Lucky No. 13: Mariners streak reaches baker’s dozen with extra-inning win over Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas — For two days, JP Crawford sat and stewed, staring at his swollen index finger and cursing the baseball gods for letting such annoyance keep him from playing.

Like a kid who hasn’t been picked for a team at a sandgame, there are few things in life that anger him more than watching his teammates play baseball without him.

There would be no third day of surveillance from the canoe. His finger was going to feel good enough to play even though it didn’t.

On Saturday, the team’s emotional leader on and off the court returned to the roster and helped the Mariners continue a winning streak that is approaching franchise historic levels.

Facing southpaw Brett Martin, Crawford hit a ground ball single just past Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe in the top of the 10th inning to score pinch runner Sam Haggerty from third base for the go-ahead.

“I was playing no matter what,” he said.

With Andres Munoz, Erik Swanson, Paul Sewald and Diego Castillo having already pitched in the game, Mariners manager Scott Servais turned to right-hander Matt Festa to finish the game.

As has been the case in the winning streak which has now reached 13 games in a row, Festa excelled when needed. With the automatic runner second in the bottom of the 10th, Festa knocked out Jonah Heim, Kole Calhoun and Elier Hernandez to secure the Mariners 3-2 win and make his first career save.

“Everyone is doing their job,” Crawford said. “There is nothing else that matters to us, nothing else. It’s just winning. That’s the mindset of everyone right now. Nobody cares if they get 0 for 4 or 0 for 5, if we win, everyone is happy.

Servais couldn’t help but chuckle before talking about the latest victory.

“Our team just has a way of figuring out what to do at the right time,” Servais said. “And that’s weird because that’s something that we weren’t very good at all of May. It tipped in our favor.”

Going into the top of 10th, the Mariners were 1 of 12 with runners in scoring position, having blocked 11 runners on base.

While Carlos Santana was expected to be the second automatic runner after making the final out, Servais placed Haggerty as the pinch runner.

Before going to second base, Haggerty approached Servais in the dugout. After watching Martin work with Dylan Moore at second base, Haggerty was convinced he could steal third base after picking something up in Martin’s delivery.

“He’s been careful since the previous inning and even though Martin is very fast at the plate, he picked up something that could give him a good jump with timing,” Servais said. “Even if he’s not in the game at the time, he pays attention to the round before he knows he might end up in the game. Sure enough, he’s there.

Servais relied on Haggerty’s confidence.

“I said, ‘Hags, if you feel it, take it. Don’t play scared. You have to play to win,” Servais recalls. ” This is what we do. He did an excellent job. Without fear. That’s really what it takes. In this league, if you play scared, it’s not going to end well.

With an almost rolling start as an inattentive Martin delivered his fourth pitch of the inning, Haggerty easily swept the third. Receiver Jonah Heim didn’t even have a pitch. While that 90 feet might not seem like much, it forced the Rangers to shift their inside depth to make a play at the plate, adding another layer of pressure to a team that is now 5-20 in one-to-one games. sleeve.

“It changed the whole infield, opened up more holes and we have another opportunity and we don’t have to waste an out to get it through,” Crawford said. “It was a huge game.”

This was one reason Crawford’s ground ball was able to pass Lowe.

The Mariners would have no chance in 10th and the winning streak would have ended in the bottom of the ninth. With the score tied at 2, Castillo walked Adolis Garcia to start the inning. But Seattle got a break when Garcia tried to steal second and Nathaniel Lowe hit a broken bat liner which Dylan Moore, who had replaced Ty France at first base, caught in the air with a slight jump .

Moore walked on first base for the double play. If that ball is just out of his reach, Garcia probably scores on the play to win the game. Instead, Castillo retired Taveras to end the inning.

Seattle got an abbreviated departure from Logan Gilbert, which was on purpose. Sensing a little fatigue from the big right-hander in recent outings and taking note of a heavy workload of 106 innings pitched before the outing, the Mariners decided to look back on his last start before the All-Star break.

“We’ll probably keep an eye on him today,” Servais said before the game. “He’s done a ton of innings already. He was very consistent and really good. But you know it’s getting so close to the break…don’t be surprised if it comes out a little earlier than normal today. I’m not going to run it to 110 pitches. I’ll tell you right away.

Servais let Gilbert reach 85 pitches in five innings before putting him out of the game.

Over those five innings, Gilbert allowed one run on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

His only run allowed came in the second inning. He allowed a first double to Lowe, who then came to score on the single of Jonah Heim in the center.

The Mariners responded with two runs against Rangers starter Spencer Howard in the top of the third inning. Ty France doubled with one out — his second of three hits in the game. With two outs, Carlos Santana, who returned to the Mariners after traveling to see what was left of his Florida home following a fire, drove a fastball deep into the right-center seats for his eighth home run. of the season.

The 2-1 lead held until the seventh inning.

The right-hander Swanson gave away a brace to Leody Taveras, who eventually managed to score on Elier Hernandez’s single in the middle and tied the game at 2.

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