Marco Gonzales takes the mound for the Seattle Mariners on Sunday (August 6). This will serve as his first game for the Mariners, with the team hoping that he can put in a lot of innings as the season winds down. The Mariners were forced to call up Gonzales after Felix Hernandez returned to the disabled list, with the team using him in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals.

The Mariners acquired Gonzales from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill back on July 21. It was a deal to help the pitching depth of the organization and Gonzales immediately reported to Triple-A Tacoma upon his arrival.

Now it is time for Gonzales to show fans what he can do on the mound for the big team.

This was one of several deals that Jerry Dipoto made for the Mariners, with another one acquiring relief pitcher David Phelps from the Miami Marlins. The Mariners had also been linked to a possible deal with the San Francisco Giants.

How did Marco Gonzales do down at Tacoma?

Marco Gonzales made two starts for the Tacoma Rainiers, posting a 4.50 ERA and 1.083 WHIP over 12 innings of work. Gonzales had five walks and nine strikeouts while allowing just eight hits in those two games. Now the 25-year-old pitcher is going to get a shot to stay with the Seattle Mariners for the rest of the regular season rather than simply be a September call-up.

Losing Felix Hernandez is going to be tough for the Mariners to overcome, but it’s possible that this was the opportunity that Marco Gonzales needed from the team. A former first-round draft pick, he has pitched in pressure-filled situations before, but now he will be asked to put in some big innings for a team in the middle of the Wild Card race.

Where do Seattle Mariners reside in Wild Card standings?

After the Mariners took off Saturday (August 5) due to rain in Kansas City, the team is three games behind the New York Yankees for the first Wild Card spot and just one-and-a-half games behind the Kansas City Royals for that second Wild Card spot. What does it mean? If the Mariners win both games of this doubleheader, they will be in a playoff spot.

Game 1 of the doubleheader starts at 11:15 a.m. PT with Marco Gonzales against Danny Duffy. Game 2 of the Seattle Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals is tentatively scheduled for 3 p.m. PT, with Erasmo Ramirez pitching against Jake Junis. Both teams know how important these games are and no matter how they turn out, one of them will reside in a Wild Card spot.