Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 6/22/12

The Seattle Mariners hit a bit of a funk in the middle of last week getting swept by the lowly Padres. Since then, the Mariners have shown a spark taking two of three against the San Francisco Giants, and putting up big run numbers against Arizona on the road. The Arizona series went to the Diamondbacks 2-1, but the Mariners exploded for 22 runs in the last two games of the series. With a 3-3 mark in their last six games, Seattle has moved up to 30-41, trailing Oakland by 4.5 games for third place in the A.L. West.

On Tuesday night, long time Mariner RF Ichiro Suzuki collected his 2,500th hit in the major leagues during Seattle’s 12-9 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Good News: The Mariners took a series from a very good Giants team, and they put up some major runs in Arizona. Seattle even showed some clutch hitting twice in the last week. On Sunday, Seattle took the series from San Francisco by winning 2-1. Justin Smoak hit a walk-off single in the ninth following singles from Kyle Seager and Jesus Montero to open the inning. The other good news in the finale of the Giants series was a return of the Felix of old. Felix Hernandez, after giving up 14 ER in his previous three starts, limited the Giants to 1 ER on six hits while striking out seven in seven innings pitched. The Mariners then on Tuesday put up 12 in outlasting Arizona 12-9 in 10 innings. Casper Wells, back up from Tacoma, came through in the clutch with a go-ahead 2 RBI single in the tenth inning that put Seattle up for good. Long time RF Ichiro Suzuki got his 2,500th career hit in the major leagues during the 12-9 win. Combined with his hits from the Japanese Pacific League, Ichiro has 3,781 hits, the third most in history trailing Ty Cobb and Pete Rose.

Bad News: Although the offense showed some much need punch, Seattle still drop two of three in Arizona. The Arizona started series with a 7-1 loss. Hector Noesi lacked the run support Seattle pitching got the rest of the series, and he fell to 2-8 on the season with a 5.69 ERA. The Mariners put up 10 in the rubber match but found themselves on the short end of a 14-10 score. It was a bad start from the reliable Jason Vargas. In the loss, Vargas didn’t make it through the fifth giving up nine hits and ten ER. Even worse, Vargas gave up 5 HR to five different Arizona batters. The bad start put Vargas at 7-7 with a 4.66 ERA on the season.

On the Horizon: The Mariners get another crack at those pesky Padres, this time in San Diego. As I stated earlier, the Padres are 3-0 vs. Seattle this season. At 24-46, the Padres now own the worst record in baseball, a half game behind the Chicago Cubs. Since the Seattle series, San Diego is 1-5 including being swept a home by Texas in their previous series. Kevin Millwood will make his second start since an injury took him out of a no-hitter that the bullpen finished from him. Felix Hernandez will go Saturday, looking to build on his strong start against San Francisco, and Hector Noesi will throw for Seattle in the series finale.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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