CLEVELAND – Cal Raleigh homered twice, Luis Castillo pitched six solid innings and the Seattle Mariners pushed their winning streak to five with a 6-1 victory Friday night over the Cleveland Guardians, who at least ended their longest scoreless drought in 31 years.
Raleigh hit a solo homer in the second inning off rookie Cody Morris (0-1) and connected for a three-run shot in the sixth as the Mariners kept pace in the crowded AL wild-card chase.
Seattle has won seven of eight and 12 of 16.
Castillo (6-5) didn’t allow a run on five hits in six innings. The right-hander extended Cleveland’s scoreless streak to 27 innings – the club’s longest since a 28-inning scoring dry spell in 1991 – before the Guardians pushed across a run in the seventh off reliever Diego Castillo.
Cleveland, which has dropped four of five, came in clinging to a one-game lead over second-place Minnesota in the AL Central.
Baseball’s youngest team looks tired and the Guardians took another blow before the game when starting pitchers Zach Plesac (broken hand) and Aaron Civale (forearm inflammation) were placed on the 15-day injured list.
Plesac broke his hand punching the ground last week after giving up a home run to the Mariners. His frustration cost him a start, and probably several more, and it forced the Guardians to have Morris make his major league debut against a red-hot Seattle squad.
Morris managed to get out of the first allowing just one run on Mitch Haniger‘s RBI double.
However, the Mariners added two in the second – one unearned – on Raleigh’s first homer and Haniger’s second double, which scored rookie Julio Rodriguez after he reached on shortstop Amed Rosario‘s fielding error.
Seattle is 17-2 when the catcher homers.
Rajai Davis was in a familiar place. Not among familiar faces.
Davis, who hit one of the biggest home runs in Cleveland history in Game 7 the 2016 World Series, was back at Progressive Field. He currently works as an on-field director for Major League Baseball.
Manager Terry Francona was happy to see Davis, and encouraged him to meet some of Cleveland’s new players.
“I told him, `Go in and see the guys in the clubhouse,”‘ Francona said. “And he said, `I only know the coaches.”‘
Davis had two stints with Cleveland, the second in 2018.
Guardians: Plesac is scheduled to be examined by renowned hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham in the next few days. Francona said even in a “best case” scenario that the right-hander will be out at least one week. … Civale is on the injured list for the third time in 2022.
Mariners: LHP Robbie Ray (11-8, 3.58 ERA) had an awesome August. In five starts, Ray went 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 33 innings. He pitched scoreless innings against the Guardians last week, and has a 1.29 ERA in 14 career innings versus Cleveland.
Guardians: RHP Xzavion Curry (0-0, 5.40) takes Civale’s spot and makes his second career start. He allowed three runs and eight hits over at Detroit on Aug. 15 in the second game of a doubleheader.