Jose Suarez pitched five solid innings, Brandon Marsh counted for the entire offense with a two-run brace and the Los Angeles Angels dealt a blow to Seattle’s playoff hopes by beating the Mariners 2-1 on Friday night. .
Seattle fell to a tie with Toronto, both one game away from Boston in the race for the second American League wild card. The Mariners had won 10 of their last 11 and started the day knowing that an Angels sweep would force a tiebreaker at the very least next Monday.
They ended the night again needing the help of others to end their 20-year playoff drought.
Kyle Seager led the ninth Seattle with a brace, but Raisel Igelsias recovered to get Luis Torrens, Abraham Toro and Jarred Kelenic for his 34th save.
Suarez (8-8) was formidable for five innings, with the only damage occurring on a single from Toro and a double RBI from Kelenic. Otherwise, the Mariners were eliminated by the southpaw, who ended the season winning three of his last four decisions after joining the Angels’ rotation in July.
The combo of Mike Mayers, Jose Quijada, Steve Cishek and Iglesias held out in Seattle for the last four innings and sent Seattle’s first sold-out crowd since 2019 – over 44,000 – home deflated.
Seattle knew soon after the first pitch that it needed a win to keep pace with Boston and stay ahead of Toronto. And for most of the night, those fans were filled with nervous energy, waiting for an offensive flurry that never came.
The seventh inning is what will linger with the Mariners.
Torrens tripled to open the seventh, his second of the season and the third of his career. Toro walked, but Seattle failed three times to get the third baseman in.
Quijada came in and struck out Kelenic at bat swinging over what would have been the fourth ball with the infield playing and conceding the tie. Tom Murphy hit on four shots and Dylan Moore was called out to a 3-2 boundary field.
Seattle starter Marco Gonzales struggled in one set, but it was enough for the southpaw to take the loss. Gonzales (10-6) gave up a single to Luis Rengifo and walked David Fletcher to open the third. Marsh pushed a 2-2 fastball to the deep left center and Moore couldn’t get down the deep flyball, allowing Rengifo and Fletcher to score.
Gonzales escaped the inning with a key double play from Kurt Suzuki’s bat and completed six innings, allowing just three hits and striking five out.
TOP OF ORDER
Seattle’s top four hitters – JP Crawford, Ty France, Mitch Haniger and Seager – had a miserable night with a 2-for-15 combined with three strikeouts and two double plays.
The Seattle Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America handed out their annual awards ahead of Friday’s game. France was voted player of the year; Chris Flexen was voted pitcher of the year; and Crawford received the “Unsung Hero” award.
The Angels will have LHP Reid Detmers to start Sunday’s season finale. The Angels previously announced that Shohei Ohtani would not start on Sunday and would skip his last lap in the rotation. It will be Detmers’ fifth start of the season, but the first since August 21. Manager Joe Maddon has said he will have a limited number of shots.
“If he played five innings, 75 shots, I think we would all enjoy that,” said Maddon.
Angels: LHP Jhonathan Diaz (1-0, 3.12) will make his third major league appearance and second start. Diaz allowed a run in seven relief innings in a resounding victory over Seattle last week.
Mariners: RHP Chris Flexen (14-6, 3.67) takes the mound in a game up for grabs. The Mariners are 21-9 in Flexen’s 30 previous starts this season.