It seems Kyle Lewis is starting to warm up with the weather.
And that’s a good sign for the Seattle Mariners’ beleaguered offense.
Lewis had a five-game hitting streak snapped in Thursday’s opener of a four-game series with the visiting Texas Rangers, a 5-0 Seattle win.
But the reigning American League Rookie of the Year bounced back by going 2 for 3 with a double, home run and two RBIs in Friday’s 3-2 victory.
The series continues Saturday night at T-Mobile Park.
Lewis missed the first 17 games of the season with a deep bone bruise in his right knee, suffered while running into a wall in the final week of spring training. He ended up hitting just .161 in April.
Friday’s performance boosted Lewis’ average in May to .276.
He scored the game’s first run after leading off the second inning with a ground-rule double to center field and added a two-run shot to right in the third.
“This past stretch of games has been really strong, hitting the ball really hard,” Lewis said. “Sometimes they’ve been running them down, catching them, but I’ve been hitting the ball really hard, seeing the ball well.”
The Rangers have lost 10 consecutive road games dating to May 6 in Minnesota. They’ve also lost 10 straight at T-Mobile Park, with their last win in Seattle coming on July 23, 2019.
“I don’t think there’s a magic recipe. I don’t think there’s anything that you can do. You just got to play better,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “That’s what we have to do to win a game.”
The Rangers will look to snap their dual skids Saturday when they are scheduled to send right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (1-4, 4.53 ERA) to the mound.
Despite his record, Foltynewicz has thrown at least six innings in three of his past five starts and pitched seven shutout innings in his outing against Houston last Sunday.
He’s struggled against the Mariners, however, with an 0-2 record and 7.43 ERA in four career appearances, including two starts. He took a 5-4 home loss to Seattle on May 7, giving up four runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings, with one walk and five strikeouts.
The Mariners are set to counter with right-hander Justin Dunn (1-2, 3.40), who allowed just one run and one hit over five innings in his start against San Diego on Sunday. Dunn has allowed three earned runs or fewer in all eight of his starts but has yet to finish six innings.
Dunn is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in three career starts against the Rangers.
The Mariners got four scoreless innings out of their bullpen to clinch the victory Friday.
Right-hander Erik Swanson entered with two runners on and two outs in the eighth inning and struck out Texas’ Adolis Garcia, who shares the major-league lead with 16 home runs. Swanson worked the ninth for his first save of the season and third of his career.
“Can’t say enough about our bullpen and the job that they did (Friday),” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “That was a bullpen ‘W’ if we’ve ever saw one.”
–Field Level Media