Rodríguez Homers Twice in Mariners’ 9-7 Comeback win Against Twins
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Julio Rodríguez homered twice, including a two-run shot in a four-run eighth to tie the game, as the Seattle Mariners rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins 9-7 on Tuesday night.
After Rodríguez tied the game, Eugenio Suárez came through with a two-run double in the ninth off Oliver Ortega (0-1) to put Seattle ahead after the Mariners trailed 4-0 after the first inning.
“I was able to contribute to the team,” Rodríguez said. “When the team needed me, I was there. I was pressing. I was able to deliver and I feel like that was my biggest thing from that game."
Cade Marlowe added his first career homer in his fourth major league game for the Mariners, who have won four of six.
“Not too many times you come back from down four on the road,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It's been 30-some years since the Mariners have done it, but we needed it and guys don't quit."
Seattle hadn't had a similar comeback — down at least four in the eighth inning or later to win on the road — since 1991.
Matt Brash (5-3) pitched an inning of relief for the win. Paul Sewald gave up a solo homer to Michael A. Taylor in the ninth but notched his 20th save in 23 chances.
With both bullpens running short because of recent games, Ortega was asked to pitch the ninth for Minnesota in a tie game. He gave up three runs on two hits and a walk. Manager Rocco Baldelli said after the game that Ortega would be optioned to Triple-A St. Paul and a corresponding move would be made to add pitching before the series finale on Wednesday.
The Twins’ four-game winning streak was snapped. They started the day with an MLB-best nine wins since the All-Star break. Minnesota struck out a season-high 18 times.
“Yeah, it is too many strikeouts,” Baldelli said. “That’s a lot of times where we’re just not having productive outcomes, but I did really like what we did early in the game. I really did like those types of swings.”
Twins rookie Matt Wallner hit a two-run homer to cap the four-run first off Mariners starter George Kirby, who pitched seven scoreless innings in a win against Minnesota in Seattle. Max Kepler added an RBI single in the first among his two hits for the Twins.
THE RIGHT SPOT
Rodríguez was dropped to the fifth spot in the order for Tuesday's game, just the second time he's hit lower than fourth this season. He had made 76 starts in the first two spots in the order, including 42 in the No. 2 hole. Tuesday marked his second career multi-homer game.
“It definitely feels a little bit different,” Rodríguez said. “You're able to see a couple righties that kind of hit like me, in front of me, and able to get a little bit of reference. So, it kind of slows it down a little bit, for sure.”
BEAT THE DEADLINE
The Twins signed Walker Jenkins, the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft, on Friday. Jenkins, 18, was the last first-round pick to sign this year, coming in just before Tuesday’s deadline. The team announced Jenkins, a North Carolina high school product, signed for $7.14 million.
Jenkins, who will head to the team’s training complex in Florida, is a 6-foot-3, 212-pound outfielder who hits from the left side. He hit .417 with two homers in 24 games in his senior season at South Brunswick High School and was named the Gatorade baseball player of the year in North Carolina for the second straight year.
“I always tell people I hate losing more than I like winning, so that kind of sums up the way I play baseball on the baseball field,” Jenkins said after signing. “I’m going to give it my all. Go 100%, try to be the best player, teammate that I can be.”
Mariners: SS J.P. Crawford was hit in the knee by a pitch in the ninth. Trainers came out to talk to Crawford, who stayed in the game. Servais said Crawford was sore and won't be in the lineup on Wednesday due to an already scheduled day off.
Bryce Miller (6-3, 3.50 ERA) will start the series finale on Wednesday afternoon for Seattle. Minnesota counters with Joe Ryan (9-6, 3.88). Miller allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings in his last start against Toronto. Ryan earned the win against the Chicago White Sox in his last start, giving up four runs in six innings.