With the clouds thinning and sunshine making Wednesday afternoon and evening pleasant, the Mariners’ first break from baseball in almost two weeks was spent shaking hands after the game and enjoying some daytime baseball. It began with a standing ovation from most of the 1,250 people. -2 win over Angels.
It’s not just an off day to rest and recover from a 13-game streak in 13 days, as there is no game on Thursday and a three-game series against the Dodgers begins Friday at 7:10 p.m.
“We need a break,” coach Scott Servais said. “It’s been 13 days in a row. It’s been tough.”
What began on September 1 in New York as the start of an unforgettable 10-game road trip ended with two of three series wins against the Angels. Five wins and eight losses in those 13 games was less than ideal, and Seattle fell from first place in the American League West to third place as a wild card and was briefly out of the picture.
“This was a must-win series,” Servais said. “We didn’t get off to such a great start and missed Monday night’s game. But thanks to our players, we showed up every day and prepared to compete. No matter what the game wants, we have a group that can truly meet it.”
With this win, the Mariners improved to 81-65 and will remain in the postseason race.
“It’s never easy,” Servais said. “It’s not easy to win a series in September. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing a playoff team or another team that has young players trying to prove something.”
The Angels, without Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, fall into the latter category.
The framework for the win began with another quality outing from right-hander Luis Castillo. turning 30 years oldth Early in the season, he pitched six innings, allowing three hits, two runs, three walks, and eight strikeouts, improving to 13-7.
“What he’s done for us since we acquired Luis Castillo has been just extraordinary,” Servais said. “He changed the whole mindset of our pitching staff and changed our usual attack mode. It really helped our young pitchers as well.” Even after seeing this, he doesn’t change anything. ”
Castillo set his preseason goals to be the Mariners’ Opening Day starter, make the American League All-Star team and win the Cy Young Award. He achieved his two of them. New York’s Gerrit Cole is the favorite to win the Cy Young Award, but Castillo is likely to finish in the top three.
“I set those goals at the beginning of spring training, but I’m not thinking about achieving the goals I set for myself,” he said through interpreter Freddy Lanos. “If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. But I’m not thinking about it.”
Castillo was mildly annoyed when he allowed a solo home run to Brett Phillips in the third inning, but his teammates responded with a score in the bottom of the inning. Julio Rodriguez hit a line drive that hit the left field wall for a double, and Josh Rojas scored from second base.
The Angels regained the lead in the fourth inning. Zach Neto took the field and Brandon Drury threw the ball into the left field seats for a scoring double.
However, the Angels’ bullpen, which started and ended the game, was unable to maintain the lead. Ty France gave Seattle the lead in the fifth inning by hitting left-handed Jose Suarez’s fastball with his elbow.
Suarez returned and struck out pinch hitters Dylan Moore and JP Crawford, and it looked like Seattle would remain scoreless for the inning.
With Rodriguez at bat and his team holding a 2-1 lead, Angels manager Phil Nevin chose to intentionally walk him and move the tying hit to second base. He also brought in right-hander Jimmy Hargett to match up with switch-hitter Cal Lowry, who was batting behind Rodriguez.
“Rodriguez has a good swing. He’s one of the best players in the game,” Nevin said. “We’re not going to let him beat us. I know exactly what’s going to happen.”
Rodriguez smiled when he was told to head to first base.
“They would rather play against someone else,” he said. “I was ready to compete. But I trust the guys behind me. I feel like we always prepare each other, we always do the job here.” So I’m always ready. I feel like every hitter behind me is going to make it. That’s what happened sometimes.”
The move backfired as Lowry singled to right, allowing France to score from second base and beating a throw home with a nifty slide.
“I was surprised,” Laurie said. “But Julio was in tears, and I don’t blame them at all. I was just there, trying to find the hole, trying not to do too much. That guy… It’s like he had my phone number the last few times I played against him.”
Teoscar Hernandez put the Mariners ahead with a strong one-hop ground ball to the middle, but Drury, who was guarding second base, couldn’t handle it. The ball bounced off his glove and into center field, and Rodriguez raced home.
Seattle’s bullpen covered the final three innings without allowing a run, despite heavy traffic. Right-hander Justin Topa executed a quality pickoff move to second base and caught Jordyn Adams, who was being overly aggressive on the key out. Matt Blasch and Andres Munoz were both key scoreless baserunners.