3 positives from Mariners' first 3 weeks

Haniger, Motter, Paxton could boost Seattle over .500

3 positives from Mariners' first 3 weeks

DETROIT -- The Mariners are enjoying an off-day in the Motor City, which became far easier to appreciate in the wake of Sunday's 11-1 win in Oakland that temporarily reversed some of the unhappiness over an 8-12 start.

Seattle has work to do, but there are 142 games left to make that happen. Here are three positives that have emerged over the first three weeks:

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ks4Vets: Felix, Carhartt partner to help vets

Mariners star returns to Detroit to start series opener

Ks4Vets: Felix, Carhartt partner to help vets

Comerica Park is where it all began for Felix Hernandez. On Aug. 4, 2005, at the age of 19 years and 118 days, wearing a glove with the inscription el cartelua (Venezuelan slang for "badass"), he confidently made his Major League debut for the Mariners and notched his first of 2,284 career strikeouts, against future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez.

On Tuesday night, King Felix will return to the mound in Detroit for his 364th career start, and at age 31, his propensity for striking out batters is closely monitored -- not only in the impact it has on the Mariners, but also in the impact it has on the lives of others.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. MLB.com Mariners beat reporter Greg Johns contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners Minors righty Aro suspended

Former MLB All-Star Steve Delabar and Mariners reliever Jonathan Aro were among three Minor Leaguers suspended Monday, the Commissioner's Office announced.

Delabar, a six-year Major League veteran who made the 2013 American League All-Star team as a member of the Blue Jays, received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Ostarine. Delabar is on the roster of the Columbus Clippers, the Indians' Triple-A affiliate. As a result of the suspension, Delabar would not be eligible for the postseason if he were to be promoted to the Majors.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Motter slamming his way into lineup

Motter slamming his way into lineup

OAKLAND -- Taylor Motter has drawn considerable attention for his long, flowing hair, but the Mariners utility man is making a name for himself with his bat as the 27-year-old ripped his fifth home run in the past 11 games in an 11-1 win Sunday over the A's.

And this one really mottered, err, mattered, with a third-inning grand slam that provided the struggling Mariners with a much-needed timely hit as they snapped a three-game losing streak, and what they hope can turn around a 2-9 road start.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense awakens to lift Gallardo over A's

Offense awakens to lift Gallardo over A's

OAKLAND -- The Mariners' dormant bats came alive in a big way Sunday, and veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo made it count with 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball for his first win of the year as Seattle snapped the A's five-game win streak in an 11-1 runaway at the Coliseum.

Gallardo, 0-5 with a 5.29 ERA in six prior starts against Oakland in his career, had no such troubles in sailing through a four-hit outing with one walk and seven strikeouts, and helped the Mariners avoid their first four-game sweep at the Coliseum since 1992.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based out of the Bay Area, and covered the Athletics on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Remembering the Ken Griffey Jr. chocolate bar

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Remembering the Ken Griffey Jr. chocolate bar

It's pretty common for iconic baseball players to make their mark on pop culture more broadly. David Ross is currently on a quest to dance his way into America's heart. Keith Hernandez spent years searching for Loogie Bandit Roger McDowell. And who could forget David Ortiz's standing "Weekend Update" appointment? 

But, back on April 24, 1989, Ken Griffey Jr. managed to go where very, very few big leaguers have gone before or since: He got his very own candy bar.

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Mariners recall prospect Vogelbach, DFA Martin

De Jong sent to Triple-A; Heston called up to join bullpen

Mariners recall prospect Vogelbach, DFA Martin

OAKLAND -- Hoping to spark their struggling offense, the Mariners recalled rookie first baseman Daniel Vogelbach from Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday and designated Leonys Martin for assignment, a surprising move given that Martin was the starting center fielder until being benched the last two games.

Vogelbach started at first base in an 11-1 victory over the Athletics. He finished 1-for-4 with an RBI single and a walk. 

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Felix opens season series with Tigers

Felix opens season series with Tigers

MINNESOTA -- The Mariners and Tigers meet up Tuesday night for the start of a three-game series at Comerica Park as teams in transition.

Felix Hernandez and Jordan Zimmermann meet up as opposing starters in Tuesday's opener as pitchers in a similar situation.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seager out of lineup with sore right hip

Seager out of lineup with sore right hip

OAKLAND -- Third baseman Kyle Seager was scratched from Sunday's lineup by the Mariners because of a sore right hip. The seven-year veteran says the issue is minor, and he hopes to be back Tuesday when Seattle opens a three-game series in Detroit.

Mike Freeman replaced Seager at third base for a second straight game and finished 0-for-4 in the 11-1 win. He made a diving catch of Jed Lowrie's liner in the sixth inning.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners rally late but fall short in loss

Mariners rally late but fall short in loss

OAKLAND -- The homer-happy A's were at it again Saturday, belting two in the first inning in support of right-hander Jharel Cotton in a 4-3 series-clinching victory over Seattle for their fifth consecutive win.

