Julio Rodríguez homers as Mariners wreck Guardians’ home opener

Apr 7, 2023, 4:21 PM

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodriguez...

Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodriguez celebrates after hitting a home run off Nick Sandlin on April 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

CLEVELAND (AP) — Julio Rodríguez, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year, hit a tiebreaking two-run homer as the Seattle Mariners spoiled Cleveland’s home opener by beating the Guardians 5-3 on Friday.

Seattle Mariners 5, Cleveland Guardians 3: Box Score

Rodríguez connected in the sixth inning for the Mariners, who rallied from a 3-0 deficit in their first road game. The 22-year-old Rodríguez hit 28 homers last season while helping Seattle end its 20-year playoff drought.

J.P. Crawford had a pair of RBI doubles off starter Aaron Civale (1-1) for Seattle, which dropped three of four to Cleveland at home last week.

Josh Bell drove in a run for the Guardians, who went 5-2 in Seattle and Oakland to start the season. But the defending AL Central champions couldn’t hold onto their lead in front of a sellout crowd of 34,821 fans at Progressive Field.

Down 3-0, the Mariners scored twice in the fifth before scoring three in the sixth while chasing Civale, who held Seattle scoreless over seven innings last week.

Penn Murfee (1-1) pitched one inning as the Mariners’ bullpen combined to hold the Guardians to just one hit over the final five. Paul Sewald worked the ninth for his first save.

The Mariners finally broke through in the fifth against Civale as Crawford hit an RBI double and Ty France singled home a run to pull Seattle within 3-2.

In the sixth, Crawford tied it with his second double before Rodríguez connected on a 2-2 pitch from reliever Nick Sandlin for his second homer.

Bell, who signed a two-year, $33 million free agent contract with Cleveland in December, struck out with the bases loaded in the first. He was just 2 for 23 to start the season before hitting an RBI single in the third to make it 2-0.

Myles Straw gave Cleveland a 3-0 lead in the fourth with an RBI single.

The Guardians found ways to overcome their lack of power last season by manufacturing runs any way they could.

The first inning was another example as Cleveland strung together three straight hits before scoring on Gilbert’s wild pitch.


Cleveland’s José Ramírez has hit safely in all eight games this season, and 13 in a row dating to 2022. … This is where the road begins for the Mariners, who will travel approximately 49,000 miles this season, second only to Oakland among major league teams. … Seattle also played in Cleveland’s first game at Progressive Field in 1994, and was the visitor in 2007 when the opener was played in heavy snow before being called.


The Guardians honored longtime drummer John Adams, who provided the backbeat for Cleveland baseball for nearly 50 years.

For the opener, the team wore “JA” patches — that featured crossed drum mallets — on their jerseys in tribute to Adams, who died in January.

Adams first brought a large drum he bought for $25 at a garage sale to a game at Municipal Stadium on Aug. 24, 1973. The team will also wear the patch on that day in remembrance of the 50th anniversary.

“He was a fixture, from the old ballpark to come over here,” manager Terry Francona said. “It’s a really classy gesture.”


Mariners: Dylan Moore (left oblique strain) is set to ramp up his rehabilitation Monday by playing in extended games. Manager Scott Servais hopes Moore will make his season debut during Seattle’s next homestand.


Mariners RHP Marco Gonzales makes his second start in a week against Cleveland, which will counter with RHP Cal Quantrill.

Seattle Mariners Breakdown: Bob Stelton reacts to start to M’s season

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