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Seattle Mariners

Cal Raleigh hits walk-off grand slam as Mariners mount wild 8-4 comeback win over White Sox

Cal Raleigh is swarmed by his Mariners teammates after hitting a walk-off, bases-loaded homer on Monday in Seattle.  (Getty Images)
By Adam Jude Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Cal Raleigh hit a walkoff grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning off White Sox reliever Jordan Leasure, and the Mariners rallied from a four-run deficit in the eighth inning for an unlikely 8-4 victory on Monday night at T-Mobile Park.

When it doubt, there’s Raleigh, who delivered again for his third career walkoff hit, helping the Mariners (38-30) avoid an embarrassing loss to a White Sox team that came into this four-game series with the worst record in baseball.

The Mariners, incredibly, have three consecutive walkoff victories this season on Bark in the Park Nights.

Stymied for seven sleepy innings, the Mariners offense sprung loose late Monday, rallying from a four-run deficit with a wildly eventful eighth inning, in which the Mariners sent 10 batters to the plate, with five hits, one walk, one hit batter and one manager ejection.

In the bottom of the ninth, J.P. Crawford and Josh Rojas drew back-to-back walks with one out, and Julio Rodriguez followed with a sharp single to left field, loading the bases with one out for Raleigh.

Leasure then left a 97-mph fastball right over the heart of the plate, and Raleigh didn’t miss it – sending it 383 feet out to right field, 108 mph off the bat for his team-leading 12th homer of the season.

Michael Kopech, the White Sox’s reliever armed with a 100-mph heater, was on the verge of escaping a bases-loaded no-outs jam in the eighth when he struck out Rodriguez and Raleigh, and then got ahead on Mitch Haniger 0-2.

Haniger, though, sent the next pitch – a 99.9-mph fastball – to right field for an opposite-field single, scoring Ryan Bliss and J.P. Crawford to cut the Mariners’ deficit to 4-3.

Luke Raley followed with the most unexpected hit of the evening, dropping a perfectly-placed bunt to third base, driving in Josh Rojas from third base and reaching first base himself without a throw. That tied the score at 4-4.

Dominic Canzone had opened the eighth with a 413-foot home run off White Sox starter Erick Fedde, spoiling his shutout bid. Fedde had scattered just four hits through the first seven innings.

Scott Servais got the heave from home-plate umpire Chris Guccione when he came out of the dugout in defense of Raleigh, who was vehemently arguing a called third strike on Kopech’s inside fastball.

Fedde and the Mariners’ Logan Gilbert had traded zeros through the first five innings in an impressive display of pitching.

Luis Robert Jr. spoiled Gilbert’s night in the sixth inning when he mashed a 2-2 pitch just fair into second deck in left field with two outs in the sixth inning, breaking open a scoreless game.

The White Sox (17-50) added one more in the sixth inning and another in the seventh to make it 4-0.