Cal Raleigh hit a two-run homer and Luis Castillo threw 7 1/3 shutout innings as the Seattle Mariners blanked the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 in Game 1 of their American League wild-card collection on Friday.
Eugenio Suarez had two hits for Seattle and Julio Rodriguez scored twice. George Springer had two of Toronto’s seven hits.
Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah struggled in the early going of his first profession playoff begin. The Mariners took benefit with three fast runs that hushed a sellout crowd at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
The cushion was greater than sufficient for Castillo, who allowed six hits and did not subject a stroll over his 108-pitch outing. Reliever Andres Munoz got here on to report the final 5 outs.
The boisterous crowd of 47,402 was in full voice at the beginning of Toronto’s first house playoff recreation since 2016. Edwin Encarnacion, who hit a stroll off homer in the play-in recreation that yr, threw the ceremonial first pitch.
Manoah was dominant at occasions via the common season however might have battled some early jitters in the late-afternoon begin. He hit Rodriguez in the primary at-bat of the sport and gave up an RBI double to Suarez.
Raleigh then turned on a full-count pitch to offer Seattle a 3-0 lead earlier than the sport was 10 minutes outdated.
Castillo, in the meantime, was acquired by the Mariners on the commerce deadline for this sort of playoff task. He set the early tone by retiring the aspect on groundouts in the opening body and refused to let Toronto get on observe offensively.
Ace stuff from Luis Castillo. <a href=”https://t.co/EeCxbwrcCE”>pic.twitter.com/EeCxbwrcCE</a>
The Mariners have some pop on the high of their lineup with Rodriguez — a digital lock for the American League rookie of the yr award — a key offensive anchor. But Seattle’s principal energy is on the mound with a stable rotation and a bullpen that led the AL in a number of pitching classes.
Alejandro Kirk put some power again in the constructing in the second inning with a leadoff single however was shortly erased when Teoscar Hernandez hit right into a double play.
Manoah hit Rodriguez with one other pitch in the fifth inning and it proved expensive once more. Ty France moved him to 3rd on a single and Rodriguez got here throughout when Suarez hit right into a forceout.
Toronto had two runners on base in the third and once more in the fifth inning however could not carry a run house. Both groups had seven hits and the Blue Jays left seven runners on base.
Castillo was pulled in the eighth inning after hitting George Springer with a pitch in the left wrist space. Springer stayed in the sport however was left stranded after Bo Bichette flew out and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., grounded out.
Matt Chapman offered Toronto’s first extra-base hit of the sport with a two-out double in the ninth inning. Raimel Tapia grounded out to finish it.
Blue Jays infielder Santiago Espinal, who missed the final two weeks with an indirect pressure, was included on the workforce’s 26-man roster for the collection. Backup catcher Gabriel Moreno and reliever Yusei Kikuchi additionally made the lower.
Outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., (hamstring) ran the bases on Thursday however nonetheless wants extra time. Backup outfielder Bradley Zimmer was additionally off the listing.
Moreno provides Toronto three catchers and the pliability to make use of Kirk or Danny Jansen behind the plate or as a chosen hitter if wanted. Kirk began at catcher for Game 1 whereas Jansen batted eighth as DH.
Kikuchi struggled as a starter this season however has improved of late in a bullpen function. He affords an influence arm from the left aspect.
Toronto deliberate to attend till after the collection opener earlier than naming its starters for the weekend. Kevin Gausman and Ross Stripling had been favourites for choice.
The collection winner will advance to the AL Division Series beginning Tuesday in Houston.
The Blue Jays didn’t make the playoffs final yr and had been swept by the Tampa Bay Rays in a wild-card collection in 2020. Toronto final reached the AL Championship Series in 2016 and final gained the World Series in 1993.
It was the Mariners’ first playoff recreation since dropping the ALCS in 2001. The franchise entered Major League Baseball with the growth Blue Jays in 1977.