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RECAP: Seahawks open preseason with win, Mariners two games back of wild card

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | August 17, 2023 1:00 AM

SEATTLE – The Seahawks opened the 2023 preseason with a win last Thursday, while the Seattle Mariners had their streak of six series wins in a row snapped against the Baltimore Orioles. For an update on the two squads, as well as the Storm stringing together two more wins, check out this week’s Washington pro sports recap.

Seahawks

Seattle erased an early 10-0 Minnesota lead en route to a 24-13 win over the Vikings at home to open the season with a win, playing without many of last season’s starters.

Quarterback Drew Lock completed 17 of 24 passes for 191 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his start, playing the first three quarters of the game in his first in-game action since the 2022 preseason. Lock, who was acquired by Seattle in last off-season’s Russel Wilson trade with the Denver Broncos, completed touchdown passes of 13 and 19 yards to receivers Easop Winston Jr. and Jake Bobo in the win. Third-string quarterback Holton Ahlers, a rookie out of East Carolina, played the fourth quarter and competed all four of his passes for 43 yards and a score.

Wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the No. 20 overall pick in this April’s NFL Draft, caught three of his four targets for 25 yards in Thursday’s win. It was Smith-Njigba’s first time in a game since Oct. 22 with the Ohio State Buckeyes, having missed 10 games in the 2022 season with a hamstring injury.

Bobo, an undrafted rookie out of UCLA, hauled in all three of his targets in the win, including his 19-yard touchdown reception from Lock and a 29-yard reception where the rookie found a hole in the Minnesota secondary.

In roster moves, the Seahawks activated linebacker Jordyn Brooks off the team’s physically unable to perform list on Tuesday. Brooks, who tore his ACL late last season on Jan. 1, led the Seahawks in tackles last season with 161.

Seattle stays home for a home game against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday at 7 p.m., the second of the team’s three preseason games.

Mariners

The Seattle Mariners had strung together their eighth-straight win with a 9-2 win against the Baltimore Orioles last Friday, but the team dropped the final two games against the AL East opponent with 1-0 and 5-3 losses, both of which took 10 innings to decide. It was the first time the Mariners hadn’t won a series since July 20, when the team split a four-game home series against the Minnesota Twins.

Heading back on the road to face the Kansas City Royals, Seattle dropped the opener on Monday in a 7-6 loss. Kansas City jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, later extending to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth. Six runs across the eighth and ninth innings gave the Mariners a late lead, but a Kansas City sacrifice-fly and a squeeze bunt in the bottom of the ninth allowed the Royals to walk off with a 7-6 win.

Seattle got a win back on Tuesday, where the Royals erased the Mariners’ 7-0 lead and forced the game into extra innings. Tied at eight, first baseman Ty France's two-RBI single to center field put the Mariners back on top where they rode out to a 10-8 win on Tuesday night.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s rubber match against the Royals, Seattle stands at a 64-55 overall record, winners of 19 of 30 games since the All-Star break. With 43 games left in the regular season, the Mariners are two games back of the Toronto Blue Jays for the American League’s final wild card spot. Tampa Bay holds the first wild card, while the Houston Astros possess the second wild card.

Storm

An 81-69 loss to the Connecticut Sun on Aug. 8 broke on a stretch of three wins in four games for the Storm last week, but Seattle got back on track with an exciting 68-67 win over the Atlanta Dream at home last Thursday.

Down 62-47 with 9:07 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Storm outscored Atlanta 21-7 over the final 10 minutes of play to cap off a 68-67 win. Center Ezi Magbegor scored Seattle’s seven of Seattle’s first 11 points to begin the fourth quarter, and a four-point play by guard Jewell Loyd cut the Atlanta lead to just one point with just over three minutes remaining.

A layup by Magbegor gave Seattle a 63-62 lead on the ensuing possession, with the Dream quickly recapturing it. Loyd’s three-point play with 13.1 seconds left gave Seattle the lead for good, eventually winning the game in comeback fashion.

Seattle rode the momentum into Sunday’s home win against the Phoenix Mercury, an 81-71 victory where Loyd led the team with 24 points.

The win marked Seattle’s fifth win in its past seven games, moving to 9-21 on the year. With just 10 regular season games remaining in the 2023 season, the Storm host Minnesota on Friday, travel to Minnesota on Sunday and play Chicago on the road on Tuesday.

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AP PHOTO/ROSS D. FRANKLIN

The Seattle Storm have won five of their past seven games, including back-to-back wins over the Atlanta Dream and Phoenix Mercury.

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AP PHOTO/CHARLIE RIEDEL

The Seattle Mariners are two games back of the final American League wild card spot as of Tuesday afternoon, standing behind the Toronto Blue Jays.

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