"It's a nice little run for us, and everyone is contributing," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "That's what we talked about on Opening Day, that it takes all 25 of us to win, and today is a prime example of that, that it's not just your key guys sometimes. Over the course of 162 games, some other guys have to take over in big situations."

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cishek feeling fine after rehab outing

Reliever's mechanical issues need work, Servais says

Cishek feeling fine after rehab outing

OAKLAND -- Veteran reliever Steve Cishek felt fine physically after an abbreviated rehab stint on Friday night, manager Scott Servais said Saturday, but he had some mechanical issues that need to be straightened out as he returns from offseason hip surgery.

Cishek threw 20 pitches in his expected one-inning start for Triple-A Tacoma at El Paso, but was pulled after getting two outs with a single and two walks. One of the outs was a pickoff at first base, and Cishek also got a ground out in his second rehab outing.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iwakuma stung by homers, lack of support

Iwakuma stung by homers, lack of support

OAKLAND -- The A's used the long ball to beat Hisashi Iwakuma and the Mariners on Friday night, getting homers from Trevor Plouffe and Yonder Alonso in a 3-1 victory at the Coliseum that extended their win streak to four games.

"We've talked about when we're good and what we feel like is good offensively for us is the length of the lineup, and multiple guys can hit some homers," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Road woes continue for Mariners' offense

Servais says sluggers in middle of lineup are pressing

Road woes continue for Mariners' offense

OAKLAND -- A Mariners team that figured to have one of the better offensive clubs in the American League this season has discovered a troubling trend.

The Mariners aren't hitting -- or winning -- on the road. And that has been bad news in the early going in 2017, as Seattle fell to 1-8 away from Safeco Field with Friday night's 3-1 loss to the A's at the Coliseum.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cano and Felix turn fake double play

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Cano and Felix turn fake double play

In addition to being one of the most consistent performers on both offense and defense, Robinson Cano also has fun. His smooth hands and calm demeanor on the infield makes even the most difficult-looking throws seem easy, and that's apparently even true when fielding foul balls in the dugout.

Early in Seattle's 3-1 loss to the A's at the Coliseum on Friday night, Cano and pal Felix Hernandez were hanging out in the M's dugout when a foul ball bounded toward them. Their reaction? Well, it's simple: Pretend it's a live baseball and turn a (fake) double play. Cano slightly bobbled the ball, but recovered (as he always does) and flipped it to Felix, who definitely looked ready to make a play.

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Segura, Cishek nearing return to club

Mariners shortstop, reliever could be activated on current road trip

Segura, Cishek nearing return to club

OAKLAND -- Shortstop Jean Segura and reliever Steve Cishek, two key players in the Mariners plans, had Minor League rehab outings on Friday and could rejoin the club during its current road trip.

Segura went 0-for-3 with a walk while playing designated hitter in his first game for Double-A Arkansas. He's slated to play shortstop Saturday.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paxton struggles as Seattle falls short vs. A's

Paxton struggles as Seattle falls short vs. A's

OAKLAND -- The A's became the first team to score against Mariners starter James Paxton this season, tallying five runs against the lefty in a 9-6 series-opening victory at the Coliseum to extend their win streak to three games.

Paxton's season-opening scoreless streak was snapped at 23 innings, when the A's rallied for three runs in the third to tie the game, before coming up with two more against the lefty in the fifth and forcing his departure with one out. Paxton scattered nine hits, after allowing just eight total over his first three starts.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paxton's scoreless streak ends at 23 IP

Mariners lefty tagged for 5 runs in opening loss to Oakland

Paxton's scoreless streak ends at 23 IP

OAKLAND -- It had to end sometime, right? James Paxton's scoreless streak to open the season for the Mariners was snapped at 23 innings when the A's jumped on the lefty for three runs on four hits in the third inning Thursday night en route to handing Seattle a 9-6 loss at the Coliseum.

The 28-year-old Canadian wound up allowing five runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings in his shortest start of the season, though he struck out eight with just one walk in the 91-pitch outing.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vincent leading way in bullpen's turnaround

Vincent leading way in bullpen's turnaround

OAKLAND -- After a rough start to the season, the Mariners' bullpen has solidified itself over the past 10 games and veteran right-hander Nick Vincent has played a big role in that improvement.

The 30-year-old right-hander is one of manager Scott Servais' primary late-inning options, but he gave up six hits and three runs with one walk and one strikeout in 3 2/3 innings over his first three outings in Houston and Anaheim.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Emotional Ichiro homers in finale at Safeco

Although it could be final game at stadium for RF, he says, 'I think I'll be back'

Emotional Ichiro homers in finale at Safeco

SEATTLE -- Ichiro Suzuki seemed to always come up with ways to thrill the crowd at Safeco Field. That didn't change in what might end up being his last appearance at the stadium where he began his Major League career.

