ARLINGTON, Texas – How winning streaks are going from five to eight and from 10 to historic.
And it’s another example of how the Mariners have put together this recent winning streak, which began with that abysmal 3-8 home record when the season seemed over, well past the Anaheim brawl and into the current double-digit winning streak.
With a relatively late/early morning arrival at the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex causing inconvenience, JP Crawford left the lineup as a late scratch and a sluggish start from Marco Gonzales and their own loaded-base errors left them four runs behind two innings, it would have been easy for the Mariners to struggle through a nondescript loss using fatigue as an excuse and a promise to finish the final three games of the series before the All-Star break.
Instead, the Mariners didn’t want to end that winning streak that began on July 2nd. The Mariners scored two runs in the seventh and three in the eighth, interrupted by Ty France’s base-loaded two-run single-to-rally for an eventual 6-5 win.
It was the Mariners’ biggest win of the season, extending their winning streak to 11 games.
“What a run we’re on,” said manager Scott Servais, as if not even sure what just happened. “You just never know what every night is going to be like.”
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“Eleven wins in a row, unbelievable,” said Servais. “We have an incredible group that looks forward to coming to the park every day.”
It’s the second-longest winning streak in club history, trailing only the Mariners’ 15-game winning streak in 2001. The Mariners also joined the Astros and Yankees this season with 11 winning streaks surpassing the 14-game Braves’ winning streak is second.
The Mariners improved to 48-42 — their highest number of .500 games this season. After Boston and Toronto lost, the Mariners advanced to second AL wildcard spot.
“It’s just fun to come out on the field every day and be part of this group,” said Gonzales. “I can’t really describe more. We’re just having so much fun. And even tonight when we’re down, the energy in our shelter, the energy with our team all year long, we know who we are, we know how good we are, and we’re never upset. There is no panic.”
After Gonzales gave up three runs in the first inning and another in the second on nearly 50 pitches, the Mariners seemed destined to have a positional play spot to salvage their bullpen arms.
Gonzales understood that an exit just couldn’t happen after three innings. He staggered in his excursion and started to get out.
“I just wanted to pitch 100 and go six innings,” Gonzales said.
The Mariners appeared to have missed two serious scoring chances against Rangers starter Martin Perez, who was named to the AL All-Star team this season. Perez, who had an awkward move and a difficult transition on his fastball, had plenty of movement but minimal control.
His second inning:
- Crossed out appearance of Jesse Winker
- Dylan Moore strikethrough appearance
- Sam Haggerty strikeout.
The Mariners reloaded the bases in the third inning against Perez. But Raleigh came up with the bases loaded to finish the inning.
Seattle finally broke through in a unique way in the fourth inning. Haggerty hit a hard-sinking liner into midfield that Leody Taveras couldn’t catch with a minimum. The ball went past him to the wall. One of baseball’s fastest players, Haggerty never stopped running. On June 15, 2007 in Houston, he circled bases for the Mariners’ first inside-the-park homer since Willie Bloomquist.
Gonzales would give up another run but still put up six full innings, which will be crucial for the Mariners in the coming days.