Ray’s Day: Robbie Ray dominant as Mariners top Guardians 4-0

Aug 28, 2022, 4:12 AM | Updated: 5:29 pm

Seattle Mariners starter Robbie Ray delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game aga...

Seattle Mariners starter Robbie Ray delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

SEATTLE (AP) — While Robbie Ray was again dominant against a potential playoff foe, there was a more important development for the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

Perhaps All-Star Ty France is on the verge of breaking out of his extended slump and rediscovering the swing that made him one of best hitters in the American League during the first half of the season.

“We need Ty France’s bat back and it showed up today,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “I’m really excited about that.”

Ray tossed seven dominant innings, Dylan Moore and France homered and the Mariners beat the Cleveland Guardians 4-0 on Sunday.

Seattle took three of four from Cleveland in a potential postseason preview. All four games were tight and well-pitched, and the Mariners squeezed out just enough offense to earn a series victory.

The teams will run it back with a three-game set in Cleveland next weekend and perhaps again in October.

“We knew their games were going to be tight. We needed to play good defense and pitch well and we exceeded my expectations pitching-wise,” Servais said. “That’s about as good as you can pitch.”

The Guardians’ lead in the AL Central was trimmed to two games over Minnesota, which completed a sweep at home against San Francisco. Cleveland manager Terry Francona was complimentary of Ray’s performance and Seattle’s entire staff.

“Their entire staff is impressive. I mean, you’ve got your work cut out for you,” Francona said. “That doesn’t mean you can’t win, but you got your work cut out for you.”

Ray, last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner with Toronto, continued his August surge by winning his third straight start.

But Seattle’s offense has been meager of late in part due to France’s slump. He started the day hitting just .122 in August and was in an 0-for-21 slump when he singled in the fifth off Cleveland starter Aaron Civale.

France came back two innings later and hit the second pitch of the seventh inning out to left field for his 15th homer of the season.

“After the first hit, definitely felt like a weight was lifted off,” France said. “This whole series I felt like I was seeing the ball well, put a couple of good swings on balls and then today it was nice.”

Ray (11-8) scattered three hits, struck out seven and walked none. For the month, he allowed six earned runs and struck out 41 over 33 innings. He threw at least six innings in all five starts and permitted two earned runs or less in each one.

The left-hander escaped the one jam he faced. Andrés Giménez doubled and Austin Hedges followed with a bloop single to open the sixth. With runners at the corners and no outs, Ray got a fly ball from Myles Straw that wasn’t deep enough for Giménez to score, an infield popup from Steven Kwan and then struck out Amed Rosario for the third time to end the threat.

Cleveland was blanked for the eighth time this season, while Seattle posted its seventh shutout. During the Mariners’ six-game homestand, their starting pitchers went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA. They had four walks and 39 strikeouts in 39 innings.

“Putting up zeros is the name of the game,” Ray said. “I feel like we’ve been doing a really good job of feeding off each other’s energy in our bullpen sessions and in the game. We’ve got a really good group.”

Moore broke the game open for Seattle with a three-run homer with two outs in the sixth off Civale. France hit a solo shot on the second pitch of the seventh.

Seattle also got a break just before Moore’s long ball. Moore fouled a 2-2 pitch wide of first base where Owen Miller made a leaping attempt into the protective netting to make the catch. But he bobbled the ball against the net and it was ruled out of play.

On the next pitch, Civale (2-6) left a curveball in the middle of the plate and Moore’s towering drive carried into the left field stands for his first homer since July 7.

Civale matched Ray into the sixth but has gone nine starts since his last victory back in late May. Civale allowed four hits and struck out five.


Mariners: SS J.P. Crawford was out of the lineup with an injury to his left pectoral muscle. Servais said after the game that Crawford had an MRI, but nothing major was discovered and he is day-to-day. Crawford had appeared in 115 of 127 games entering Sunday.


Guardians: Cleveland returns home and, after a day off, will open a series against Baltimore. RHP Cal Quantrill (10-5, 3.59 ERA) starts the opener. Quantrill has won six straight decisions and threw seven shutout innings in his last start against San Diego.

Mariners: After an off day, rookie RHP George Kirby (5-3, 3.32) will make his 19th start Tuesday against Detroit. In August, Kirby is 3-0 with a 2.59 ERA and 29 strikeouts over four starts. He allowed one run over seven innings in his last outing.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Ray’s Day: Robbie Ray dominant as Mariners top Guardians 4-0