Mariners erase 7-run deficit, sweep Blue Jays with 10-9 win

Oct 8, 2022, 5:34 AM | Updated: 8:03 pm
Seattle Mariners' Cal Raleigh hits an RBI single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth in...

Seattle Mariners' Cal Raleigh hits an RBI single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

              Seattle Mariners' Adam Frazier, left, and Cal Raleigh celebrate after scoring on a three-RBI double off the bat of J.P. Crawford (not shown) against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Seattle Mariners' J.P. Crawford hits a three-run double against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays cener fielder George Springer, bottom, lies on the field as teammates try to help him after he collided with Bo Bichette while trying to catch a short fly ball during the eighth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series against the Seattle Mariners, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette, rear, and center fielder George Springer collide while to trying to catch a short fly ball by Seattle Mariners J.P. Crawford during the eighth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. Springer left the game. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays' Santiago Espinal (5) scores on a passed ball as Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Paul Sewald (37) tries to catch the throw from the catcher during the fifth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kevin Gausman looks to the fans after being taken out during the sixth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series against the Seattle Mariners, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Seattle Mariners designated hitter Carlos Santana, right, celebrates after his three-run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Diego Castillo walks off the field after the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays' Whit Merrifield, left, is checked on by medical staff after being hit by a pitch by Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Diego Castillo during the fifth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays' Whit Merrifield watches from the dugout during the fifth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. Merrifield was hit by a Seattle Mariners pitch in the inning. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Seattle Mariners designated hitter Carlos Santana, right, celebrates after his three-run home run with teammate Eugenio Suarez (28) during the sixth )inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series against the Toronto Blue Jays, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kevin Gausman (34) receives a standing ovation as he leaves in the sixth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series against the Seattle Mariners, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kevin Gausman smiles after being taken out during the sixth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series against the Seattle Mariners, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Raimel Tapia (15) can't make the catch on a single off the bat of Seattle Mariners' Cal Raleigh during the sixth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider talks with home plate umpire Todd Tichenor (13) during the fifth inning of Game 2 of the baseball team's AL wild-card playoff series against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays' Santiago Espinal scores on passed ball as Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Paul Sewald runs to cover the plate during the fifth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays' Santiago Espinal, left, scores on passed ball as Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Paul Sewald, right, tries to defend during the fifth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays' Teoscar Hernandez runs the bases on his solo home run against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays' Teoscar Hernandez heads to first base after being hit by a Seattle Mariners pitch with the bases loaded during the fifth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Seattle Mariners' Cal Raleigh hits an RBI single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays center fielder George Springer lies on the field after being injured during a collision with shortstop Bo Bichette on a three-run double by Seattle Mariners' J.P. Crawford, as Santiago Espinal checks on him during the eighth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays center fielder George Springer leaves the field on a cart after being injured in a collision with shortstop Bo Bichette during the eighth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette (11) and center fielder George Springer (4) collide while to trying to catch a three-RBI double off the bat of Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford during  the eighth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Blue Jays center fielder George Springer, lays on the field after being injured on a three-RBI double off the bat of Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford as Santiago Espinal, left, and Teoscar Hernandez look on during  the eighth inning of Game 2 of a baseball AL wild-card playoff series, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — Carlos Santana and J.P. Crawford delivered before Adam Frazier capped Seattle’s historic comeback with one sweet swing.

A little October fun for a new generation of Mariners.

Frazier hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the ninth inning, and Seattle erased a seven-run deficit while topping the Toronto Blue Jays 10-9 on Saturday for a sweep of their AL wild-card series.

“Those are the kind of moments you picture yourself in in the backyard when you’re a kid,” Frazier said.

It was the biggest road comeback win in playoff history and baseball’s largest comeback victory to clinch a postseason series.

Yup, it was quite a day for a franchise making its first playoff appearance since Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez and company were eliminated by the New York Yankees in the 2001 AL Championship Series. Next up for this group of Mariners is Houston in the AL Division Series.

“To go to the World Series, you have to go through Houston,” manager Scott Servais said. “They’re really good. We understand that. We’re really good.”

