Red-hot Mariners open homestand with J.P.’s huge HR on 1st pitch

Aug 25, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: 10:59 pm

Seattle Mariners J.P. Crawford...

J.P. Crawford of the Seattle Mariners at bat on July 21, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Any question about the Seattle Mariners’ red-hot offense translating after a day off and their return home was immediately put to rest on the first pitch Friday night.

Who’s in first? Mariners pull even with Rangers atop AL West

Leadoff man J.P. Crawford crushed the first pitch seen by the Mariners on their six-game homestand for a prodigious 432-foot home run, giving Seattle an early 1-0 lead in their eventual 7-5 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Crawford has been flexing a lot more muscle this season than any year prior. That homer was his 11th on the campaign, adding to his career-high total. It also was ripped with an exit velocity of 108.8 mph.

The Mariners weren’t done in the first inning. The next batter, Julio Rodríguez, extended his hitting streak to 10 games, then stole his 35th base and scored on a single to left field by Cal Raleigh.

Seattle racked up four hits in the opening frame against Kansas City starter Brady Singer, which was a very good sign considering Singer took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Mariners just 11 days prior.

The bad news is the Royals had an answer in the second inning Friday, scoring three runs off rookie pitcher Bryce Miller to take the lead. But Seattle came back and then held on in the ninth inning despite the Royals loading the bases before the final out.

The win for the Mariners (72-56) was huge as both the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros lost on Friday. The Rangers (72-56) held a slim half-game lead over Seattle for first place in the American League West, but no longer as they’re now even. The Astros (72-58), meanwhile, are now a full game back of the M’s for the AL’s second wild card.

The Mariners went 8-2 on their most recent road trip, and they have a 22-6 record since they were 50-50 on July 24.

More on the Seattle Mariners

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Morosi: ‘Why wouldn’t you love’ where Mariners are in playoff race?
Video: Bob’s Breakdown – Are surging Mariners’ sights set on AL West title?
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