ANAHEIM, Calif. — One of the biggest reasons the Mariners won 90 games last season is a bullpen that vastly overachieved expectations.

And perhaps the biggest reasons for the Mariners’ recent five-game winning streak were great performances from a resurgent bullpen, particularly in the close win in the series finale at Oakland and the close games in the first two games in Anaheim.

Seattle’s bullpen pitched 171/3 innings in the six-game road trip, allowing seven hits and two walks while striking out 20. That has lowered the Mariners bullpen’s ERA this season to 3.92.

It has been a group effort with everyone in the pen — (in alphabetical order) Ryan Borucki, Diego Castillo, Ken Giles, Tommy Milone, Andres Munoz, Penn Murfee, Paul Sewald and Erik Swanson — all throwing scoreless innings during the run.

“They are throwing strikes and staying away from the walk,” Servais said before Sunday’s game about the bullpen’s strong recent run. “I think the emergence of Ryan Borucki [acquired June 4 after Toronto designated him for assignment] has had a lot to do with it. He has been really solid, having that left-hander that can handle tough left-hander pockets.”

Winker on a roll

Outfielder Jess

Outfielder Jesse Winker was struggling offensively when the Mariners started the road trip but was thriving during the five-game winning streak.


Through the first five games of the trip, he was 9 of 18 with two homers, six RBI and six walks, raising his season batting average from .209 to .230 and his season OPS from .626 to .696.

“He is not overswinging and his effort level is much more consistent,” Servais said. “He’s not trying to hit the ball too hard, he’s just trying to hit it. He’s had some really good results. … The production has been up and that’s what we needed from him. Certainly. with Ty [France] out of the lineup, we need everyone chipping in more and he has been doing it.”

Winker did not get a chance to add to his numbers Sunday, getting hit with a pitch in the second inning and getting ejected after the brawl.

Raleigh out of starting lineup

Catcher Cal Raleigh had the first three-hit night of his career and had a great road trip (5 of 14, five walks and a homer) but was not in the starting lineup.
Servais said he resisted using Raleigh as the designated hitter.

“I stopped myself from doing it … because I think it’s really better in the career of a young catcher do give them the day off. Because he puts so much into it from the mental side, working with our pitching, and now you see his bat going the way it is. I want to keep him in a good spot and a good way to do that is to make sure we have the discipline to give him a day off on these quick turnarounds.

“As a DH, everybody says, ‘It’s no big deal, he’s just DHing,’ but it’s still a big deal. You’re still in the lineup.”

Raleigh was used as a pinch hitter in the ninth and struck out for the game’s final out.