-hitter Nick Martini singled to left center. But Rodriguez made a terrific throw to third base to get De La Cruz for the third out before Fraley could cross home plate.

There was more late-inning drama in the ninth. Ryne Stanek couldn’t close out the victory. The Reds loaded the bases with two outs, aided by Ty France’s fielding error at first base. But Tayler Saucedo came on and picked up the save, getting Tyler Stephenson to fly out to center to end the game.