SEATTLE (AP)J.P. Crawford scored the winning run on Mitch Haniger’s 10th-inning single and hit a grand slam to lift the Seattle Mariners over the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 on Saturday night.
Tampa Bay pinch-hitter Brandon Lowe tied it 5-all with a solo home run in the top of the ninth off Kendall Graveman. Crawford had a chance to end it in the bottom of the inning, but struck out with a man on third.
He took second in the bottom of the 10th as the designated baserunner and scored on Haniger’s single to left field off J.P. Feyereisen (3-3) for Seattle’s third straight victory and sixth in its last seven.
”That’s awesome what he’s doing.” Seattle starter Logan Gilbert said. ”That guy needs to be an All-Star.”
Crawford entered the game hitting .346 out of the leadoff spot this season. His first career slam helped send the Rays to a season-high fifth straight loss. It was the Mariners’ 16th come-from-behind win, and they’re now 7-1 in extra innings.
Crawford’s liner to right field skipped off the top of the wall and into the stands to cap a five-run second inning against Rays starter Josh Fleming. The Gold Glove shortstop said the slam was especially emotional given the day, as the Mariners wore throwback jerseys similar to those of the Seattle Steelheads of the Negro Leagues as a Juneteenth celebration.
”It hit me a little differently today with everything going on with Juneteenth and wearing those jerseys,” said Crawford, who is Black. ”It was just so special to me.”
Asked if he would be saving his jersey, Crawford said: ”It’s in my backpack. I’m taking that home and framing it.”
Former Rays player Jake Bauers added an RBI single in the second inning.
Touted prospect Logan Gilbert struck out seven – including leadoff hitter Randy Arozarena three times – in 5 2/3 innings, scattering six hits with no walks. He gave up solo home runs to Mike Zunino and Manuel Margot that cut the Mariners’ lead to 5-4 in the sixth. He was headed to his third straight win until Graveman’s blown save, his first of the season in six attempts.
Rafael Montero (4-2) pitched the 10th to win the game.
Joey Wendle and Zunino each drove in a run in the second inning to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead. But Kyle Seager, Tom Murphy and Bauers led off the second with hits and Fleming walked Dylan Moore to load the bases. He struck out the next two batters before Crawford connected.
Fleming struck out five over 6 1/3 innings with two walks. He allowed just three hits after the second inning, but regretted the sinker he threw to Crawford.
”I didn’t think it was a terrible pitch. … I really just see it as one pitch that beat me,” Fleming said.
The Rays called up RHP Drew Rasmussen and optioned INF Mike Brosseau to Triple-A Durham. Rasmussen, acquired May 21 from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Willy Adames trade, made his debut, striking out four in 1 2/3 innings.
Mariners: An MRI shows a strained muscle in RHP Justin Dunn’s right shoulder and he’ll be shut down for two weeks, manager Scott Servais said. Once Dunn resumes throwing, he’ll be re-evaluated. Dunn took himself out after two innings in his last start and went on the 10-day injured list for the second time this month on Friday.
Rays: LHP Shane McClanahan (2-2, 4.42) closes out the series for the Rays. Seventy percent of McClanahan’s runs allowed have come with two outs.
Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (1-4, 5.44) has gone 0-2 since returning from the 10-day injured list for a left forearm strain on May 31.
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