Mariners 7, Athletics 2 (10)
(Oakland, CA) Seattle sports never lack dramatics. We saw that with both the Mariners and Kraken on Tuesday and of course there was still some left for Wednesday in game two of the three game series between the Mariners and Oakland Athletics. An hour long rain delay pushed the game back and made it a late night for fans. Extra innings challenged those watching even more. It all turned out to be worth it for the M’s as more heroics by AJ Pollock led to a big two-out rally in the 10th to lift the Mariners to a 7-2 win.
Once again, offense was hard to find in the early innings. Oakland was held hitless by Logan Gilbert through the first three innings but the Mariners did have a chance to score in the top of the 3rd. J.P. Crawford reached on an error by second baseman Tony Kemp. Jose Caballero then started his big day with a base hit to left. The throw would go into third base which allowed Caballero to move to second to put runners on second and third with no outs and the top of the order coming up. They weren’t able to come through. The struggles continued for both Julio Rodriguez and Ty France who both struck out. Jarred Kelenic would then fly out to end the inning as the M’s squandered an early opportunity.
Oakland got their first opportunity in the bottom of the 4th. Esteury Ruiz singled to start the inning and became the first Oakland baserunner in the game. He stole second as Tony Kemp struck out for the first out and Brent Rooker drew a walk to put runners on first and second. A strange play helped Gilbert and the Mariners escape the jam. Ramon Laureano hit a line drive to shortstop J.P. Crawford. Crawford leapt to snag the line drive but lost the ball on his way to the ground. The umpire quickly signaled “no catch” but the baserunners were unaware. Crawford flipped to Caballero who tagged Ruiz and then stepped on second for the double play and threw Laureano out at first just to ensure the two outs ended the inning. The unconventional double play kept the game scoreless after four innings.
For the second consecutive day, the game’s first run was scored in the bottom of the 6th. After Jarred Kelenic was ejected in the top half of the inning, things got worse for Seattle in the bottom half. Ryan Noda began the inning with a walk and Nick Allen moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Esteury Ruiz did exactly what he did in game one as he laced a double into the left field corner. Noda scored on the Ruiz double and Oakland grabbed a 1-0 lead. After a Ruiz stolen base, Tony Kemp continued to haunt the Mariners as he grounded one down the right field line for his third double of the season. Gilbert gave up those two runs in the final inning of his solid outing but left with Seattle trailing 2-0.
Seattle didn’t wait long to at least get one run back. A one-out double by AJ Pollock in the top of the 7th gave the M’s another scoring opportunity. J.P. Crawford moved Pollock to third with a groundout but with two outs, Jose Caballero was going to need a base hit to drive in the run. For the third time in the game, Caballero would deliver a base hit. A line drive to center field finally saw the Mariners get on the scoreboard as they trailed only 2-1.
The score stayed the same after Matt Brash escaped some trouble in the bottom of the 8th. Down to their last three outs, Seattle would have to find a way to score on Zach Jackson out of the Oakland bullpen. Cal Raleigh, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the 7th, flew out to fairly deep right field for the first out. AJ Pollock then put together an incredible at bat. Pollock fell behind 1-2 quickly but then went to work. The veteran fouled off the next five pitches to stay alive and then took two pitches to run the count full. On the 11th pitch of the at bat, Pollock did it again. AJ sent a slider to deep center field and got enough of it for his fourth home run of the season. For the second consecutive game, Pollock had hit a late inning, game tying home run off of an A’s reliever. Matt Brash pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th and the game was headed for extra innings tied at 2-2.
Jose Caballero started the 10th inning on second for the Mariners and Julio Rodriguez joined him on-base after he was walked by Adam Oller to start the inning. Ty France and Sam Haggerty were both struck out however which made the outlook bleak at best for the M’s. Enter Eugenio Suarez and his good vibes only philosophy. Suarez got a 1-0 fastball in the middle of the plate and made Oller pay. Geno drove the ball into right center and it had just enough carry to get over the wall for a three-run home run. The Suarez shot gave the Mariners their first lead of the game at 5-2.
They weren’t done yet in extra innings either. Teoscar Hernandez recorded his fourth double of the season to start a brand new threat for Seattle. Cal Raleigh and AJ Pollock followed that up by drawing walks to load the bases with still two outs. J.P. Crawford continued to make the most out of every opportunity in 2023. Crawford smoked a line drive into right field for a base hit. Hernandez and Raleigh both scored without a throw and Seattle had cushioned the lead even more at 7-2.
Trevor Gott would come in to pitch the bottom of the 10th with Shea Langeliers starting at second. Langeliers would not leave second base. Jace Peterson popped up to Suarez at third and Gott struck out both Jesus Aguilar and Nick Allen for a quick and easy three up, three down inning to finish off another comeback win 7-2.
Seattle (14-16) now has a chance to complete the sweep after their third straight comeback victory as they wrap up the series in Oakland on Thursday at 12:37pm. George Kirby (2-2, 2.93 ERA) will try to duplicate his success from his last start which saw him throw a complete game even though the team lost the game. Oakland (6-25) will try to salvage a game in the series with Drew Rucinski (0-1, 4.76 ERA) on the mound.
- AJ Pollock- 2-4, HR, RBI, R, BB
- Jose Caballero- 3-5, RBI, R
- Eugenio Suarez- 1-3, HR, 3 RBI, R, 2 BB
- Logan Gilbert (ND)- 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
- Esteury Ruiz- 2-3, 2B, RBI, R
- Tony Kemp- 1-4, 2B, RBI
- JP Sears (ND)- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO