Thu, 23 Sep 2021

Mariners' Marco Gonzales faces A's, looks for second straight win

Field Level Media
25 Jul 2021, 22:19 GMT+10

It took a homecoming for Marco Gonzales to get back on track.

The Seattle Mariners' left-hander, a native of Fort Collins, Colo., earned his first victory in more than three months with a 6-4 win over the host Colorado Rockies on Tuesday.

Gonzales (2-5, 5.69 ERA) will look to make it two in arow when host Seattle wraps up a four-game series with the American League West rival Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.

The Mariners have won two of the first three games of the series, including 5-4 Saturday night as Mitch Haniger homered twice. The winning run scored on a wild pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Gonzales had about 100 friends and family members in attendance Tuesday for his first appearance at Coors Field since his major-league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2014.

"It's just a really special thing to be able to come back (to Denver), pitch in front of my family," said Gonzales, who allowed two runs on six hits in five innings. "It's something that feels very right."

Gonzales, who went 36-24 for the Mariners over the previous three years, has had a difficult season. He spent five weeks on the injured list with a left-forearm strain and has lacked the pinpoint control he showed last year when he walked just seven in 69 2/3 innings during the pandemic-shortened season. This year, he's walked 24 in 61 2/3 innings.

Gonzales said his view changed after the birth of his first child, a daughter, late last month.

"I had a baby, and that put life into perspective a lot. ... It's hard to get disappointed when you come home to a newborn, to be honest," Gonzales said. "So I just kept working. My teammates, I know they got my back, and just trying to stay the course."

Gonzales is 5-3 with a 3.82 ERA in 12 career appearances against Oakland, including 11 starts. He's faced the A's once this season, getting a no-decision in a 12-6 loss on June 1 in Seattle. Gonzales was limited to 50 pitches in that game, his first one back from the injured list, and allowed one run on two hits in four innings, with six strikeouts.

The A's are scheduled to start left-hander Cole Irvin (7-8, 3.42). In his only previous matchup with the Mariners, Irvin suffered a 4-3 loss on May 25 in Seattle when he allowed four runs on a season-high 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Irvin has won four of his past five decisions, including pitching seven scoreless innings in a 4-1 victory against the visiting Los Angeles Angels on Monday. In that game he was matched against Shohei Ohtani, the American League's starter in the All-Star Game.

"You're going into the game knowing you probably have to be really good," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Ohtani got off to a good start and pitched great. Cole matched him. He was great, and his pitch count was so good that we could pitch him really deep in the game."

--Field Level Media

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