As the Angels scrape their way to the end of the season without their stars, Seattle’s newest one shined.
Julio Rodríguez not only had an RBI double but later orchestrated a game-changing moment by drawing an intentional walk which led to him scoring the go-ahead run in the Mariners 3-2 victory.
However, the absence of Angels’ (68-79) superstar DH Shohei Ohtani, loomed large as he missed his 10th consecutive game due to a troublesome right oblique strain.
In the fifth inning, the Angels took a daring approach, intentionally walking Rodríguez even though Ty France was at first.
It was a gamble that didn’t pay off, as Cal Raleigh and Teoscar Hernández turned the tables on the Angels.
Raleigh’s sharp RBI single to right field allowed France to slide home just in the nick of time. Hernández followed suit with an RBI single that was deflected off the glove of second baseman Brandon Drury, giving Seattle a 3-2 lead.
Rodríguez’s intentional walk was just the third instance in the majors this season to occur without an open base.
The Angels stirred up tension in the seventh inning, putting runners on first and second with no outs against Justin Topa. But Topa showcased his poise, highlighted by a skillful pickoff move that caught Jordyn Adams in a rundown between second and third.
In the eighth, the Angels made one last push to level the score, with the tying run stationed on second base. However, Matt Brash delivered a critical strikeout against Matt Thaiss to shut down their hopes.
Andrés Muñoz, the Mariners’ closer, took the stage in the ninth and notched his 13th save of the season, with Cal Raleigh’s throw to second base to catch Brett Phillips sealing the deal.
Standout moments included Phillips’ solo homer in the third and Drury’s clutch RBI double in the fourth. José Suarez (1-3) was handed the loss for the Angels, who deployed an impressive seven pitchers in a bullpen-centric effort.
Looking ahead, the Angels will likely have RHP Griffin Canning (7-6, 4.34 ERA) on the mound against the Tigers’ in a three-game series set to kick off in Anaheim on Friday.