Skip to main content

Mariners look to build momentum in finale vs. Angels

Sep 12, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Julio Rodriguez (44) reacts after hitting a single against the Los Angeles Angels during the seventh inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

To Julio Rodriguez, the pennant race takes precedence over personal accomplishments.

Rodriguez became just the fourth player age 22 or younger to join the 30-30 club — 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a season — on Monday night when he hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning to tie the score.

But he refused interview requests after the Mariners lost 8-5 in 11 innings to the visiting Los Angeles Angels.

The Mariners (80-65) ended a four-game losing streak with an 8-0 victory against the Angels on Tuesday and will wrap up the three-game series Wednesday afternoon at T-Mobile Park.

“You know me, you know what I’m about whenever I step on the field,” Rodriguez said Tuesday. “It’s tough to talk about the good things you are doing, when us collectively, we’re not doing good. It is always about winning first for me. That’s why we’re here. As cool as it sounds, the 30-30 club, what I’m about is winning.”

Rodiguez joined former Mariner Alex Rodriguez, who hit 42 homers and stole 46 bases in 1998, the Angels’ Mike Trout (2012) and Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. (2019) to reach the feat at age 22 or younger.

“That’s a really cool stat,” Julio Rodriguez said. “It was definitely a really cool moment. I know my family’s really happy. They definitely enjoyed it.”

Rookie Bryan Woo pitched 5 2/3 innings of four-hit ball and Eugenio Suarez hit his 20th homer of the season in Tuesday’s victory.

That pulled the Mariners into a tie with the Toronto Blue Jays for the American League’s third and final wild-card playoff berth and within 1 1/2 games of the division-leading Houston Astros in the AL West. Seattle remained a half-game behind the Texas Rangers in the division and wild-card races.

The Angels (68-78) gave up three unearned runs and saw their three-game winning streak end.

“I’ve said all along, the next pitch is too important,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “You’ve got to reel yourself back in, stay focused, make good pitches, make good plays, take good swings. And we got hurt after those errors.”

The Angels played their ninth consecutive game without Shohei Ohtani, who remained out with a strained right oblique.

“I know fans come to see him, especially when we’re at home,” Nevin said. “I get that frustration. Absolutely. When this started, nobody thought it was a big issue. He was even telling me, ‘I think I can go in a day or two.’ … Well, it stretched out a little longer than we thought. But I still think it’s really close. And we’ll wait for him to say when he can play.”

The Angels have not announced who will start Wednesday’s game.

Right-hander Luis Castillo (12-7, 3.08 ERA) is scheduled to start for Seattle.

Castillo hasn’t lost since July 14, winning his past six decisions. That includes a 1-0 victory last Thursday at Tampa Bay, where he allowed four hits in six shutout innings, with four walks and eight strikeouts.

Castillo is 2-1 with a 4.41 ERA in five career starts against the Angels. He’s 1-1 in three starts against Los Angeles this season, beating the Angels 11-2 on April 4 in Seattle when he gave up just two hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

–Field Level Media