With only 10 games remaining until the All-Star games break, the Seattle Mariners are looking to build upon their four-game win streak and hopefully even out their season record. However, the wins would not come easy with the Toronto Blue Jays coming to town for four games.
The Mariners’ offense got off to a hot start, scoring seven runs in the first three innings of the first game, thanks to home runs by Dylan Moore and Cal Raleigh. Eugenio Suarez would tack on an additional run in the fifth for their eighth run in the eventual 8-3 victory, giving Marco Gonzales his fifth win of the year.
The second game didn’t go nearly as smooth, and actually set the Mariners back a bit. When George Kirby was pulled after 4.1 innings, Seattle was forced to go to their bullpen early and draw most of their quality relievers as the game ended up going 11 innings. Tied at two runs a piece, it wasn’t until the bottom of the eleventh inning that Suarez smashed a three-run home run to walk off former Mariner Sergio Romo and the Blue Jays took the second game as well.
The offense continued to dwindle in game three, with the Mariners behind 1-0 after six innings. However, Robbie Ray, who pitched the first six innings and allowed this run, did not end up the losing pitcher. Matt Brash made his return to the team, albeit as a bullpen arm. He threw one perfect inning, but it was perfectly timed that the Carlos Santana two-run home run in the seventh inning would make him the winning pitcher as the Mariners won their third game of the series and bolstered their winning streak.
Not satisfied with just one hero game, Santana came up big again in the fourth and final game of the series. Down 0-1 in the bottom of the second, he hit his second home run in as many games to tie the game at one run each. Both teams continued to chip in runs as the game went on before the Mariners found themselves down 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning. With J.P. Crawford on base, Santana crushed his third home run in two games to give the Mariners a 6-5 lead that would be the final score. Thanks largely to his efforts, the Mariners had doubled their win streak to eight games after sweeping the Blue Jays and tying them for the third wild card spot.
After a travel day and then another day where thunderstorms plagued Washington D.C., the Mariners set the field for a double-header against the Washington Nationals on July 13. The Mariners opened the scoring early in the first game that day, with Suarez hitting his sixteenth home run of the season to put Seattle up 3-0 in the first inning. Jesse Winker and Adam Frazier tacked on two more runs in the fourth thanks to their own solo home runs. Raleigh’s insurance homer in the ninth put the Mariners up 6-1 and in a good position to win the game. Nationals star, Juan Soto, went yard for three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but Seattle escaped further damage and won the game 6-4.
The second game of the double-header was much quieter, with no team scoring until the sixth inning. Winker kicked off the top of the sixth with his second home run of the day, putting the Mariners up 1-0. Frazier contributed again, knocking in a second run on a sacrifice fly to double the lead. Outside of a solo home run by Soto again in the bottom of the ninth, the Mariners pulled together five relievers to shut the Nationals down and sweep the series.
With four left until the All-Star break, the Mariners are thriving. They are now five games above .500 after winning 10 in a row; tied for the second-longest streak in franchise history. They own the third wild card spot thanks to their head-to-head tiebreaker against the Blue Jays. No team in baseball is playing as well as the Seattle Mariners right now, which for me, is an incredible feeling. The only question remaining is whether or not this team can keep up their momentum after a four-day break.