SEATTLE (AP)When he was younger and probably a little more stubborn, Seattle’s Taijuan Walker would have struggled to make a major in-game adjustment that called for abandoning the original game plan.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers sitting on Walker’s fastball on Wednesday night and clubbing it for three early home runs, there had to be a change.
”I faced the Dodgers a lot when I was at Arizona and my attack plan was mostly fastball, changeup to them,” Walker said. ”But this year I have a curveball now and a pretty good slider, and the confidence I have with them let me be able to go out there and make that adjustment and really trust my pitches.”
Walker overcame the early long-ball issues to throw seven strong innings, Austin Nola hit a three-run homer run and had four RBIs, and the Mariners beat Los Angeles 6-4, snapping the Dodgers’ seven-game win streak.
Nola had an RBI single in the first inning and added his third home run of the season in the third as the Mariners snapped a seven-game skid. Dylan Moore added a solo home run in the sixth inning.
Walker (2-2) was outstanding once he stopped giving up home runs. Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger hit solo homers and Walker seemed destined for an early exit.
But after Bellinger’s home run in the third inning gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead, Walker settled down. He found success with his curveball and retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced. The only batter to reach came on an error.
Walker allowed just four hits and struck out eight.
”The last time that Taijuan was a Mariner here a few years ago, he couldn’t have made that adjustment mid-game,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. ”He’s learned. He went to some changeups, a lot of curveballs, got the cutter going, and it really slowed things down, slowed them down in the batter’s box.”
Justin Turner had an RBI single in the eighth off reliever Anthony Misiewicz. Taylor Williams loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth after walking Mookie Betts, but struck out Corey Seager for his fourth save.
Dodgers starter Julio Urias didn’t make it out of the second inning. Urias labored to record five outs and was pulled by manager Dave Roberts with two outs in the second. Seattle tagged reliever Dennis Santana (1-1) for four runs in the third inning, including Nola’s long ball. Seattle sent nine batters to the plate.
”He’ll pitch his next turn. Just got to continue to be better,” Roberts said of Urias. ”The last three starts, it’s been that first inning he hasn’t really looked sharp. I don’t know if it’s the pregame prep, whether it’s too much early, not enough early to get ready for that first inning. We’ll talk about it, but we’ve got to be ready from pitch one.”
Roberts, Muncy and hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc were ejected in the sixth inning by home plate umpire Mark Ripperger. Van Scoyoc and Roberts had been barking from the dugout about balls and strikes for much of the game. Van Scoyoc was ejected first, followed by Roberts during Muncy’s at-bat. Muncy had some words for Ripperger and was tossed after striking out.
”Robert didn’t agree with a couple of the calls and got run, and for me, I came out to question why would he throw out our guy and then I got tossed,” Roberts said.
Rookie Seattle 1B Evan White was removed from the game in the third inning after fouling a pitch off his left knee. White was down for a few minutes before walking off on his own. X-rays were negative and the team said he was day-to-day.
The Dodgers recalled LHP Victor Gonzalez ahead of the series against Seattle and optioned RHP Tony Gonsolin. It’s the second stint this season for Gonzalez, who appeared in one game last month.
The Mariners made a flurry of moves, highlighted by designating for assignment struggling DH Daniel Vogelbach, who was hitting just .094. Vogelbach was an All-Star selection a year ago. The Mariners also optioned right-hander Art Warren and outrighted right-hander Bryan Shaw to its alternate training site.
The Mariners held a moment of silence before the game for former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, who died on Wednesday at 92. Gorton was a huge advocate for baseball in Seattle and had a major hand in the Mariners arrival in 1977 as an expansion franchise after the Pilots left for Milwaukee following the 1969 season. He later helped facilitate the sale of the team to local ownership that kept the team in Seattle in the 1990s.
”Probably no single person was as important to the history of Major League Baseball in Seattle and the Mariners as Slade,” Mariners chairman John Stanton said.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 2.65) threw seven innings and allowed one run in his last start against the Angels. Kershaw is 3-0 all-time against Seattle.
Mariners: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (0-1, 5.28) is scheduled to return to the rotation after being scratched from his last start due to neck spasms. Kikuchi’s last start came on Aug. 7 when he gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings against Colorado.
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