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Seattle Mariners

Cal Raleigh comes up clutch again as Mariners rally past White Sox

By Ryan Divish Seattle Times

The situation didn’t drip with the drama of the bottom of the ninth inning. The game wouldn’t end with his success, and if he failed,there still might be another opportunity to be the hero.

But with the Mariners trailing by a run against a team they should almost always defeat, and their outs and opportunities to tie the game starting to dwindle, Cal Raleigh made the moment meaningful.

The Mariners best hitter in the clutch once again delivered the game-winning hit in Seattle’s 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Sure, it wasn’t quite as memorable as his walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth Monday night in Seattle’s 8-4 win over the Sox.

But on Tuesday night, with the Mariners trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, and the announced crowd of 20,005 starting to get restless from inactivity and chilled by a cool wind blowing through T-Mobile Park, Raleigh stepped to the plate with Josh Rojas on second base and Julio Rodriguez on first base.

Facing right-hander John Brebbia, Raleigh refused to chase three pitches out of the strike zone.

Given the green light on a 3-0 count, Raleigh took advantage of a gutted fastball, yanking a line drive into the right-field corner for a double that easily scored Rojas and allowed Rodriguez to race home from first base for the eventual game-winning run.

With a one-run lead, the Mariners bullpen worked the final two innings scoreless, including Ryne Stanek working a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save.

With the victory, the Mariners improved to 39-30 on the season and 23-11 at home.

With scheduled starter Bryan Woo unable to go due to forearm discomfort, lefty Jhonathan Diaz was added to the roster before the game to make the emergency start.

Woo, 24, missed the first six weeks of the season with inflammation in his right elbow. As a rookie last year, he also had a three-week stint on the injured list last August with similar elbow discomfort.

In college, Woo had Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery in the spring of 2021.

Diaz gave the Mariners a workable outing. Diaz wasn’t going to replicate the sort of outing that Woo has provided this season. But the Mariners needed Diaz to avoid a short start and further tax a bullpen that has already been used heavily.

His final line: 5 ⅓ innings pitched, three runs allowed on nine hits, a walk and four strikeouts.

It was just the 23rd time this season where a Mariners starter didn’t pitch six complete innings – the fewest in all of Major League Baseball

The White Sox grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the second inning, loading the bases with three straight singles to open the inning. With one out, Martin Maldonado lined a single to left field. But Diaz limited the damage to just one run in the frame, retiring the next two hitters.

Seattle answered with a run in the bottom of the third on a RBI double from Raleigh.

But the White Sox pushed the lead to 3-1 with back-to-back solo homers from Andrew Vaughn and Paul DeJong in the fourth.