Toro pinch-hits for hurt J-Rod, leads Mariners past Astros

Toro pinch-hits for hurt J-Rod, leads Mariners past Astros

Abraham Toro pinched for injured All-Star Julio Rodriguez and conceded a two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Seattle Mariners defeated the AL-West Chiefs 5-4 on Saturday night.

Rodriguez suffered a back injury while swinging on a pitch at the top of the eighth inning. He was dismissed, but fielded in the bottom half of the innings before being picked up in the ninth.

Seattle manager Scott Servais said Rodriguez would have an X-ray later on Saturday.

“He didn’t feel comfortable with a bat in his hand,” Servais said. “So, we’ll pray it doesn’t break.”

The 21-year-old Rodriguez, who was 0 for 4 with three strikes, has 18 homers and 57 RBIs and is batting .274 in his rookie season.

The Mariners defeated Houston for the first time since June 8, breaking a five-game loss to the Astros.

Ryan Pressley (3-3) moved into the ninth inning this season to convert 21 of his 24 saves. Presley conceded two runs on two hits, scored one and scored two runs in a loss in his first blow save since June 23, which came against the New York Yankees.

“He’s someone who’s usually aggressive, so I know he likes to attack the zone,” Toro, who played parts of three seasons with Houston, said of Pressley. “I was already swinging from the get-go.”

Astros manager Dusty Baker said: “He’s been a thorn in our side ever since we traded him over there. It was a big hit he got tonight.”

Eric Swanson (2–0) scored an eighth inning without a score and won, and Paul Seewald made his 13th save in 16 attempts.

“We’ve had some crazy win-win, crazy games since I moved here,” Servais said. “It can be near the top of a list of all the things that have happened and where we are.”

Seattle starter Chris Flexon set up eight straight batters at one point, but didn’t get into the decision. Flexon conceded two runs on three hits with four walks and one strike out in 5 1/3 innings. It was his third no-decision in his last eight matches.

Aledmys Diaz led left field with a single homer in fifth. Diaz has scored three home runs in the last two matches and nine runs for the season. Diaz scored 3 for 3 with two RBIs.

After going 3-2 down in the seventh, Houston rallied to a 4-3 lead with back-to-back doubles by Martin Maldonado and Jose Altuve and singles from Yuli Gurriel.

Seattle scored three on singles from Eugenio Suarez and Adam Frazier, and a fielder’s pick by JP Crawford in the first as Valdez hit two batters in the frame.

Valdez settled after the first and conceded three runs off five hits, scoring seven runs in seven innings. It marks his major-leading 18th quality debut and his 17th straight, the second-longest streak in Astros history.

“It was huge for me to be able to come back from something like this,” Valdez said. “Just showing the intensity and focus to be able to pitch the rest of the game after a tough innings.”

helmet injury

Seattle’s Sam Haggerty was hit in the forehead by his thrown helmet when he failed to split in the ninth inning and threw his gear in despair. The helmet bounced back and hit his head.

instructor room

Mariners: LHP Tommy Milone was placed on a 15-day injured list with a cervical muscle strain on Saturday. As a result, LHP Brennan Bernardino was selected from Triple-A Tacoma and Marcus Wilson was named for the assignment. …off Dylan Moore left Saturday’s game with a back cramp.


Mariners: George Kirby (2-3, 3.50 ERA) is set to end the four-match series to make his debut against the Astros on Sunday. Last time out, Kirby made a decision against Texas, conceding no runs on two hits and scoring four runs in five innings.

Astros: Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 4.25 ERA) is looking to get back on the winning side, starting Sunday. Odorizzi’s last win was on July 10 in Oakland. Last out, Odorizzi was tagged for six off seven hits, losing to the Athletics.

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