Leadoff hitter J.P. Crawford has been one of the biggest catalysts in the Seattle Mariners‘ recent surge
The Mariners, however, will be without Crawford for at least the next week after he was placed on the seven-day concussion list Friday
Julio Rodriguez returned to the top of the lineup and hit a double and home run and drove in four runs as the Mariners defeated the visiting Baltimore Orioles 9-2 Friday night for their eighth win in a row
The three-game series will continue Saturday night at T-Mobile Park, which is sold out for the induction of former ace Felix “The King” Hernandez into the Mariners‘ Hall of Fame
“I had to be ready to compete,” Rodriguez said Friday. “There was no time to be feeling weird. We had a game to win, and it was fun to kind of get it going.
Crawford, the Mariners‘ shortstop, was injured in the fourth inning Wednesday when he collided with third baseman Eugenio Suarez while trying to field a grounder by San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr
Crawford is batting .266 with a career-high 10 home runs and 38 RBIs. He ranks second in the American League with 68 walks and third in on-base percentage at .379
“It hurts,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said of Crawford’s absence. “J.P. has been our guy in the middle of everything, not just the middle of the field making the plays defensively, but he’s been awesome at the top of our lineup. So you’ll see a little bit different look to our lineup here over the next several days.
Servais’ moves worked, as Cal Raleigh and Ty France homered as the Mariners won for the 10th time in 11 games to pull a half-game behind Toronto for the American League’s third and final wild-card playoff berth
“I don’t think we’re hot,” Rodriguez said. “I just feel like we are playing the baseball that we all knew we could play and what we had in this team. We had the talent. It just wasn’t happening. Well, now it’s happening.
Anthony Santander homered for the AL East-leading Orioles, who have lost three of their past four games
The Orioles plan to send left-hander Cole Irvin (1-3, 5.44 ERA) to the mound Saturday for his first start since July 7 as they switch to a six-man rotation
“We’re going to try to give guys extra days as we go along here,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “We’ll try to keep our starting pitching as fresh as possible.
Irvin, who hasn’t allowed an earned run in three relief appearances this month, is 0-6 with an 8.42 ERA in six career starts against Seattle
The Mariners are set to start right-hander George Kirby (10-8, 3.32)
Kirby is 1-2 with a 4.96 ERA in three starts against Baltimore. He suffered a 3-2 loss on June 25 at Camden Yards when he allowed three runs — two earned — on six hits in 6 1/3 innings
Kirby is 4-1 since then, including a 3-2 victory last Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., in which he gave up one run on three hits over seven innings
–Field Level Medi
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