Rodríguez homers and drives in 4 to lead Mariners past Tigers 9-2

DETROIT (AP) — Julio Rodríguez had three hits, including a homer, and drove in four runs as the Seattle Mariners beat the Detroit Tigers 9-2 on Friday night.

Rodríguez, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year, came into the game hitting .205 with six home runs.

“Julio got off to a pretty slow start last year, and this is right about when he picked it up and became Julio Rodríguez,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Hopefully, this is the start of the same kind of run.”

Marco Gonzales (3-0) gave up two runs on five hits and two walks in six innings.

“I thought I had a steady mix of all four pitches tonight. We just didn’t really need the cutter with all of their righties in the lineup,” he said. “They really weren’t able to sit on one pitch, which is always what you want.”

Detroit starter Matthew Boyd (2-3) allowed six runs — five earned — on five hits and four walks in 1 1/3 innings.

“I just felt completely out of rhythm, which hasn’t happened in a long time,” he said. “I tried to make some adjustments, but they weren’t enough.”

Boyd faced 12 batters and nine of them reached base. A caught stealing allowed him to escape the first inning with only Jarred Kelenic’s RBI single, but the Mariners scored five runs in the second.

Boyd struck out the first batter, but walked the next two before Jose Cabellero’s single loaded the bases. J.P. Crawford made it 2-0 with an RBI single, and Boyd walked Ty France to force in another run.

“He looked uncomfortable right from the start,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “He started with a four-pitch walk, which isn’t like him, and he was lucky to get out of the inning.”

Rodríguez followed with a two-run single, making it 5-0 and ending Boyd’s night. Mason Englert got Kelenic to ground into a force at second, but shortstop Javier Báez made a wild throw to first that allowed France to score the sixth run.

“Matt obviously wasn’t on his game, and we took advantage of it,” said Servais, who had Boyd as a reliever in Seattle last season. “He’s not going to overpower you, but he’s got good off-speed pitches and the guys really put pressure on him by drawing some walks.”

Jake Rogers made it 6-2 with a two-run homer in the fifth, but Teoscar Hernández put Seattle up 7-2 with an RBI single in the seventh. Rodríguez added a two-run homer off Tyler Alexander in the ninth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: LHP Robbie Ray, who had season-ending elbow surgery this month, joined the team in Detroit — the first time he has visited since the operation. Ray started his MLB career with the Tigers in 2013, joining them in a three-way trade that sent Didi Gregorius from the Diamondbacks to the Yankees.

Tigers: RHP Spencer Turnbull had his option to Triple-A Toledo rescinded and was placed on the 15-day injured list with neck discomfort, retroactive to May 7.

LATE-GAME GEM

Zack Short appeared to have a pinch-hit single in the ninth, but Crawford cut off the ball deep in the hole and made a leaping throw across his body to get the out.

“That’s not something that happens,” Servais said. “He practices that throw every day. He got that ball out and put it right on the bag. He prepares really well and it shows up in moments like that.”

UP NEXT

The teams play the second game of the weekend series on Saturday afternoon, with Mariners RHP Bryce Miller (1-0, 0.75 ERA) facing RHP Alex Faedo (0-0, 3.86).

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