Mariners 10, Blue Jays 8 (10)

(Toronto, ON) That game two comeback win over Toronto still lives in the hearts and minds of Seattle Mariner fans even six and a half months later. Sunday in the finale of the regular season three-game series between the two teams, those fans got to relive it a little bit as the Mariners looked to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays. After landing a big blow early, the Mariners took some big shots but kept fighting back and managed to grind out their first extra innings win of the season to avoid being swept for the second time this season in a 10-8 victory.

Chris Bassitt got the start for Toronto and while he had faced the Mariners quite a bit when he was with Oakland, this is a completely different lineup than those matchups. Bassitt retired the first two batters he faced but ran into some two-out trouble. A couple of missed calls helped both Jarred Kelenic and Cal Raleigh draw walks and Teoscar Hernandez was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. The returning Taylor Trammell would be the batter in his first at-bat of the season for the M’s. Trammell was welcomed back in grand fashion. See what I did there? Trammell went down and took a changeup into the right field stands for a grand slam for his first home run of the season. Very quickly the Mariners had jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

Marco Gonzales struggled for the first time this season. With runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the 1st, Matt Chapman stayed scorching hot as he laced a line drive down the left field line. Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. both scored to cut the deficit in half making it 4-2.

An error got the M’s in some hot water in the bottom of the 2nd. A groundball to Sam Haggerty at first base highlighted Haggerty’s inexperience at the position. He flipped the ball to Gonzales covering first but it was well behind Marco resulting in Daulton Varsho reaching base to start the inning.  Marco retired the next two batters which should have gotten him out of the inning but instead had to face the top of the Toronto lineup. George Springer singled to left to put runners on first and second. Bo Bichette crushed a changeup 460 feet for his sixth home run of the season to make the M’s pay for the error. All of a sudden Toronto had taken a 5-4 lead.

Toronto continued to add on runs in the bottom of the 3rd. Singles by Matt Chapman and Alejandro Kirk gave Toronto a two-out opportunity and once again the Mariners gave up some more two-out runs. Danny Jansen was the culprit this time with a liner into the left field corner for his second double of the year. Chapman scored easily while Kirk stopped at third making it 6-4. Santiago Espinal finished off the rally with a base hit to left to score both Toronto catchers making it 8-4. The three-run 3rd ended Marco’s day after just three difficult innings.

The score remained 8-4 heading into the 6th. In what had been a nightmare of a homecoming for Teoscar Hernandez in his return to Toronto, the former Blue Jay got his moment. Hernandez drove a fastball at the top of the zone into right center field and over the moved in fence for his seventh home run of the season. The solo shot drew an ovation from the Toronto fans and made the game a bit more interesting at 8-5.

Photo by @Mariners Twitter

Blue Jay fans slowly found the home run as less cool and more of an annoyance as the game went on. The Seattle bullpen continued to hang zeros as Penn Murfee, Gabe Speier and Chris Flexen kept it just a three-run game going into the 8th. With one out, it would be Toronto committing a costly error. Jarred Kelenic hit a fairly routine grounder to second baseman Santiago Espinal. The 2022 All-Star booted the routing play allowing Kelenic to reach first. Cal Raleigh then continued to dominate the nation of Canada. Raleigh launched his fourth home run of the season and his second of the series into right center field for a two-run shot. All of a sudden, Seattle had cut the deficit to just 8-7.

Toronto closer Jordan Romano was unavailable in the finale of the series after pitching in the first two games of the series. That meant Yimi Garcia would try to complete the four out save. Tommy La Stella put together a good at bat to lead off the top of the 9th with a walk. Jose Caballero would pinch run for La Stella while Ty France pinch hit for Sam Haggerty. France hit a chopper up the middle for what looked like a double play. Espinal struggled to get the ball out of his glove and instead of flipping it to second base, had to just throw to first to get France for the first out while Caballero moved into scoring position. Kolten Wong struck out swinging which put a lot of pressure on J.P. Crawford. Crawford quickly fell behind 0-2 but battled off a pitch and got the call on a borderline pitch to even the count at 2-2. With the M’s down to their final strike, Crawford came through with a line drive into right field. Caballero scored easily to tie the game at 8-8 headed into the bottom of the 9th.

Paul Sewald was in trouble immediately. Matt Chapman doubled to start the bottom of the 9th putting the winning run in scoring position. Kevin Kiermaier came to the plate after entering the game as a defensive replacement and tried to move Chapman to third with a bunt. The bunt attempt would be popped up in foul territory and Eugenio Suarez made a nice sliding catch for a big first out snuffing out the bunt attempt. Alejandro Kirk continued to square up the ball next but hit a line drive right at Kolten Wong at second for out number two. Daulton Varsho reached on a walk and brought up Danny Jansen. Jansen hit a deep fly ball down the left field line and Taylor Trammell stayed with it and reached into the crowd fighting off outstretched arms of fans to make a very difficult catch to end the inning and sent the game to extra innings.

Suarez was the automatic runner starting at second base for the Mariners and he remained there after Jarred Kelenic flew out to left against new pitcher Zach Pop. Suarez was then able to trot home one batter later. Cal Raleigh once again broke the hearts of the Toronto crowd. A 106-mph missile off the bat of Raleigh traveled 406 feet for his fifth home run of the season and second of the game. Raleigh’s third home run of the series turned out to be the biggest giving the M’s a 10-8 lead.

Matt Brash came on for the bottom of the 10th with Danny Jansen starting at second. Brash struck out the #9 hitter in Santiago Espinal for an important first out before facing the top of the order. George Springer brought the Toronto crowd to life with a bloop single into right field to put the runners on the corners with the winning run coming to the plate in Bo Bichette. Brash disposed of the dangerous Bichette with a quick three pitch strikeout for the second out. Things didn’t get easier as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. came to the plate. With an even more dangerous Matt Chapman on deck, Brash had to get Guerrero. He would get Guerrero to go out of the zone to sky a slider to center field. Kelenic camped under it to make the catch and cap off the first extra innings win for the Mariners in 2023 by a final score of 10-8.

With the win, Seattle (12-16) now has the opportunity to have a winning record on the homestand if they can sweep the Oakland Athletics. The Mariners will have an off day in Oakland on Monday before beginning the three-game series on Tuesday at 6:40pm. With Diego Castillo outrighted to Tacoma, the Mariners will add Bryce Miller to the 40-man roster and he will make his MLB debut in game one on Tuesday. The Mariners #2 prospect has struggled this season in Double A with Arkansas but will try to make the most of his opportunity in his debut. Oakland (6-23) will counter with Mason Miller (0-1, 6.48 ERA) who is making just his third career start.

Matt’s Takeaways

Despite how miserable this road trip has been, the Mariners are a sweep away from salvaging a 5-4 record. Sunday’s win is the kind of win that can change the trajectory of a season. Seattle still has a long way to go but if that win can just light a spark, there is a reason for optimism. Seattle will play there next nine games against AL West foes who they have yet to play this season. These next three games are the most winnable of those nine. A sweep would give Seattle all sorts of momentum but they can’t overlook anyone right now. Hopefully Julio and Ty France will be back for Oakland and can get in a groove at the plate. These are very important games coming up which is crazy to think about since they are against Oakland. Right now though, every game matters for the M’s.

Notable Performances


  • Cal Raleigh- 2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, BB
  • Taylor Trammell- 1-4, HR, 4 RBI, R, BB
  • Marco Gonzales (ND)- 3 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO

Blue Jays

  • Bo Bichette- 2-6, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
  • Matt Chapman- 3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R
  • Chris Bassitt (ND)- 5 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 7 SO




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