Scott Servais wants Mariners’ Yovani Gallardo to bring bullpen mentality to start Sunday

Jul 20, 2017, 11:15 PM | Updated: Jul 21, 2017, 12:57 pm
Yovani Gallardo lowered his ERA from 6.30 to 5.59 over four relief appearances. (AP)...
Yovani Gallardo lowered his ERA from 6.30 to 5.59 over four relief appearances. (AP)

Yovani Gallardo will get another shot at the Mariners’ starting rotation, as he will start the finale of their series against the Yankees on Sunday.

The Mariners optioned rookie starter Sam Gaviglio to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday, calling up relief pitcher Max Povse to take his place on the active roster. Povse pitched in Thursday night’s 4-1 loss to the Yankees and is a likely candidate to return to the Rainiers on Friday when new acquisition David Phelps joins the team.

The reason for Gaviglio’s demotion was to clear the way for Gallardo’s return to the rotation after a month in the bullpen. Gallardo pitched well as a long reliever, allowing just one run over 11 1/3 innings out of the pen (four appearances) since his demotion. Gaviglio, meanwhile, scuffled in his last two starts, giving up a combined 12 runs over 10 2/3 innings.

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“Sam did a great job for us. He was really on a roll for us through May and early June when we really needed him to step up,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Just where we’re at right now, I didn’t think Sam was maybe quite as sharp last time out. We’ll give the ball to Yovani and hopefully he can get us deep in the game on Sunday.”

Gaviglio, 27, has gone 3-5 with a 4.62 ERA in 12 games with Seattle, including 11 starts.

Gallardo, an ace earlier in his career in Milwaukee and reliable front-end pitcher with Texas two seasons ago, was an offseason acquisition that struggled to be effective in the rotation in his first 2 1/2 months with Seattle. The 31-year-old right-hander was able to drive his ERA down from 6.30 to 5.59 during his time as a reliever, however, and Servais said he’s looking for him to take what he learned from his time in the bullpen into Sunday’s start.

“He simplified things quite a bit out of the bullpen,” Servais said. “Sometimes out of the bullpen, you just (go), ‘Here’s my stuff, go ahead and try to hit it.’ So it’s probably a bit more of an aggressive mentality, which I talked to him today I would like him to keep that mentality and don’t just change it because you’re pitching in the first inning.”

No starting pitcher.

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Scott Servais wants Mariners’ Yovani Gallardo to bring bullpen mentality to start Sunday