Middleton (0-1) took the loss Wednesday, surrendering five runs on five hits and a walk over one inning in a 6-3 loss to the Rockies. He struck out one. Deployed as an opener for the first time in his big-league career, Middleton looked decidedly uncomfortable in the role as Colorado smoked a barrage of line drives off the right-hander, with the biggest blow being a bases-loaded double by Dom Nunez. Middleton now has a 10.38 ERA for Seattle since the beginning of June, managing only a 4:4 K:BB through 8.2 innings in that time, and he'll remain in a low-leverage role until he can find some consistency.
Middleton will start Wednesday's game against the Rockies, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports. Middleton will make the first start of his major-league career while serving as the opener in the series finale at Colorado. The right-hander has given up one run over 5.2 frames since returning from the injured list in late June. Chris Flexen is likely to work as the primary pitcher Wednesday.
Middleton owns a 1.93 ERA across the 4.2 innings covering his four appearances since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on June 24. Middleton has been able to carry over the momentum he generated during his latest stint with the Rainiers, posting a trio of scoreless efforts since his return to the big-league club. The right-hander has made some fantasy impact this season with four saves and three holds, but his 16:11 K:BB across 23 innings does have ample room for improvement.
Middleton fired a scoreless fifth inning during a loss to the White Sox on Sunday, issuing two walks and recording a strikeout. The big right-hander was just recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday, and Sunday marked his first majors appearance since June 9. Middleton struggled through his last two appearances before his demotion, but he was solid over three outings with the Rainiers (4 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 7:2 K:BB).
Middleton was recalled by the Mariners on Thursday. Middleton made three minor-league appearances (one start) after he was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma, and he allowed one run over five hits and two walks while striking out seven in four innings. The right-hander posted a 4.42 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 18.1 innings with the Mariners earlier in the season, and he picked up four saves and three holds. While Kendall Graveman has been the slight favorite for save chances recently, Middleton could factor into some late-game situations if he performs well during his return to the big-league bullpen.
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