Miller's short start adds to Mariners' rotation woes

Texas native labors in pivotal 5-run 3rd to cap club's tough tour through Globe Life Field

June 4th, 2023

ARLINGTON -- It was a rough Sunday at the office for the Mariners as they were swept by the Rangers with a 12-3 loss in the finale at Globe Life Field.

More specifically, it was another tough outing for the makeshift Mariners pitching staff, which has been scuffling lately as they deal with injuries in their rotation.

On Saturday, -- ranked the club’s No. 6 prospect by MLB Pipeline who was starting in place of the injured  -- labored in his MLB debut against the Rangers, allowing six runs in just two innings.

On Sunday, Seattle’s No. 2 prospect struggled to contain the potent Texas offense. In just 2 1/3 innings, the Lone Star State native allowed seven runs on eight hits and two walks. It was the second consecutive outing for Miller in which he surrendered 7+ runs.

“Obviously, the results were similar to last week ... [the Rangers] were aggressive [early],” Miller said. “Even the first hit of the game, it was a good pitch, but I have to be better with two strikes. I had a lot of two-strike [counts], I just didn’t finish.

“So, moving forward, I have to be better on those counts and give the team a chance to win.”

The trouble started early for Miller. Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien hit a leadoff double and Miller walked Corey Seager the following at-bat.

Miller seemed to find his rhythm -- if not for a moment -- in the next two at-bats, though, striking out both Nathaniel Lowe and Adolis García. But the right-hander walked Josh Jung before Jonah Heim gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead with a two-run double.

In the bottom of the third inning, things began spiraling out of control for Miller, as the Rangers rallied for a five-run inning, including four consecutive hits to begin the frame.

Seager launched a mammoth Statcast-projected 454-foot home run. Then, after Lowe reached safely on a single to right-center, García doubled to bring him home and push the lead to four.

It was essentially downhill from there for Miller, as Texas piled on two more extra-base hits and three runs in the inning before Miller was given the quick hook.

“It’s hard to sugarcoat anything,” manager Scott Servais said. “We were playing against a really good offensive club and they roughed us up yesterday and again today.

“Our starters struggled to get into the game and you have to give [the Rangers] credit for swinging the bat really well. They beat us … they flat out beat us.”

Mariners starters have now yielded 6+ runs four times in their last 10 outings. And, with starters Gonzales and Easton McGee on the injured list, Seattle will have to get creative in shoring up the rotation.

The Mariners will have to come up with solutions quickly, too, as they will face the Padres and Angels -- both of whom possess plenty of star power in their lineups -- over the next two series.

On the other side of the ledger, the Mariners didn’t fare much better on offense in the series finale.

Seattle mustered just three runs and had a potential home run taken away on a wall-climbing grab by Texas center fielder Travis Jankowski. The Mariners are now batting .228 collectively, the fourth-lowest mark in the Majors.

“We’re not playing winning baseball against top-flight teams,” Servais said. “It’s certainly been a struggle for us to put runs up consistently -- at any point this season.

“We’ve had stretches here and there where we started to get it going a bit, but it’s been tough up-and-down the lineup.”

Despite the recent offensive struggles, Servais noted that it is not a result of a lack of effort.

“We need to get it going. There’s no doubt about that,” Servais said. “Sometimes when you aren’t hitting it looks like you aren’t trying. The team is trying, just not executing.”

After being swept in Texas, Servais is hopeful that a scheduled off-day on Monday will benefit the team before opening a two-game Interleague set against San Diego at Petco Park.

“Baseball is really hard sometimes, and we felt that the last couple days,” Servais said. “[There are] still a lot of games left to play. We need to get it going, but we have to use our off-day to kind of wash it off and move on.”