Mariners manager Scott Servais praised pitcher Logan Gilbert as they thrashed White Sox

The Seattle Mariners defeated the Chicago White Sox 3-0 on Tuesday night to keep the AL Wild Card race alive. Logan Gilbert equaled his career high with nine strikeouts, Cal Raleigh hit a home run, and the Seattle Mariners won. The Mariners won for the eighth occasion in nine games thanks to a two-run home drive by Raleigh in the eighth inning.

For the last AL wild card, Seattle and Tampa Bay are 1 1/2 games ahead of Toronto, which is 3 1/2 games clear of Baltimore. Raleigh leads all catchers with 23 home runs. Chicago has dropped two straight games and now trails Cleveland by three games in the AL Central, as well as Minnesota by 1 1/2 games.

“Pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, that’s the 2022 Mariners at its finest tonight,” Mariners manager Scott Servais explicated. Gilbert (12-5) gave up five hits in six innings while striking out two batters in each of the third, fifth, and sixth innings, despite not having his greatest performance due to a wayward fastball.

In the sixth inning, José Abreu hit his third hit of the contest, an out-and-one double, and advanced to third on Eloy Jiménez’s single. Gilbert’s 101st and final pitch, a shoulder-high 98 mph fastball, struck out Gavin Sheets and fanned A.J. Pollock. His toughest throw of the contest prompted a rare fist pump.

“He’s about as kindhearted and nice a kid, a young man, you’re going to find and the way he treats everybody is super, all kinds of respect,” Servais said. “But when it’s his day to pitch, he steps out of the dugout to take the mound and it is on and I love that about him.”

Seattle has won nine straight games while giving up three runs or less, equal the longest string in team history with 13 straight games in 2014 from June 1-11, 2009. In more than six innings, Johnny Cueto (7-7) gave up one run, five hits, and three walks.

In the fourth, Ty France scored a run on a ball that sailed by Sheets and struck the wall in the right-field corner. Mitch Haniger’s fly to right field allowed France to tag up, and Sheets’ throw was wide and rebounded in the direction of the camera, resulting in a mistake that allowed France to advance to second base.

“It was unbelievable,” Chicago acting manager Miguel Cairo said of the pitching. “Gilbert pitched good and Johnny was able to keep us in the game and we just came up short today. It was a really good game. (Gilbert) just has a fast ball (that) is hard to hit.”

Zahid Iqbal

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