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April 28, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Michael Pineda sets Mariners rookie record as Seattle records three-game sweep

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Michael Pineda just set a record for the most wins by a Mariners rookie pitcher in April, notching No. 4 today in a 7-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
It capped the first Mariners sweep in Detroit since May 16-18, 2003. The last time the M’s swept Detroit at all was in June of that same year — which was when the Tigers had an historically bad 119-loss team.
This Detroit squad is supposed to be a lot better than that.
As with all three of Seattle’s wins here, this game was a lot closer than the final score indicated. Detroit’s bullpen has looked terrible this series and let a close game get out of hand again in the eighth inning on a three-run homer by Luis Rodriguez.
That took some of the suspense out of the final two innings.
Pineda wasn’t at his best today, but when an offense scores seven or more runs per game, you don’t really have to be dead-on. His pure stuff was enough to overwhelm the Tigers for nine strikeouts while some of the harder-hit balls off him by lefties wound up in outfielders’ gloves.


Pineda is now 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA and 30 strikeouts against 12 walks. Just about any team in baseball will take that, regardless of any struggles versus lefty hitters.
And no, Pineda wasn’t that convincing against lefties today. He got hit hard early for some runs and hit hard later for some long outs.
But when you keep striking out righties in key situations, it doesn’t matter much.
Oh yeah, it also helps when your team, as I mentioned, makes it a 7-2 game instead of a 3-2 game.
Those late home runs by Miguel Olivo and then Rodriguez proved huge on a day when there wasn’t a whole lot of offense happening.
Two more scoreless innings from David Pauley also proved key until Rodriguez blew things open.

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