SEATTLE — Jose Suarez threw five strong innings, Brandon Marsh took all offenses with a double-run double, and the Los Angeles Angels dealt a big blow to Seattle’s post-season hopes as the Mariners took 2-1 on Friday night defeat.
Seattle tied the score with Toronto, both one game behind Boston in the race for the second wildcard in the American League. The Mariners had won 10 of their last 11 and started the day knowing that a sweep of the Angels next Monday would force at least a tiebreaker game.
They ended the night again and needed help from others to end their 20-year post-season drought.
Kyle Seager led off in ninth in Seattle with a double, but Raisel Igelsias recovered and got Luis Torrens, Abraham Toro and Jarred Kelenic for his 34th save.
Suarez (8-8) was great for five innings, the only damage came on a single by Toro and RBI double by Kelenic. Otherwise, the Mariners were knocked out by the lefty, who finished the season winning three of his last four decisions after joining the Angels rotation in July.
The combination of Mike Mayers, Jose Quijada, Steve Cishek and Iglesias held Seattle back for the last four innings and sent home Seattle’s first completely sold-out stadium since 2019 – more than 44,000.
Seattle knew shortly after the first pitch that it needed a win to keep up with Boston and stay ahead of Toronto. And for most of the night those fans were filled with nervous energy, waiting for an offensive outburst that never came.
The seventh inning is what will stick with the Mariners.
Torrens tripled and opened the seventh, his second of the season and third of his career. Toro walked, but Seattle failed in three attempts to get the runner in from third base.
Quijada came in and struckout Kelenic, waving to what would have been ball four with the infield playing back and cashing in the tying run. Tom Murphy struckout on four pitches and Dylan Moore was called out looking for a borderline 3-2 pitch.
Seattle-starter Marco Gonzales struggled in only one inning, but it was enough for the lefthander to take the loss. Gonzales (10-6) gave up a single to Luis Rengifo and walked David Fletcher to lead off the third. Marsh drove a 2-2 fastball to deep left and Moore was unable to run down the deep flyout, allowing both Rengifo and Fletcher to score.
Gonzales escaped the inning thanks to an important double play on the bat by Kurt Suzuki and finished six innings, gave up only three hits and struckout five.
TOP OF THE ORDER
Seattle’s top four hitters — JP Crawford, Ty France, Mitch Haniger and Seager — had a miserable night playing a combined 2 for 15 with three strikeouts and two doubles.
The Seattle Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America presented its annual awards for Friday’s game. France was voted player of the year; Chris Flexen was named pitcher of the year; and Crawford received the “Unsung Hero” award.
The Angels let LHP Reid Detmers start the season finale on Sunday. The Angels previously announced that Shohei Ohtani would not start on Sunday and would miss his last turn in the rotation. It will be Detmers’ fifth start of the season, but the first since August 21. Manager Joe Maddon said he would be on a limited number of pitches.
“If he did five innings and 75 pitches, I think we would all enjoy that,” said Maddon.
Angels: LHP Jhonathan Diaz (1-0, 3.12) makes his third Major League-appearance and second start. Diaz gave up one run in seven innings of relief in a blowout win over Seattle last week.
Mariners: RHP Chris Flexen (14-6, 3.67) climbs the mound in a game to be won. The Mariners are 21-9 in Flexen’s 30 previous starts this season.