SEATTLE MARINERS

Mariners’ comeback bid falls short against Blue Jays 5-4

Jul 6, 2024, 4:21 PM | Updated: 5:39 pm

Seattle Mariners utilityman Dylan Moore...

Dylan Moore of the Seattle Mariners reacts after striking out during a 2024 game. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — Yariel Rodríguez allowed one hit over six shutout innings for his first victory, Alejandro Kirk had three hits and drove in two runs and the Toronto Blue Jays held off the Seattle Mariners 5-4 on Saturday.

Toronto Blue Jays 5, Seattle Mariners 4: Box Score

Rodríguez (1-3) had arguably the best start of his brief major league career and followed up on a terrific outing his last time out against Houston. Rodríguez went 6 2/3 innings allowing one run to the Astros earlier this week, then was even better against another AL West opponent.

“It means a lot to me. A lot of sacrifices for us to be here in the big leagues,” Rodríguez said through an interpreter. “Getting that first win is unbelievable feelings. Grateful for the organization, today for my teammates, great defense behind me. It’s unbelievable.”

The bigger worry for the Mariners was Julio Rodríguez after he was removed from the game following the first inning due to discomfort in his right quadriceps, manager Scott Servais said. Rodríguez felt the discomfort while warming up before the game and appeared to be moving cautiously in the outfield leading to the decision to pull him.

Servais said Rodríguez was expected to undergo an MRI.

“I’m hoping it’s nothing too serious,” Servais said.

Seattle tried to rally late, pulling within 5-3 on Mitch Haniger’s three-run homer off Trevor Richards in the eighth inning and Luke Raley hit a solo homer off Chad Green with one out in the ninth. Green recovered to strike out Mitch Garver and Dominic Canzone for his fourth save.

Yariel Rodríguez didn’t allow a hit until Luke Raley dumped a single into left field leading off the fifth inning. It wasn’t the most efficient performance by Rodríguez as he walked a pair and had a number of three-ball counts. But he struck out six and Seattle couldn’t string together any type of rally.

The Mariners struck out 11 times and have double-figures strikeouts in 11 straight games.

“That’s frustrating. It’s really hard to win consistently or put consistent offense together when you’re not putting the ball in play enough,” Servais said.

Rodríguez also received help in the field from Daulton Varsho, who made a diving catch of Ty France’s liner and was able to double off Josh Rojas at second base.

“That’s a huge momentum swing in the game there. You don’t see many double plays that way,” Toronto manager John Schneider said.

Kirk had his first three-hit game since April 28 and just his second multi-hit game since June 1. He sandwiched a pair of singles around an RBI double the scored Varsho with two outs in the fourth and gave Toronto a 1-0 lead.

“I think he’s just swinging with a little bit more intent,” Schneider said about Kirk. “Everyone knows he can control the zone but I think just swinging with a little more intent is kind of the deal.”

Kirk extended the lead to 3-0 in the seventh with a bases loaded sacrifice fly. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also drove in a pair with an RBI single and added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Seattle’s Emerson Hancock (3-4) was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and made his ninth start of the season. Toronto made him work as Hancock threw 93 pitches and allowed six hits and two runs in four-plus innings.

ROSTER MOVES

Toronto reinstated Justin Turner from the paternity list. Addison Barger was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. Seattle cleared a roster spot for Hancock by designating for assignment backup catcher Seby Zavala.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: RHP José Berríos (8-6, 3.63) threw 6 2/3 shutout innings earlier this season in a start against Seattle. Berríos is 4-2 in eight career starts against the Mariners.

Mariners: RHP George Kirby (7-6, 3.32) is 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA over his last six starts. But he was rocked for five runs in four innings by Toronto earlier this season.

More on the Seattle Mariners

• Could Seattle Mariners lure a star away from Blue Jays?
• Servais confident Seattle Mariners offense ‘will turn it around’
• ‘Classic slump’: MLB insider diagnoses what’s wrong with Julio’s swing
• How much will Gregory Santos’ arrival to bullpen help the Mariners?
• Mariners president of business operations Catie Griggs resigns

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