It’s probably too little too late, but the Mariners snapped their five-game losing streak this afternoon with a 7-5 win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Starting in place of the struggling Chris Young, Tom Wilhelmsen put the Mariners in an early 2-0 hole, but they jumped in front in the fourth inning with an RBI single from Kyle Seager and a three-run homer from Logan Morrison. The rally snapped an 18-inning scoreless streak for Seattle. The Blue Jays tied things up in the fifth, but the Mariners moved ahead for good in the sixth with solo homers from Morrison and Mike Zunino. Seager then added some insurance with an RBI single in the seventh. Fernando Rodney gave up a solo homer to Kevin Pillar in the ninth, but managed to hang on for his 47th save of the season.
This win means that neither the Athletics nor the Royals can clinch a Wild Card spot even if they win their respective games tonight. The Mariners are 2 1/2 games back of both teams at the moment and need a miracle to avoid elimination.
Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.
Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.
Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.