On the same day that the Mariners honored their former right fielder and current Marlin with a bobblehead, an emotional Ichiro homered in his final at-bat on Wednesday, blasting an Evan Marshall pitch over the wall in right-center field in Miami's 10-5 loss.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In Ichiro's old spot, rookie Haniger delivering

Mariners RF runs hitting streak to 13 games, drives in 4

In Ichiro's old spot, rookie Haniger delivering

SEATTLE -- On what may well have been the last day Ichiro Suzuki patrolled right field at Safeco Field, an emerging rookie continued to rise up at that position for the Mariners as Mitch Haniger again played a key role in Seattle's latest win.

Haniger racked up four RBIs on Wednesday while going 3-for-4 with a double, two singles and a walk in the Mariners' 10-5 win over the Marlins, who had Ichiro make just his third start of the season at his old familiar position in the series finale. Ichiro capped things off with a ninth-inning home run over Haniger's head.
 

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Face-plant payback? Yelich robs Dyson at wall

Last season, Seattle OF (then with KC) made great grab of Miami hitter's drive

Face-plant payback? Yelich robs Dyson at wall

Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich got a measure of revenge against Mariners outfielder Jarrod Dyson, and he got a busted lip in the process.

In the first inning of Miami's 10-5 loss at Safeco Field on Wednesday afternoon, Dyson laced a long drive that Yelich clutched while running face-first into the wall.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ichiro hits homer at Safeco on bobblehead day

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Ichiro hits homer at Safeco on bobblehead day

It's been an emotional few days for Ichiro Suzuki, who returned to Seattle with the Marlins to face the Mariners this week ... and he capped it off in just about the most perfect way possible.

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Haniger's hot bat backs King in win vs. Miami

Haniger's hot bat backs King in win vs. Miami

SEATTLE -- Run support hasn't always been plentiful for Felix Hernandez over the course of his Mariners career, but the 13-year veteran got lots of help Wednesday afternoon as Seattle topped the Marlins, 10-5, in the Interleague series finale at Safeco Field.

Hernandez gave up four runs on 12 hits over 6 1/3 innings , but he improved to 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA as Seattle -- which managed just one hit in a 5-0 loss on Tuesday -- racked up a season high in runs while totaling 11 hits and 10 walks.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Marlins on Wednesday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Haniger, Barraclough go back pre-near-no-no

Seattle RF grew up with Miami reliever before ending combined no-hitter Tuesday

Haniger, Barraclough go back pre-near-no-no

SEATTLE -- The ninth-inning at-bat Tuesday night in which Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger broke up a combined no-hitter by the Marlins with a double off Kyle Barraclough wasn't just a clutch one-out hit against a hard-throwing pitcher in dramatic circumstances.

As it turns out, it also was a nostalgic moment for two Bay Area kids who knew quite a bit about each other.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fan has great reaction to Stanton homer

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Fan has great reaction to Stanton homer

During Wednesday's Marlins-Mariners game, Giancarlo Stanton hit a mammoth homer because, um, that's just what he does every day. Statcast projected it at 445 feet with an exit velocity of 114 mph. But if you're not really into numbers telling you how far a home run goes, please direct your attention to this fan's I-just-saw-Godzilla reaction below.

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Haniger's double breaks up Marlins' no-hit bid

Seattle's offense struggles against lefty Chen

Haniger's double breaks up Marlins' no-hit bid

SEATTLE -- One hit didn't change the outcome, but according to Robinson Cano, rookie Mitch Haniger at least kept the Mariners out of the spotlight.

After being held hitless by Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen through seven innings, then by Brad Ziegler in a 1-2-3 eighth, Haniger broke up a no-hit bid with a one-out double in the ninth inning off Kyle Barraclough in Tuesday's 5-0 loss to the Marlins.

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Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Speed adds new dynamic to Mariners' offense

Speed adds new dynamic to Mariners' offense

SEATTLE -- When the Mariners staged a two-run, ninth-inning rally in a recent comeback victory over Texas, the ball never left the infield.

Welcome to the speedier 2017 version of Seattle's offense.

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Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners muster just 1 hit vs. Chen, Fish 'pen

Mariners muster just 1 hit vs. Chen, Fish 'pen

SEATTLE -- The Marlins almost made history Tuesday night at Safeco Field, taking a combined no-hitter into the ninth inning before Mitch Haniger hit a one-out double off Kyle Barraclough. Still, their effort was good enough to beat the Mariners, 5-0, before 16,126.

Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen was deceptive and exceptional through the first seven innings, stifling the Mariners by pitching to contact. Balls were not struck particularly hard, and most were hit right at defenders. Chen lost his perfect-game bid on a 10-pitch walk to Robinson Cano with two outs in the fourth inning, and Chen wobbled some in the seventh, walking Haniger and hitting Nelson Cruz with a pitch before escaping the jam unscathed.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.