HOUSTON — Somewhat lost Monday night because of the ninth-inning skirmish in the Mariners’ 7-4 win over Houston was another great offensive game from young catcher Cal Raleigh.
Raleigh hit a three-run homer to give Seattle a 4-1 lead and later had a run-scoring single that gave the Mariners a 5-4 lead.
Raleigh’s performance was certainly not lost on Mariners manager Scott Servais, who talked about that Monday night before talking about the benches-clearing incident that led to his ejection.
“Offensively, we’re seeing the emergence of Cal Raleigh,” Servais said. “It’s coming together for him.”
After an 0 for 3 game against Boston on May 23 sent his average to .087, Raleigh has turned things around.
He has 10 hits in 37 at-bats (. 270) in 10 games since, with three home runs and 10 runs batted in. He has an OPS of 1.000 this month.
“I feel good, and it’s a lot of fun, especially with us winning and all,” said Raleigh.
The offensive emergence of Raleigh, who has been the team’s regular catcher since Tom Murphy suffered a dislocated shoulder in early May, has been a factor in the Mariners winning seven of their past 10 games entering Tuesday night.
Raleigh said he made some minor adjustments after struggling early.
“Just trying to get my foot down and get ready to hit and be ready to hit the fastball,” he said. “Nothing crazy, but I’m having fun and enjoying it here.”
The recent success has boosted his confidence.
“Confidence is huge in whatever you do, not just baseball,” he said. “I’m feeling good, but I know this game will humble you real quick. I’m just keeping my head down and going about my business. That’s about it.”
Raleigh was one of the Mariners’ top prospects when he was called up in July last year. He hit .180 in 132 at-bats and then had the slow start this season, but he kept it in perspective.
“This is a game of failure, so you’ve got to be OK with failing because it’s part of the game,” he said. “You’ve just got to make those adjustments, keep going and stick with it. You can’t give up on yourself and get down. You’ve got to believe in yourself.”
The numbers are starting to look at lot better. The batting average is up to .169, the OPS is up to .640 and perhaps his best stat is his six homers in 83 at-bats.
And even when he was struggling offensively, he continued to do a good job defensively working with the pitching staff.
“My defense is separate from the offense and it’s the most important part of being a catcher,” he said. “You’ve got to take care of the (pitching) staff, call the right pitches, be a leader and all that good stuff. That comes first before anything else. That’s a must.”
First baseman Evan White, who has not played this season after undergoing a surgery to repair a sports hernia, has been pulled from his rehab assignment with Class AAA Tacoma.
“He had an issue, and reaggravated the groin-hip issue,” Servais said. “We’ve got to get him back feeling 100% before we get him back out to play.”
Servais said designated hitter Kyle Lewis (concussion) has “started to pick up some activity — riding the bike, and treadmill type stuff. He has not done a lot baseball stuff yet, and he still has a little bit of grogginess. … But he is starting to get his heart rate up and we’ll see how he feels from there.”