Lost in the Mariners’ dramatic 6-5 win Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels was a ground-ball single to left field that had no significance in the outcome but must have meant a great deal to the player who hit it.
That hit ended an 0-for-42 hitless streak for top Mariners prospect Jarred Kelenic.
It was Kelenic’s first MLB hit since May 25. After that, he went hitless in his next 11 games before being sent to Class AAA Tacoma for a month.
It didn’t start well for Kelenic in his return to the big leagues Friday night. Celebrating his 22nd birthday, he struck out against lefties in his first two at-bats. He hit a liner to center that was caught in his third at-bat, then found a hole on the left side of the field off lefty Jose Quintana to get that elusive hit.
“Not too many players who go 0-for-42 aren’t happy when they get a hit, so it’s no surprise that he had a big smile on his face,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said Saturday afternoon before his team played the Angels in the second game of the series. “Hopefully, it relaxes him a little bit. He could have had a hit the time before that, too … but the center fielder made a nice catch.”
Servais praises Raleigh
The Mariners manager made a point Saturday to commend rookie catcher Cal Raleigh’s work behind the plate.
Raleigh is 0-for-8 in his two games since being called up from Tacoma, but Servais likes Raleigh’s demeanor behind the plate.
“I’ve been very impressed with the job that Cal Raleigh has done in his first couple of days,” Servais said.
The manager said he particularly liked what he saw from Raleigh in the ninth inning Friday night when the Mariners allowed three runs but held on for the win.
“I thought the overall demeanor, the calmness, the talking through hitters and situations, really impressed me,” Servais said. “I like where he is at.”
And Raleigh’s hitting?
“I’m making a call that he’s going to get that first knock (Saturday night),” Servais said.
Alas, Servais was wrong. Raleigh was 0 for 4 Saturday.
Servais said outfielder Jake Fraley is feeling better after missing Friday night’s game with an illness. Servais said Fraley does not have COVID-19, and although Fraley was out of the starting lineup again Saturday, he might be available to pinch-hit.