Gilbert Shuts Down Padres, J-Rod’s Catch in Center as Mariners win 2-0
SEATTLE (AP) — Logan Gilbert struck out a career-high 12 in seven innings of one-hit ball and the Seattle Mariners won their sixth straight, 2-0 over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
Gilbert retired 21 of the 22 batters he faced, yielding only an infield single to Xander Bogaerts in the second inning. Star center fielder Julio Rodríguez aided Gilbert (10-5) by robbing Fernando Tatis Jr. of a potential homer with a leaping catch at the wall.
Seattle (61-52) has won 11 of 13 and pulled within two games of Toronto for the third and final AL wild-card spot. San Diego lost its third straight.
“Pitching and defense wins a lot of games, and we are witnessing some awesome pitching right now,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Logan took it to another level tonight against a really formidable lineup.
“It doesn’t get much better.”
Gilbert won his fifth consecutive decision and retired the final 17 batters he faced while expertly mixing his four pitches. The 26-year-old right-hander struck out six of his final seven batters.
It was Gilbert’s second time dominating the Padres in as many outings this season. He limited San Diego to one run and three hits in seven innings on June 6.
“(He did) everything,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “Elevated breaking balls, splits late, off-count sliders. It’s probably the best game he’s pitched all year.”
Rodríguez took away several potential hits in center field, including his robbery of Tatis’ deep drive leading off the fourth.
After making the catch, Rodríguez walked casually back from the wall and kept the ball hidden in his glove as Tatis rounded the bases. Many fans thought it was a homer until Rodríguez eventually opened his glove to reveal the ball.
Tatís smiled in disbelief, while Rodríguez turned to his “No Fly Zone” cheering section in center field and made a celebratory “X” with his arms.
“He’s just a special talent,” Servais said. “We’ve been spoiled here in Seattle. There was another center fielder here for a long, long time that could do those types of things.”
Rodríguez also made a diving catch of Garrett Cooper’s shallow line drive in the third and ran down Jake Cronenworth’s liner to the left-center field gap in the fifth.
“He covers so much ground every direction, like you saw tonight,” Gilbert said. “He gets a ton of credit, rightfully so, for his bat and his speed and everything he does offensively.
“But having him out there in center is a big difference maker. And you see it night in and night out.”
Matt Brash struck out Trent Grisham with runners at the corners in the eighth and Andrés Muñoz worked the ninth to pick up his sixth save, concluding a three-hitter for Seattle.
“We’re rolling,” Servais said. “The team is feeling it. The vibe is there. This is really fun to watch.”
Scott Barlow (2-5) allowed a one-out walk in the fifth and was relieved by Ray Kerr. With two outs, Cal Raleigh worked a 3-1 count and drew a bases-loaded walk on Kerr's pitch-clock violation to put the Mariners ahead 1-0.
Dylan Moore added an RBI triple with two outs in the sixth. His liner to center field deflected off the glove of the leaping Grisham and brought home Tom Murphy.
Nick Martinez opened with three scoreless innings for the Padres, taking injured starter Joe Musgrove’s spot in the rotation for the second straight time.
Seattle placed rookie RHP Bryan Woo (right forearm inflammation) on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Saturday. The 23-year-old felt more sore than usual after his last start on Thursday. “No real concerns, but abundance of caution,” general manager Justin Hollander said.
Padres: OF José Azocar was recalled after spending the past two months with Triple-A El Paso. INF Matthew Batten was optioned to El Paso.
Mariners: RHP Matt Festa was designated for assignment, RHP Ryder Ryan was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and RHP Ryan Jensen was claimed off waivers from the Chicago Cubs.
Padres: RHP Yu Darvish (8-7, 4.41 ERA) starts Wednesday night in the finale of the two-game series. He threw eight shutout innings of two-hit ball the last time he faced Seattle, on Sept. 13, 2022.
Mariners: RHP Emerson Hancock, the club’s top pitching prospect, is expected to be promoted from Double-A Arkansas to make his major league debut in place of the injured Woo. Hancock was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft.