SEATTLE -- The Mariners’ proximity to the postseason is so close that it’s only a matter of getting there healthy, which they mostly accomplished after a marathon doubleheader on Tuesday at T-Mobile Park that ended with a 9-6 victory in the nightcap.
Seattle also won the opener, 7-6 -- a 10-inning walk-off victory that featured Luis Torrens becoming the first position player in franchise history to record a pitching win.
In the finale, the Mariners rode five innings from Justus Sheffield, who was recalled to serve as the 29th man for the twin bill and achieve exactly what he did on a day when manager Scott Servais knew that he’d empty his entire bullpen.
At the plate, the Mariners got two massive home runs from Abraham Toro (who went 2-for-4) and Cal Raleigh (who went 3-for-5). Toro, who was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma earlier Tuesday when the club placed Sam Haggerty on the 10-day injured list, is likely to make Seattle's roster for its American League Wild Card Series against Toronto, given the trickle-down effect from Haggerty’s injury.
After Tampa Bay’s 6-0 rain-shortened loss in Boston went final earlier in the day, the Mariners locked up the No. 5 seed for the postseason, essentially rendering the outcome of their final two games moot. In that context, they’re just trying to get to the finish line in good shape health-wise.
“We started the day looking for 54 outs, and we actually needed 57, because we took a little longer in the first game,” Servais said. “I can't say enough about our team. I often say, ‘Our guys like to compete, they know how to compete, they're grinders,’ and games like today are the epitome of that.”