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Mariners move on from melee into series vs. O’s

Sportsnaut
Jun 2, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher Luis Torrens (22) celebrates with relief pitcher Diego Castillo (63) after the final pitch of the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

It took the ejection of three of the first four batters in the Seattle Mariners’ lineup to end their five-game winning streak.

Whether J.P. Crawford, Julio Rodriguez and Jesse Winker are available for the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Baltimore Orioles on Monday night remains to be seen.

The trio was ejected in the second inning of a 2-1 loss Sunday afternoon to the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., following a benches-clearing brawl.

The hard feelings emanated from two up-and-in pitches — one head-level — to Angels superstar Mike Trout in the ninth inning of Seattle’s 5-3 victory Saturday night.

Angels reliever Andrew Wantz, who was named as a late replacement for Sunday’s starter, Jose Suarez, threw behind Rodriguez’s head in the first inning and hit Winker on the right hip with the first pitch of the second. Winker charged the Angels’ dugout, and a melee ensued, with Crawford throwing at least a couple of punches and Rodriguez charging into the middle of the scrum.

Three players from each team and both managers were ejected.

“Certainly, there was a lot of stuff that probably shouldn’t happen in the game that happened today,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais, who acknowledged he was sore after finding himself knocked to the ground in the middle of the brawl while trying to restore order.

“Emotions were running high, and it was pretty clear what was going on. They switched to an opener (Wantz), who threw some balls at us. And it got out of hand from there. It was a black eye (on the game).”

Suarez entered following Wantz’s ejection and shut down the depleted Mariners, save for Abraham Toro’s solo home run.

Said Angels interim manager Phil Nevin: “Look, you play eight games in a matter of (11 days) against the same team, things like this happen. The scheduling, tensions, that’s baseball sometimes, unfortunately. There’s some ugly incidents once in a while. I think that’s just what happened (Sunday).”

Without their first two batters (Crawford and Rodriguez) and cleanup hitter (Winker), the Mariners couldn’t complete a six-game sweep of their trip to Oakland and Anaheim.

Crawford said he wasn’t concerned about a likely suspension.

“We all saw what (the Angels were doing). We’re not dumb,” he said. “I’m going to do that 10 times out of 10 times. I got my boys’ back. I don’t care about any of that.”

The Orioles had a four-game winning streak snapped Sunday with a 4-3 defeat to the host Chicago White Sox despite Jonathan Arauz’s first homer of the season.

White Sox starter Dylan Cease struck out a career-high 13.

“That’s elite stuff,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of Cease. “I was happy we got four hits off him. It’s three plus-plus pitches. It’s 100 (mph). It’s a bright day, so it’s tough to see. He’s throwing 100 with a nasty slider and nasty curveball. … Very difficult to hit against.”

The Orioles are set to send right-hander Tyler Wells (5-4, 3.34 ERA) to the mound Monday as he looks to win his fourth straight start. Wells, who pitched five scoreless innings Wednesday against Washington, is 4-0 in his past five outings. He’ll face Seattle for the first time.

The Mariners are set to counter with rookie right-hander George Kirby (2-2, 3.12). Kirby earned his first major league victory against the Orioles on May 31 at Camden Yards, pitching six scoreless innings with four hits allowed and eight strikeouts in a 10-0 decision.

–Field Level Media