The Mariners’ Ty France is congratulated by Kyle Seager after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a game against the Angels on Friday in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Mariners’ Ty France is congratulated by Kyle Seager after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a game against the Angels on Friday in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

M’s survive, keep pace in wild-card race with win over Angels

Seattle wins 6-5 and is just two games back of the Yankees with eight games remaining.

  • Adam Jude The Seattle Times (TNS)
  • Friday, September 24, 2021 10:54pm
  • SportsMariners

By Adam Jude / The Seattle Times

By now, none of these things should really surprise anyone about these Seattle Mariners:

1. The Mariners won.

2. They won a one-run game.

3. And they needed an edge-of-your-seat performance from their bullpen to do it.

Paul Sewald escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth, and the Mariners kept pace in the American League wild-card chase with their sixth consecutive win, a 6-5 victory over the Angels to open their weekend series Friday night in Anaheim, California.

The Mariners improved to 14-7 in September and 7-1 on this 10-game road trip.

The Mariners (85-69) didn’t make up any ground on the New York Yankees (87-67) for the second wild-card spot. They remained two games back for the final playoff berth after the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 8-3, to open their series in Boston.

The good news for the Mariners is they are now even with Toronto (85-69) after the Blue Jays lost again to the Twins in Minnesota.

Left-hander Tyler Anderson is scheduled to start Saturday evening for the Mariners opposite Angels right-hander Jaime Barria.

Friday night, the Mariners blew early leads of 3-0 and 4-2, further stressing a bullpen that’s put in stressful situations just about every night.

Rookie right-hander Logan Gilbert was cruising early. He struck out the side in the first inning behind a fastball that sat at 97 mph.

But he hung a slider to Max Stassi, who belted it out to left for a two-run homer in the fourth.

Gilbert couldn’t get out of the sixth inning. He wound up walking Jose Rojas after an 11-pitch battle, leaving Gilbert at a career-high 110 pitches.

That prompted a call to reliever Joe Smith with two on and the Mariners clinging to a two-run lead. It didn’t last.

The Angels quickly tied the score at 4-4 on a Stassi single and Luis Rengifo’s sacrifice fly.

The Mariners came right back in the top of the seventh and retook the lead. Jake Fraley scored on a throwing error at home, and Mitch Haniger’s sac fly scored J.P. Crawford to make it 6-4.

The Angels made it 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh on Jake Mayfield’s RBI single.

Ty France hit his 18th homer of the season.

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