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Published July 6, 2024

Rodriguez gets first win, Kirk drives offence as Blue Jays beat Mariners 5-4

By Tim Booth
Rodriguez gets first win, Kirk drives offence as Blue Jays beat Mariners 5-4
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yariel Rodríguez throws against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning in a baseball game, Saturday, July 6, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

SEATTLE (AP) — Yariel Rodríguez allowed one hit over six shutout innings for his first victory, Alejandro Kirk had three hits and drove in two runs and the Toronto Blue Jays held off the Seattle Mariners 5-4 on Saturday.

Rodríguez (1-3) had arguably the best start of his brief major league career and followed up on a terrific outing his last time out against Houston. Rodríguez went 6 2/3 innings allowing one run to the Astros earlier this week, then was even better against another AL West opponent.

The bigger worry for the Mariners was Julio Rodríguez after he was removed from the game following the first inning. Rodríguez appeared to be moving cautiously in the outfield a day after fouling a pitch off his left knee. There was no immediate word from the team about why he was removed.

Seattle tried to rally late, pulling within 5-3 on Mitch Haniger’s three-run homer off Trevor Richards in the eighth inning and Luke Raley hit a solo homer off Chad Green with one out in the ninth. Green recovered to strike out Mitch Garver and Dominic Canzone for his fourth save.

Yariel Rodríguez didn’t allow a hit until Luke Raley dumped a single into left field leading off the fifth inning. It wasn’t the most efficient performance by Rodríguez as he walked a pair and had a number of three-ball counts. But he struck out six and Seattle couldn’t string together any type of rally.

Rodríguez also received help in the field from Daulton Varsho, who made a diving catch of Ty France’s liner and was able to double off Josh Rojas at second base.

Kirk had his first three-hit game since April 28 and just his second multi-hit game since June 1. He sandwiched a pair of singles around an RBI double the scored Varsho with two outs in the fourth and gave Toronto a 1-0 lead.

Kirk extended the lead to 3-0 in the seventh with a bases loaded sacrifice fly. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also drove in a pair with an RBI single and added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Seattle’s (3-4) Emerson Hancock was recalled from triple-A Tacoma and made his ninth start of the season. Toronto made him work as Hancock threw 93 pitches and allowed six hits in four-plus innings.

ROSTER MOVES

Toronto reinstated Justin Turner from the paternity list. Addison Barger was optioned to triple-A Buffalo. Seattle cleared a roster spot for Hancock by designating for assignment backup catcher Seby Zavala.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: RHP José Berríos (8-6, 3.63) threw 6 2/3 shutout innings earlier this season in a start against Seattle. Berríos is 4-2 in eight career starts against the Mariners.

Mariners: RHP George Kirby (7-6, 3.32) is 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA over his last six starts. But he was rocked for five runs in four innings by Toronto earlier this season.

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