Arlington, Texas (AP) — Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray doesn’t miss being part of a run like what the Seattle Mariners are up to these days. Everything in the big leagues is a new experience for All-Star rookie center fielder Julio Rodriguez, and he just keeps doing impressive things.
Ray scored 12 runs in 6 2/3 innings without a walk before Rodriguez hit a thumping Grand Slam as the Mariners scored their longest in more than two decades with an 8-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Friday night. Extended the winning streak to 12 games.
“He doesn’t let the moment get bigger than him and in that position,” Ray said of the 21-year-old outfielder, who played his 89th match in the Majors.
Rodriguez hit his first slam straight to the center for his 16th homer with two outs on a full-count pitch, and finished with a career-best five RBIs. His run-scoring single in the fourth took the Mariners 3-0.
Manager Scott Servais said, “Tonight was more of our typical formula, pitching prime starts. “We got some big hits tonight, no question about it. Talk about Julio, it’s just as good as batting against a quality bullpen arm. … in our dugout when that ball went over the fence, it was like, Did he really do it? But he is a special player. ,
After Seattle loaded the base on a single and two walks by reliever AJ Alexi to start in eighth place, Jose Leclerc hit back-to-back batters but was unable to get a third strike behind Rodriguez.
“We fought, we came within a run, you could feel the pace. We were a pitch away from that full eighth inning, down the eighth change,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “It’s heartbreaking. But as I’ve said many times this year, we have to come back and come back tomorrow.”
The only time the Mariners had a long winning streak was their team-record 15 in a row in 2001, their last playoff season. They have won 20 of their last 23 matches overall. With 14 consecutive wins last month, Atlanta has the only long streak in the big leagues this season.
Eugenio Suarez doubled and scored Seattle’s first in the fourth. His sacrifice took off an innings, later making it 4–0 before Corey Seeger and Léodie Tavares held home for Rangers.
Ray (8-6) matched his season high for strikeouts, allowing three runs on those two Texas homers. It was his 15th game with at least 10 Ks since the start of 2021, the highest tie with Milwaukee’s Corbin Burns in that period. Ray played 10 such games last season when the lefty won the AL Cy Young Award while pitching for Toronto.
“It’s probably the best I felt all year. I felt like everything was working out really well for me,” said Ray, who dismissed five Rangers in a row after Seattle’s third of four runs. When your team puts up a crooked number, you go out and attack, attack the zone and try to come back and score a few more runs.”
Taylor Hearn (4-6) matched his career high with seven strikeouts in four innings when Matt Bush scored first as an opener. Hearn gave away four runs, earned two, while going five hits and two.
Seeger’s 22nd home came a day after joining the American League All-Star team and the Home Run Derby. He will face Rodriguez in the first round of the derby next week at Dodger Stadium, home of Seeger, for his first seven major league seasons before moving to Texas in free agency last winter on a $325 million, 10-year contract. .
The two-out single shot in the sixth was Seeger’s seventh homer in the last 10 games, and extended his career-best RBI streak to eight games. His career high is 26 for Homers in 2016. Tavares beat Homer by two runs in the seventh to cut the deficit to 4-3.
One Hop, No Hop for Out
Mariners DH Justin Upton was kicked out in the fourth by Rodriguez trying to score from second base on a single. Elior Hernandez, playing only his second game in the majors after more than a decade in the minors, fielded the ball on a hop into shallow left field and made a direct in-air throw that allowed catcher Jonah Heim to make a grab and hit the ground. Upton in one motion, allowed to tag out.
Mariners: SS JP Crawford was out of the lineup for the second game in a row after injuring his right index finger during a doubleheader on Wednesday in Washington. Servais said the finger only limits Crawford’s throw, and he may be available to hit.
Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert (10-3, 2.80 ERA) allowed one earned run in 12 2/3 innings in his last two starts against Rangers this year. Texas right-hander Spencer Howard (1-1, 8.04) is 1-3 with a 9.95 ERA in his seven career games (six starts) at Globe Life Field.
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