Two pitchers looking to rebound from shaky season-opening outings are expected to get the ball when the Seattle Mariners and host Baltimore Orioles open a four-game series on Monday night.
Left-hander Justus Sheffield (0-1, 7.20) will be seeking to extend a Mariners winning streak, while righty Dean Kremer (0-1, 9.00) will attempt to stop an Orioles skid in the wake of high-scoring, come-from-behind efforts on Sunday.
Seattle's rally at Minnesota was a successful one. Down 6-0 after five innings and 6-5 entering the ninth, the Mariners got a three-run home run from Kyle Seager for an 8-6 victory and a 2-1 series win over the Twins.
The six-run deficit the Mariners erased was the largest for the club in a win since June 2016.
The homer was Seager's second of the game. His solo shot and a three-run shot off the bat of Taylor Trammell had started the Seattle comeback.
Trammell's homer was his second in two days after he had opened the season 2-for-19 (.105).
Afterward, Seattle manager Scott Servais credited his bullpen, which also had played a big role in Saturday's 4-3, 10-inning win with four innings of one-hit, one-run work.
"What a comeback. It doesn't get a whole lot better," he gushed. "It was a really nice job by the bullpen to come in for the second half of this game and shut down an extremely good offense. That was a huge part of it."
Sheffield was on the losing end of a 6-0 home defeat at the hands of the Chicago White Sox last Monday. He gave eight hits and two walks in five innings, allowing six runs, four of which were earned.
His only previous Camden Yards experience was not a pleasant one personally, but a happy one for the team in the end. He left a September 2019 game the Mariners trailed 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth, having given up five hits and a walk. Seattle was able to rally for a 7-6 win in 13 innings.
This time around, he will be facing a team whose nine runs and 10 hits, including two homers, weren't enough in a 14-9 home loss to Boston on Sunday. The defeat capped a three-game series sweep and gave Baltimore five losses in six games since opening the season with a three-game run at Boston.
There were silver linings in the loss, one being the first big-league hit for Ryan McKenna, who had gone 0-for-4 in his first three games.
McKenna's hit was a triple, the first time an Oriole has recorded a three-bagger for his first career hit since Manny Machado did it in 2012.
"It was actually funny because my first ever hit in professional baseball (in the minors) was a triple," McKenna noted afterward. "It was a pretty similar hit, and I was thinking the other day, 'That would've been pretty cool if that happened.'"
Cedric Mullins has been the Orioles' driving force offensively so far. He had two hits and scored twice Sunday, giving him 17 hits in Baltimore's first nine games. He's hitting .486, having gotten multiple hits in a game five times already.
Kremer was his own worst enemy in a 7-2 road loss to the New York Yankees in his season debut. He walked four in three laborious innings during which he threw 85 pitches.
He was able to limit the damage to three runs, but took the loss nonetheless.
The 25-year-old, who has made just five career starts, has never faced a team outside the American League East.
--Field Level Media