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|NEW YORK — Comeback wins and one-run victories are defining the Seattle Mariners‘ climb to the top of the American League West.
Down to the wire and tight ballgames are bringing out a team Seattle fans have not seen in some time.
Now the Mariners get a chance to see how they stack up with the best team in baseball Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series with the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
The Mariners head to New York with a major-league-best 23 one-run wins and 21 comeback victories. Since May 18 Trae Waynes Jersey , they are 14-3 in one-game games and are 20 games over. 500 at 46-26, their third-best record through 72 games behind the 2003 and 2001 editions.
Despite striking out 11 times in Sunday’s 9-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Mariners are 13-4 in their last 17 games, 32-15 in their last 55 and their 28 wins since May 8 are the most in baseball.
“We’ll see them again next week in Boston and I think the guys are looking forward to it. I know they are,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “This stretch in our schedule, everybody looked at it early on and, ‘Oh, it’s going to be tough. You guys haven’t played anybody.’ But we’re just fine. You have to play the schedule. We don’t make it, we just play it. And we’re looking forward to the trip out East.”
Despite Seattle’s first loss by more than three runs since May 29, there were plenty of memorable moments during the seven-game homestand that also coincided with the Houston Astros winning 11 straight.
There was Mitch Haniger’s walk-off homer to complete the sweep of the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, the four-run comeback Friday and the 1-0 win highlighted by Wade LeBlanc’s performance Saturday night.
“We get down 3-1 and we are kind of looking around there, and in years past it kind of would have been a different feeling in the dugout there,” Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager told reporters. “There’s really not a lot of panic with this team. It’s just a different team.”
The Yankees are coming off a brief trip to Washington for a makeup of a suspended game followed the makeup of a rainout. They dropped the resumption of the suspended game 5-3 when Chad Green allowed a two-run homer to Juan Soto in the sixth and posted a 4-2 victory in the makeup game as Giancarlo Stanton had four hits.
Stanton’s third four-hit night occurred after he was 2-for-13 in the four-game series at Yankee Stadium. Stanton is hitting .212 (29-for-137) with seven homers and 19 RBIs at home this season.
Overall, the Yankees (47-22) are 14-4 in their last 18 games since May 22.
New York played without left fielder Brett Gardner the last two games because of knee pain. He is day to day, but the Yankees called up Clint Frazier on Monday.
“We’ve had timely hits, big hits Linval Joseph Jersey , guys step up,” Stanton said Saturday. “We haven’t all clicked at the same time. Once that happens and we’re on all cylinders, there’s more room to get better.”
Seattle owns a team ERA of 3.86 and left-hander Marco Gonzales, who starts the opener, has been its hottest pitcher. He is 4-0 with a 1.41 ERA in his last six starts. During those outings, hitters are batting .204 against him.
Gonzales last pitched in Wednesday’s 8-6 win over the Angels when he allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings. It was only the second time in his last 10 starts Gonzales did not complete six innings.
Gonzales is making his 29th career start and first against the Yankees.
Domingo German will make his eighth start and is hoping to get the Mariners to swing and miss as much as the Tampa Bay Rays did last Thursday in his first career win. In a 4-3 victory, he became the sixth pitcher to get at least 26 swings and misses this season while allowing three runs and five hits in six innings.
“He’s matured every start,” Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres said of German. “Every day is better and better. He does the job. I think that’s what’s most important.”
German is 1-3 with a 5.77 ERA in seven career starts and is making his first appearance against the Mariners.
“It’s been a long battle for me,” German said through an interpreter before getting the ball from the game presented to him by pitching coach Larry Rothchild. “To be able to win my first game in the big leagues, it means a lot. Hopefully, I can relax a little more after getting the first one and keep battling.”
Shaquille O’Neal called himself ”The Big Baryshnikov” and ”The Big Socrates” in his days in the NBA. Now he can add ”The Big Shakespeare.” The basketball Hall-of-Famer, TNT TV analyst, commercial pitchman and onetime rapper is putting poetry on his lengthy resume as part of a new public television series.
He brings his best bard to a dramatic reading of a poem in his episode of the 12-part ”Poetry in America ,” then discusses it with Elisa New, a Harvard English professor who hosts the show.
”I’ve always been into poetry,” O’Neal said in an interview with The Associated Press in a sunlit conference room overlooking the Los Angeles skyline. ”I’ve been writing rhymes all my life.”
”Poetry in America Trent Murphy Jersey ,” distributed by American Public Television and presented by WGBH in Boston, is airing at various times on local public TV stations. Some episodes, including Shaq’s, are already available to stream.
On the show the 46-year-old former All-Star from the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat recites ”Fast Break,” a poem by Edward Hirsch from his 1986 book ”Wild Gratitude.” It describes some very imperfect players who manage to put together a perfect basketball play.
”A hook shot kisses the rim and hangs there, helplessly, but doesn’t drop,” the poem begins, ”and for once our gangly starting center boxes out his man.”
O’Neal, whose 350-pound bulk would never be called ”gangly,” still related to the center in the verse, but said he initially missed the poem’s point.
”The first mistake I made was thinking it was about basketball,” he said. ”I read it real quick I said `fast break, shovel passes, sure, this is what I do.”’
He said New George Blanda Jersey , who sat next to O’Neal in the interview and like almost everyone is utterly dwarfed by him, gave him whole new insights that led to a fast friendship.
”When she broke it down intelligently for me, I was very astounded and very amazed,” O’Neal said.
The poem is written for a close friend and playing partner of Hirsch’s who had just died. That’s easy to miss if you skip past the dedication at the top, as most readers do.
”It’s fun that only later as you’re reading, you look back at that dedication,” New said. ”One line can change everything.”
Suddenly it becomes an examination of transcendent moments and human connections.
”It’s about friendship, it’s about caring, it’s about emotions,” O’Neal said. ”I had missed that.”
His latest learning experience took O’Neal’s thoughts back to high school, where he had a 69 percent in English after blowing a test during the basketball playoffs, and needed a 70 to stay eligible for sports.
The teacher allowed him a retest, and suggested a tutor.
”This guy, his name was McDougal, he was a geek, he saved my academic life Roger Lewis Jersey ,” O’Neal said. ”Everybody bullied him in school, except me.”
O’Neal said he took the work and ”broke it down, made it seem so simple.”
”I retook the test, got an 80, and we won the state championship,” O’Neal said.
”Now,” he said, ”I always tell kids I’m a geek.”
The professor had another name for him. ”He’s a learner!”
O’Neal partly looked the poet during the interview in a polo shirt and jeans, having traded his basketball sneakers for a pair of slip-on Toms shoes, size 22.
When he wanted them, a company executive told him ”it wouldn’t be worth it to make them in my size unless I bought 500 of them,” O’Neal said. ”I told him to give me 2,000.”
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