TORONTO — Back on April 26, the Mariners, aided by a pair of errors that led to seven unearned runs, picked up an 8-4 victory over the Rays.

It was the last time the Mariners won back-to-back games this season. Since then, the Mariners were 5-15 coming into Wednesday’s finale vs. the Blue Jays.

The biggest reason for those struggles — a lack of production on offense.

Without Mitch Haniger in the lineup for all but one plate appearance over that span and facing strong starting pitching from multiple teams, the Mariners scored just 56 runs for an average of 2.8 runs per game. Only two teams, the Pirates (54) and Tigers (47), scored fewer runs.

By comparison, six teams scored more than 100 runs over that same span of time.  

During those 20 games, the Mariners posted a .222/.293/.337 slash line with 17 homers (19th most) and an 8% walk rate and 23.2% strikeout rate.


How do they break out?

“If there’s a magic pill, give it to me,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Different teams respond differently to different messaging. Some teams are ‘Hey, we need to box this guy up and shrink the zone,’ but then they become very passive, and they don’t swing at pitches in the strike zone. Other teams are, ‘You want to stay on attack. When you get something to hit, smoke it, always attack, attack, attack.’”

What is this team?

“Looking at this team, we’re learning a lot with what messaging works with our group,” Servais said. “I think we’re much more in the bucket of attack, attack, attack. When you get pitch, let it eat.”

Servais knows the results have been uneven this season. The offense of late is unpredictable from game to game.

“We’ve done a better job of putting the ball in play,” Servais said. “Are we doing it with damage? Some nights, we are. Some nights, we’re not. We’re getting a lot of singles. You’d love for more extra-base hits. We’ve just been a little bit inconsistent. Our numbers, overall, look OK. But from a consistency basis, it’s either really, really good where we bang out 16 hits and then we kind of fall back, which is not that dissimilar from a lot of other teams.”

With the Mariners lacking Haniger’s power presence and inconsistent production from key acquisitions Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez, the need for situational hitting has been crucial but unmet.

The Mariners had 170 plate appearances with runners in scoring position (only eight teams had fewer), posting a .254/.343/.359 slash line with only four doubles, a triple and three homers. The Mariners scored just 47 runs while striking out 40 times, which is 23.5% of the time (7th worst in MLB).


During those 20 games, rookie Julio Rodriguez has seven hits in 19 plate appearances with runners in scoring position, driving in seven runs. Adam Frazier has six hits in 17 plate appearances with six RBI. J.P. Crawford has struggled in that situation with just one hit in 18 plate appearances while Suarez has struck 11 times in 26 plate appearances with runners in scoring position.  

On the farm

Evan White started his rehab assignment with Class AAA Tacoma in a Wednesday afternoon game in Sacramento. White started at first base for the Rainiers, going 0-for-2 and playing six innings in a 5-0 loss.  

After surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip ended his 2021 season after 30 games, White returned to spring training healthy and looking for a full season. But after feeling discomfort during a Cactus League game, he was diagnosed with a sports hernia and underwent surgery. The Mariners signed White to an 6-year, $24 million contract before the 2020 season despite never playing in a MLB game. He made the jump from Class AAA to MLB in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. He struggled, posting a .176/.252/.346 slash line with seven doubles, eight homers, 26 RBI, 18 walks and 84 strikeouts in 202 plate appearances. White was off to a slow start in 2021 as well, slashing .144/.202/.237 with three doubles, two homers, nine RBI, six walks and 31 strikeouts.

White will likely be optioned to Tacoma after he completes his rehab assignment and is activated from the injured list.

Kyle Lewis went 0-for-2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch while Jarred Kelenic went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Matt Brash tossed two scoreless innings without allowing a hit in the loss. He struck out two batters. It was his second straight outing of two innings where he didn’t allow a run or a hit. Brash has made four outings of two innings pitched, allowing two total earned runs on four hits with six walks and 15 strikeouts.