Robbie Ray is settling in nicely with the Seattle Mariners, who continue their three-game series against the host Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
With a strong outing on Opening Day, Ray (1-0, 1.29 ERA) showed why the Mariners signed him to a five-year, $115 million deal last November. The reigning AL Cy Young award winner allowed one run on three hits over seven innings in a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins.
“What a debut for Robbie Ray,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Great competitor, really excited to have him on the team. I think he sets the tone in everything he does. That’s just how he’s wired. It’s fun to watch. It’s such a warm feeling when he’s out there.”
The left-hander, 30, looks to build on his strong debut against a Chicago squad that has won three straight following an Opening Day loss to the Detroit Tigers.
The White Sox celebrated their home opener with a 3-2 win over the Mariners on Tuesday.
Luis Robert filled the highlight reel by hitting a tiebreaking home run off rookie Matt Brash in the sixth inning. The center fielder also stole two bases, scored twice and made a run-saving, leaping catch at the warning track.
“He’s a really good player and, if he keeps working, he should be a monster,” teammate Eloy Jimenez said. “Well, he is a monster. He’s going to be a legend.”
Robert is 6-for-16 with four stolen bases through four games. He hit .338 with 13 homers, 43 RBIs and six steals in 68 games last season.
Chicago starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (9-9, 5.28 in 2021) is looking for a fresh start after struggling late last season. He posted a 4.25 ERA before the All-Star break before recording a 6.82 mark in 14 games (13 starts) in the second half.
Keuchel, 34, battled several injuries in the second half but said he felt great during spring training despite allowing 10 runs in 11 1/3 innings.
Mitch Haniger is 8-for-29 against the left-handed Keuchel, who is 9-8 with a 3.33 ERA in 22 outings (20 starts) against Seattle.
The Mariners have lost three straight since opening the season with two wins over the Chicago Cubs. The team is looking for a spark after averaging 2.4 runs in its first five games.
Outfielder Jarred Kelenic, 22, went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in a loss Tuesday and is 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts to begin the season.
The White Sox held on for the victory in the series opener despite a shaky outing by closer Liam Hendriks, who allowed a run on three hits in the ninth.
Hendriks struck out Haniger with two men on to record his first save. He is looking for his first clean inning after giving up two runs in the ninth against the Detroit Tigers on Opening Day.
Chicago placed outfielder AJ Pollock on the 10-day injured list with a strained right hamstring prior to Tuesday’s game, creating more playing time for Gavin Sheets and Adam Engel.
The versatile Andrew Vaughn also could see time in the outfield, among other positions. Vaughn is 4-for-10 with two homers and six RBIs to start the season.
–Field Level Media