Seattle got off to a 29-39 start this season, but it went 61-33 from June 21 on, trailing only the Astros (65-31) among AL teams over that span.

After winning 4-0 in the opener of the best-of-three series, the Mariners trailed 8-1 through five innings in Game 2. But they roared back, tying it with four runs in the eighth.

With two out and the bases loaded, Crawford hit a blooper to center against All-Star closer Jordan Romano.

“I was praying to the baseball gods to just let that ball sit,” Crawford said.

Center fielder George Springer and shortstop Bo Bichette went hard after the sinking liner, but it landed as the two collided. All three runners scored on the double, tying it at 9.

“It seems everything that could go wrong did go wrong in a very short period of time,” interim Blue Jays manager John Schneider said.

Bichette was able to stay in the game, but the 33-year-old Springer had to be helped to his feet before he was carted off the field. The four-time All-Star encouraged the cheering crowd as he departed.

Schneider said Springer was “doing OK” and would be evaluated further.

The Blue Jays have lost five straight postseason games and eight of nine. Toronto, which finished one win short of a playoff berth in 2021, heads into another offseason on a disappointing note.

“It’s going to take some time,” Schneider said. “Probably take a vacation or two.”

Cal Raleigh, who hit an RBI single for Seattle in the eighth, reached on a one-out double against Romano in the ninth. After Mitch Haniger flied out, Frazier drove in Raleigh with a double to right.

“I’m just glad the ball fell,” Frazier said.

Bichette walked, stole second and advanced to third on a grounder in the eighth, but Andrés Muñoz retired Alejandro Kirk to end the threat.

George Kirby, Seattle’s eighth pitcher of the game, handled the ninth for his first career save. Matt Chapman walked with one out, but Danny Jansen struck out and Raimel Tapia lined out to end the game.

“I figured he would step up, the adrenaline would be going, and he did a great job,” Servais said of Kirby.

Toronto got off to a fast start. Teoscar Hernández hit a two-run homer in the second and a solo drive in the fourth against Robbie Ray, who won the AL Cy Young Award while pitching for the Blue Jays last year.

Hernández joined Jansen and former Toronto slugger José Bautista as the only Blue Jays players with multihomer games in the postseason.

After Ty France scored on Tim Mayza’s wild pitch in the sixth, Santana gave Seattle’s comeback a big boost with a three-run homer.

“That gave us a chance,” Servais said

Jansen made it 9-5 with an RBI single off Penn Murfee in the seventh, but Toronto’s bullpen couldn’t close it out. Anthony Bass gave up hits to all three batters he faced in the eighth, including Raleigh’s RBI single, forcing Schneider to call on Romano for a six-out save.

Romano gave up a single to Frazier and struck out Santana and Dylan Moore, but Crawford tied it with a first-pitch double.

Toronto intentionally walked Julio Rodríguez before Romano struck out France to end the inning.

Ray, who signed a $115 million, five-year contract with Seattle in November, allowed four runs and six hits in three-plus innings.

Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman was charged with four runs and five hits over 5 2/3 innings in his second career postseason start. Gausman struck out seven and walked one.

“A heartbreaking loss,” Gausman said. “Tough to watch.”

Toronto’s Whit Merrfield stayed in to run the bases after being hit on the side of his batting helmet by an 88 mph slider from Diego Castillo on his first pitch after entering in the fifth. Tapia replaced Merrifield in left field in the sixth.

SIMILAR STORY

Saturday was Ray’s first start in Toronto since last Sept. 30, his final appearance of the 2021 regular season, when he allowed four home runs in a loss to the New York Yankees. One of those homers was a 455-foot drive by Aaron Judge.

DOUBLE DINGERS

Jansen homered twice off Tampa Bay’s Tyler Glasnow in Game 2 of the 2020 AL wild-card series. Bautista’s two-homer game came in Game 6 of the 2015 ALCS against Kansas City. Like Hernández, those accomplishments occurred in games when the Blue Jays were eliminated from the postseason.

___

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Mariners erase 7-run deficit, sweep Blue Jays with 10-9 win