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Rodríguez homers, Crawford drives in three as Mariners beat Orioles

Julio Rodriguez Seattle Mariners Julio Rodriguez - The Canadian Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Julio Rodríguez homered for the first time since June 15 and doubled, J.P. Crawford lined a tiebreaking three-run double, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 on Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep.

“It definitely felt great. Sometimes you got to go through tough stretches to wake up," Rodríguez said.

Seattle’s slumping offense broke out in a big way and it was the Mariners' best player leading the charge. Mired in a slump at the plate, Rodríguez hit an 0-2 pitch from Baltimore ace Corbin Burnes an estimated 428 feet to center field in the fifth inning for his eighth homer to pull Seattle to 2-1.

Two innings later, Rodríguez keyed Seattle’s five-run seventh inning with a line drive double off Baltimore reliever Bryan Baker. The Mariners eventually loaded the bases against Baker (1-1) and with two outs and Crawford cleared them after Keegan Akin fell behind in the count.

Crawford is hitting .636 with 37 RBIs with the bases loaded over the past two seasons.

“In my opinion, what J.P. does is he puts the pressure on the guy on the mound, he doesn't put that on himself. And you can see that," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He has a great idea of the strike zone so he's not going to chase in those situations too often and when he lets the game come to him that's when it really works for him.”

Mitch Garver capped Seattle’s offensive burst with a two-run homer, his 11th of the season.

“Really poorly pitched seventh there,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said.

Rodríguez’s slump coincided with Seattle’s slide that has seen the Mariners' 10-game lead in the AL west dwindle to just two. In the previous 14 games, Rodríguez had zero RBIs and zero extra-base hits.

Rodríguez appeared to jam his right thumb making a catch in center field in the sixth inning while fighting the sun but remained in the game.

“After I moved it around a little bit, it went away,” Rodríguez said.

Seattle starter Bryce Miller managed to keep Baltimore’s offense in check, apart from All-Star Gunnar Henderson. Henderson doubled to open the game – although he was thrown out trying to advance to third – and hit a two-run shot for his 27th homer of the season.

Miller worked into the sixth, allowing only two runs and struck out six. Mariners relievers Austin Voth, Ryne Stanek (6-2), Trent Thornton and Andrés Muñoz made only one mistake when Jordan Westburg hit his 14th home run in the eighth.

Burnes made his first start since returning from the paternity list following additions to his family after his wife gave birth to twin girls. Burnes gave up Crawford’s single to begin the bottom of the first, then retired 12 straight before Rodríguez’s home run.

Burnes finished his outing with a dominant sixth inning, and allowed four hits and struck out six.

“Threw a few more pitches than wanted to but for the most part was pretty pleased with it,” Burnes said. “Didn't spin the ball as well as I wanted to but that could be attributed to the layoff.”


Seattle claimed OF Duke Ellis off waivers from the New York Mets and assigned him to Triple-A Tacoma. Ellis has 34 stolen bases in 43 minor league games this season.


Mariners: RHP Bryan Woo (hamstring) is expected to make a rehab start at Single-A Everett sometime this weekend. He could be joined by RHP Gregory Santos as he moves closer to rejoining the Mariners.


Orioles: RHP Albert Suarez (4-2, 2.43) will take the mound to open a three-game series in Oakland against the A’s.

Mariners: RHP Luis Castillo (6-9, 3.87) will start the opener of a three-game series against Toronto on Friday.