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

Where to find Mariners-Royals, Seahawks-Packers on the radio Saturday
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?
Dipoto: Where the Mariners’ pitching depth, rotation plan stands
Dipoto: Red-hot Julio Rodríguez made subtle adjustment

Seattle Mariners

... Staff

Jim Caple, former MLB writer with Washington roots, dies at 61

Jim Caple, a longtime former ESPN national baseball writer from Washington state, died Sunday at the age of 61.

17 hours ago

Seattle Mariners J.P. Crawford Cal Raleigh...

Brent Stecker

4 Takes: Reaction to Mariners player comments after missing playoffs

The voices of Seattle Sports weigh in on comments made by Seattle Mariners players including J.P. Crawford and Cal Raleigh, as well as manager Scott Servais.

19 hours ago

Seattle Mariners George Kirby...

Brent Stecker

Watch: Mariners’ George Kirby breaks out rare knuckleball in tribute

On the day MLB lost a legendary knuckleball pitcher, Seattle Mariners All-Star George Kirby broke an impressive knuckler of his own.

23 hours ago

Seattle Mariners George Kirby...

The Associated Press

Mariners wrap up 2023 season with 1-0 win over Rangers

The Seattle Mariners finished the 2023 season with a shutout, beating the Rangers 1-0 behind 6 scoreless innings by George Kirby.

2 days ago

Seattle Mariners Cal Raleigh...

The Associated Press

Raleigh apologizes for comments after Mariners eliminated from playoff race

After making critical comments after the Seattle Mariners were eliminated from playoff contention, Cal Raleigh issued an apology.

2 days ago

Seattle Mariners Cal Raleigh...

Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Raleigh makes strong statement after Mariners fall short

Seattle Mariners insider Shannon Drayer sets the scene from the clubhouse after the M's were eliminated from playoff contention, most notably comments by catcher Cal Raleigh.

2 days ago

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