Yonder Alonso struggled in his first eight games with the Seattle Mariners but has settled in nicely as the club enters the middle contest of its three-game interleague set against the host Atlanta Braves on Tuesday. Alonso extended his hitting streak to eight games by going 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs in Monday’s series-opening 6-5 triumph, a victory that drew Seattle within one game of the second wild-card spot in the American League.
Alonso is hitting .448 during his streak with eight RBIs and six runs scored after collecting just three hits in his first 21 at-bats following his acquisition from Oakland on Aug. 6. Closer Edwin Diaz, who had allowed runs in three of his previous four appearances, converted his 28th save in 32 opportunities by working a scoreless ninth inning on Monday. Atlanta lost for the 23rd time in 33 games since July 17, the most losses by any team during that stretch. Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 10 games in the setback while Nick Markakis recorded his 10th three-hit performance of the season.
TV: 7:35 p.m. ET, ROOT Northwest (Seattle), FSN Southeast (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners LH Marco Gonzales (0-0, 8.44 ERA) vs. Braves RH Lucas Sims (1-3, 5.24)
Gonzales has failed to pitch more than 4 1/3 innings in three starts since joining Seattle’s rotation, giving up 10 runs and three homers in 12 2/3 total frames. He surrendered five runs over four innings in his first turn with the club on Aug. 6 and yielded four in 4 1/3 innings Wednesday against Baltimore but escaped with a no-decision each time. The 25-year-old native of Colorado made one start for St. Louis prior to being acquired in July, surrendering five runs in 3 1/3 frames.
Sims recorded his first major-league victory in the fourth start of his rookie season Thursday at Colorado, allowing two runs and five hits in five innings. The 23-year-old lost his first three turns, giving up a total of 12 runs over 17 1/3 frames. Atlanta’s first-round pick in the 2012 draft, Sims has surrendered 27 hits – 12 with two strikes – through 22 1/3 innings.
1. Seattle DH Nelson Cruz, who leads the AL with 100 RBIs, sat out Monday’s contest as MGR Scott Servais elected not to play him in the field.
2. The Mariners, who began the week ranked 15th in the majors in errors (70), committed four on Monday.
3. Atlanta RHP Dan Winkler (elbow) was activated from the disabled list Monday and retired the only batter he faced in his first major-league appearance since April 10, 2016.
PREDICTION: Braves 7, Mariners 5