Mariners Lineup: How Ty France fits back in for opener vs Blue Jays

Jul 7, 2022, 2:57 PM

Mariners Ty France...

Julio Rodríguez and Ty France celebrate France's home run against Kansas City on April 23. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Ty France is back in his familiar No. 2 spot of the Mariners lineup as he returns from the injured list Thursday night, but the batting order around him looks a little different than when he was sidelined last month.

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France, who was activated from the IL on Thursday afternoon just a few hours after Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto hinted it would happen on Seattle Sports, will be the designated hitter for the 7:10 p.m. game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Hitting in front of him – not behind – is new leadoff man Julio Rodríguez, while J.P. Crawford will follow hitting third.

In the cleanup spot is the first baseman the M’s picked up after France suffered his injury: veteran switch-hitter Carlos Santana.

The return of France, who is in great position to make his first All-Star team when the rosters are announced Sunday, couldn’t have better timing. The surging M’s (41-42) are starting a huge four-game series against the Blue Jays (45-38), who are four games ahead of Seattle in the American League wild card chase. Toronto currently sits in the third and final wild card position for the AL.

France landed on the IL with a strained left elbow that he suffered on June 23 in an awkward collision with Oakland runner Sheldon Neuse while France was trying to catch a throw at first base that was offline. He has been enjoying a breakout season, slashing 316/.390/.476 for an .867 OPS with 10 homers and 45 RBIs in 70 games.

Also notable in the Mariners’ lineup for Thursday is Adam Frazier in left field with Abraham Toro at second base while regular left fielder Jesse Winker continues his six-game suspension stemming from Seattle’s brawl with the Angels on June 26.

The Mariners’ starting pitcher will be Marco Gonzales, who has a 3.29 ERA this season and has thrown a quality start (at least six innings with no more than three earned runs allowed) in four of his last five outings and seven of his last nine. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are pressing ahead with a bullpen day after their ace and original scheduled starter, Kevin Gausman, injured his ankle last Saturday.

Coverage of the full Mariners-Blue Jays series, like all M’s games, will be carried on Seattle Sports. The pregame show starts at 6 p.m., with first pitch set for 7:10. For details on how to stream games online, click here.

Here is Thursday’s full Mariners lineup:

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