Catcher Torrens gets win, Mariners sweep Tigers in DH
SEATTLE (AP) — Luis Torrens had to wait four hours before his place in Seattle Mariners history could be celebrated.
After earning a history-making win on the mound, Seattle’s backup catcher still had nine innings of work to do behind the plate.
“That was the first time ever and probably the last one, too,” Torrens said of his victory celebration.
Abraham Toro homered and drove in four runs, Cal Raleigh hit his 27th home run of the season and the Mariners beat the Detroit Tigers 9-6 on Tuesday night to complete a sweep of their doubleheader.
Seattle won the first game 7-6 in 10 innings as Torrens became the first position player in club history to earn a win when the Mariners rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 10th.
Torrens didn’t have any time to rest as he went from pitching to catching for the second game. Torrens had a single and scored on Toro’s two-run homer in the fourth inning.
“The fact that we had Luis Torrens get the win in that first game and come back and catch the second game and kind of do everything he did there, it’s just baseball,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It’s a bunch of kids playing in the sandlot.”
Toro added a two-run single in the fifth, an inning that also included Raleigh’s solo shot. It was Raleigh’s first homer since the game-winning drive in the bottom of the ninth last Friday that clinched Seattle’s first postseason berth since 2001.
Spencer Torkelson homered in both games for Detroit and Kody Clemens hit the first grand slam of his career off Seattle starter Justus Sheffield in the second game.
“It’s nice to see some hard work pay off. He’s been grinding a little bit,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said of Torkelson. “I know he’s got some small goals he wanted to accomplish this month. He’s starting to zero in on those and getting rewarded for some good swings.”
Seattle locked up the No. 5 seed in the American League playoffs and a date with Toronto in the best-of-three wild card series thanks to the victory in the first game and Tampa Bay’s loss in Boston. It put the final touches on the AL playoff bracket.
But just as notable was Torrens’ unlikely win on the mound.
“It was hard to believe because it was a tie game at that moment. You don’t see a position player pitch in a tie game,” Torrens said. “I do the job and (Servais) believe in me. OK, I got it.”
Torrens is the first position player in the majors other than Shohei Ohtani to earn a victory since John Baker did it for the Chicago Cubs on July 29, 2014, against Colorado. He was just the second Mariners’ position player to ever pitch in extra innings, joining Jamie Burke in 2008, also against Detroit.
Torrens is also the first player to record a win in Game 1 of a doubleheader and start Game 2 as a position player since Rocky Colavito for the Yankees on Aug. 25, 1968, per the Mariners.
With the Mariners focused on preserving arms with the playoffs on the horizon, Torrens (1-0) started warming up underneath the stadium in the ninth inning and took the mound when the game went to extra innings.
Torrens allowed a couple of deep fly balls that allowed an unearned run to score, but got the unlikely victory when Toro drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly and gave Seattle its 12th walk-off win this season.
“I was excited because of the situation of the game. It wasn’t 10-0. It was 5-5,” Torrens said.
Mitch Haniger and Curt Casali also homered for Seattle in the first game.
“Today’s game doesn’t really affect things other than where we’re headed to play, but our guys don’t quit. They like competing,” Servais said.
Seattle got a scare in the second game when Dylan Moore was hit on the right hand by a pitch. X-rays were negative. … Seattle placed utility man Sam Haggerty on the 10-day injured list with a groin injury that will keep him out for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs. Haggerty was hurt during a stolen base attempt in the ninth inning of Monday’s loss and could have a significant trickle down on Seattle’s playoff roster because of his versatility. Seattle recalled Toro from Triple-A Tacoma to take Haggerty’s spot.
Tigers: LHP Tyler Alexander (4-11, 4.72) will start the regular season finale on Wednesday. Alexander has allowed four earned runs in 18 innings over his past three starts combined.
Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (10-15, 4.14) will make his final start of the regular season and is unlikely to be on Seattle’s wild-card roster. Gonzales could end up pitching in the ALDS should Seattle advance. Gonzales has lost his last three decisions and allowed nine home runs over his past five starts.
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