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Seattle Mariners

Mariners rally late to take series over Red Sox

By Michael Chavez Seattle Times

SEATTLE – All the Mariners needed was Red Sox starting pitcher Kutter Crawford to come out of the game.

For five innings, Crawford struck out five Mariners with his arsenal of six pitches, keeping them off-balance and allowing just four hits and no runs. After he was relieved, Boston’s bullpen arms started to jog out to the mound, while Mariners hitters began to circle around the bases.

“He’s good, and he’s especially good against left-handed hitters,” manager Scott Servais said about Crawford. “That’s one of the reasons we had as many righties in there today. It’s not standard baseball methodology or whatever, but that’s what the numbers were saying, and I can see why now. He really is tough on lefties, runs a ball in there and on righties; he’s not gonna give in. … He’s having a good year and we were able to get him out of the game.”

The Mariners finished with 10 hits, giving them a much-needed 6-3 comeback win against the Red Sox.

With their fourth consecutive series win, the Mariners are three games back of the final wild-card spot after a crucial series against Boston, which is only ahead of them by one game.

“We’re just kind of riding the momentum of the second half,” Mariners catcher Tom Murphy said. “Keep winning series after series and hopefully we’ll put ourselves in a good spot. … Every game matters to us. Every game has the same significance as where we come in.”

Mariners starter Logan Gilbert surrendered the first hit of the game in the third when Boston’s Jarren Duran hit a two-run homer to right field after Gilbert threw three consecutive splitters.

Following that was an infield single by Matasaka Yoshida in the fifth that was fielded by J.P. Crawford but resulted in no throw. This led to runners on the corners, which Gilbert fought out of.

“We’ve talked a lot with our young pitchers about game awareness,” Servais said. “(Gilbert) understands the game is on the line there. Yoshida gets the infield hit to tack on a run, but the game could have got away from us there and credit to him. I thought that’s probably the best pitches he made all day as far as his focus and locating and executing and helped us win the game.”

Cal Raleigh brought the offensive spark that the Mariners craved in the bottom of the sixth. Winning a 10-pitch at-bat against John Schreiber, Raleigh homered to right field on a low-and-away sinker, giving the Mariners their first two runs.

“We’re playing really good baseball, and we are on a good run,” Servais said. “We’re not winning every night. But we’re in every game. And our offense is picking it up at critical times, which is huge.”

The Mariners added four runs in the seventh. Newly acquired Dominic Canzone led off with a walk. Cade Marlowe came in to pinch hit and singled up the middle, which scored Canzone and tied the game at 3. Multiple singles through infield gaps kept the runners moving, resulting in a 5-3 lead.

“Huge pinch hit by Cade Marlowe,” Servais said. “Young guys in that spot. Cade has been very impressive here. He just doesn’t get going too fast, but his ability to slow it down, he swings at the right pitches.”

Julio Rodriguez added a run on a double steal including Eugenio Suarez, when catcher Connor Wong threw down to second base, allowing Rodriguez to sprint home from third. The crowd of 37,942 erupted as Rodriguez high-fived teammates while jogging back to the dugout.

Gilbert lasted until the sixth inning, giving up five hits and three earned runs with five strikeouts.

“Just trying to help out the bullpen a little bit,” Gilbert said. “They did a great job obviously, like you saw but just trying to go that last little bit. Honestly, I felt better probably the last couple innings.

“So, I don’t know if it was getting synced up or whatever. But I just know I had a job to do and when you’re at that point in the game, you just got to find a way to get through.”

By winning the last game in this series, the Mariners are 7-8 in rubber matches this season and is 4-0 in its most recent attempts.

“It just feels great around the clubhouse,” Gilbert said. “It seems like everybody’s clicking. I think the main thing is we’re never really out of the game and when one person gets going, it seems like everybody gets going.”

Mariners relievers Matt Brash, Gabe Speier and Justin Topa did not allow a run with Speier the only reliever to give up a hit. Andres Munoz relieved Topa to start the ninth inning and was credited with his third save.

Gilbert, who was anxious during the chaotic hours before the Aug. 1 deadline, is relieved it’s over and that he can just focus on baseball and be optimistic about this team making a postseason run.

“I love being here,” he emphasized. “So, it’s a good feeling. Now it’s just baseball which is my favorite thing. Just get past it and we just focus on baseball trying to win every game. The last few series I feel like we’re rolling and it’s kind of when we got going last year. Hopefully we can just keep that momentum going.”