Mariners ace Marco Gonzales makes club history, recording fifth win before May 1
The Seattle Mariners (17-11) ended a three-game skid with a 14-2 blowout win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night at T-Mobile Park to open a six-game homestand.
Here are three takeaways from the win.
1. GONZALES MAKES HISTORY
Mariners ace Marco Gonzales (5-0, 2.80 ERA) made club history in his seventh start this season, becoming the first Seattle pitcher to ever record five wins before May.
Gonzales pitched seven scoreless innings against the Rangers and matched a career-high with nine strikeouts. He allowed six hits, and never faced more than four batters in an inning.
“It’s a good start,” Gonzales said. “But, I’ve always been a firm believer that it’s not about how you start it’s how you finish, so I just want to keep that momentum going. I’ve really been happy with what my pitches are doing lately and I just want to keep that feel going.”
Gonzales hasn’t lost a game since August against Houston — he hasn’t dropped a game in 11 starts — and used an even mix of sinkers, cutters and changeups to consistently keep Texas’ batters guessing in his latest win.
He threw 72 stikes to 26 balls, walked no one, and methodically worked ahead in counts with 18 first-pitch strikes to the 26 batters he faced.
“He’s a very good competitor,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He has four quality pitches, and when he gets them all going and mixes them, the sequence of his pitches is awesome. ... He’s the complete package.”
2. EXTRA BASES
Seattle continues to lead the majors in extra-base hits with 116. They added six Thursday night, including five doubles and Tim Beckham’s two-run home run in the sixth.
“It was an impressive win tonight,” Beckham said. “One through nine, everyone is continuing to put together good at-bats and continuing to be aggressive in the strike zone.”
Beckham’s home run was his sixth of the season. The Mariners’ 57 dingers also pace the majors.
Ryon Healy doubled twice, while Dylan Moore, Domingo Santana and Daniel Vogelbach each recorded one double.
“Everybody chipped in,” Servais said. “Nice way to start the homestand.”
The Mariners also tallied multiple runs in five separate innings as they pushed their MLB-leading RBI total to 175. The Los Angeles Dodgers (140) are their closest contender in that category.
Beckham (three), Healy (three), Santana (two), Vogelbach (two), Moore (one), Dee Gordon (one) and Omar Narvaez (one) each drove in at least one run against Texas.
Santana continues to lead the majors in RBIs with 29. He added two more Thursday night on a two-run double to right center in the fourth.
3. DOUBLE HEALY
Healy doubled twice against the Rangers to work his way into a tie for the MLB lead in doubles with 12 this season, joining Minnesota’s Bryan Buxton and Arizona’s David Peralta.
The Mariners third baseman hit a bases-clearing double to score three runs in the first as part of a five-run inning that gave Seattle a lead it never lost. He doubled again in the seventh, and finished 3-for-5 on the night, scoring each time he reached base.
Healy has recorded at least two extra-base hits in four games this season, tied for most in the majors with five other players, including teammate Mitch Haniger.
Haniger, who went hitless for the Mariners on Thursday night, is tied for fourth in the majors with 11 doubles this season.
Haniger’s 19 extra-base hits this season are tied for the major league lead, while Healy’s 17 are tied for third.