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Drayer: Mariners look to stay on track through much-needed off day

The Mariners' day off on Monday is their first since June 5. (AP)

After playing 20 games in 20 days, the Mariners finally get a break with an off day Monday. They head into the break coming off two straight losses following a 13-3 romp over the team with the best record in baseball. Manager Scott Servais, while admitting that the 8-2 loss to the Astros on Sunday was disappointing, does not want the losses to linger. He called a brief, rare postgame meeting Sunday to remind his club that the two losses do not wipe out the progress it has shown in June.

“We have been busting our tail, we are starting to get healthy, we are in a good spot,” Servais told the team. “An off day comes at a good time for us and then we get back after it against Philadelphia. I am happy with the effort our guys have given; we just didn’t get it done today.”

If the series against Houston – which left Seattle with an MLB-best 52-25 record – was a test, well, the Mariners didn’t quite pass it. The test, however, was more of a midterm than a final and Mike Zunino was taking notes.

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“It was playoff-caliber baseball,” he said. “They are a really good team. I like how we have a team that matches up well against them. It’s one of those things where we didn’t come through in this series but I think we will do fine from here out.”

With the Astros running away from the rest of the American League West, Robinson Cano pointed out that every division game is big for the Mariners.

“Anyone in our division is going to be a playoff game because those are teams you are going to have to beat if you want to be on track,” he said.

With the loss Sunday, the Mariners fell a half game behind the Rangers and Angels. While the Mariners are on an uptick – the Astros series aside – it is worth noting that the Angels have put up a 12-11 record in June without Mike Trout and could get the reigning MVP back by the All-Star break. The Mariners will have three games against the Angels without Trout later this week.

First thing is first, however, a day off. Unlike a couple of other off days this season, this should not be a press-the-reset-button day off. Servais made sure to remind his team that it is just two games separated from a streak of good baseball. Enjoy your day off, get back at it Tuesday.

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