Rodríguez leaves with back tightness, Mariners beat Athletics 9-5

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics
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OAKLAND, Calif. – Julio Rodriguez doubled and scored before leaving with lower back tightness, and the Seattle Mariners overcame the loss of the rookie center fielder to beat the Oakland Athletics 9-5 on Thursday and avoid a three-game sweep.

Rodriguez slowly walked off the field with a trainer in the bottom half of the first inning. He recently missed three games in Anaheim with a lower back issue.

“Concerning,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It’s the same area in the low back. He’ll get work up tomorrow when we get to Kansas City, get an MRI and pictures of that.”

Jarred Kelenic moved from left to center field and Sam Haggerty entered the game in left. Kelenic homered and doubled in his first game since being called up from Triple-A Tacoma.

“They both felt pretty good,” he said. “I’m just happy that we came out with a `W’ today.”

Adam Frazier went 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Mitch Haniger, Cal Raleigh, Jesse Winker and Ty France also drove in runs for Seattle, which entered the day with a four-game lead over Baltimore for the third and final AL wild-card position.

“When Julio went down, we just kind of picked each other up and grinded through it, came out on top,” Kelenic said. “That was the biggest thing.”

Stephen Vogt tripled in three runs for Oakland. Tony Kemp and Shea Langeliers added RBIs.

The A’s built a 5-3 lead against Mariners starter George Kirby, tagging the rookie right-hander for five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. Kirby struck out one and walked three.

Kelenic homered off Oakland starter Adrian Martinez in the fourth inning to bring the Mariners within one. Martinez gave up five runs on six hits and two walks in five innings, striking out seven.

Kelenic tied the game in the sixth with an RBI double off reliever Kirby Snead. Frazier added a two-run double to put Seattle ahead.

Snead (1-1) surrendered two runs on two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning.

Matthew Boyd (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings to earn his second win as a Mariner. Boyd and five other relievers limited the A’s to just two hits in 6 2/3 innings.

“Our bullpen was nails today,” Servais said. “Matt Boyd was fantastic giving us two shutout innings and the guys after him did their job putting zeros up there, allowing our offense to get back in the game.”

VOGT ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Vogt announced that he will retire at the end of the season, ending a 10-year major league career.

“It just felt right,” he said. “It just felt like there’s nowhere else I want to play, there’s nowhere else I want to be, there’s nothing else I want to accomplish as a player other than helping these guys the rest of this year.”

Vogt has spent six seasons with the A’s. The 37-year-old also played for Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Arizona and Atlanta.

“I feel so fortunate that I’ve earned the opportunity to walk away on my terms,” he said. “I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished.”

Vogt hopes to remain in baseball following his playing career.

“My end goal is to manage,” he said. “I want to manage in the big leagues. … One of the things that I truly have tried to do and want to continue to do is just make this game a better place. I’ve had many people do that for me and I want to continue to do that.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: SS J.P. Crawford was held out of the lineup with a minor leg issue. “He had kind of a funny slide four or five days ago at second base,” Servais said. “Got hit by a pitch on the same leg. Didn’t look like he was moving great last night. Had a chance to talk to him after the game and thought it best to give him a day-to-day.”

Athletics: RHP Adam Oller (right rib costochondritis) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday. “He’s on track to be ready to go if everything goes well in this program,” manager Mark Kotsay said. … LHP Sam Moll (left shoulder strain), RHP Zach Jackson (right shoulder inflammation) and OF Ramon Laureano (right hamstring strain) will miss the rest of the season.

UP NEXT

Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (10-14, 4.01 ERA) opens a three-game series in Kansas City on Friday. Gonzales has pitched at least six innings in five consecutive starts.

Athletics: LHP Cole Irvin (9-11, 3.79) tries to win his fourth straight decision Friday as Oakland welcomes the New York Mets for a three-game series. It will be Irvin’s first career start against the Mets.

Pujols has 2 more RBIs, Cardinals beat Pirates 8-7 in 10

Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals
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PITTSBURGH – Albert Pujols drove in two more runs and the St. Louis Cardinals went on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 in 10 innings Tuesday night.

Pujols hit a two-run single in the third inning to push his career total to 2,218 RBIs. That came a night after he broke a tie with Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,287.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol then removed the 42-year-old Pujols at the end of the inning. St. Louis opens postseason play Friday when it hosts a best-of-three National League wild-card series.

Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals the win when he hit a tiebreaking single with one in the 10th inning off Chase De Jong (6-3) to score automatic runner Ben Deluzio.

“Tonight was interesting because you’re fairly scripted in who you want to use and who you don’t want to use and what you want tomorrow to look like so you can get ready for Friday,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It was a good one to still figure out a way to come out on top.”

The Cardinals threw out the potential tying run at home in the bottom of the 10th when automatic runner Kevin Newman tried to score from second base on Oneil Cruz‘s line single off the glove of first baseman Alec Burleson. The ball deflected to second baseman Brendon Donovan, who threw home to catcher Andrew Knizner.

The Pirates challenged the call, but it was upheld on video review.

“I thought we were going to get it overturned,” Newman said. “I just thought he didn’t tag me until he got higher up on the body.”

It was the Pirates’ 100th loss, the second year in a row they have reached that mark.

The Cardinals got two hits each from Donovan, Corey Dickerson, Knizner and Paul DeJong.

Cruz had three hits for the Pirates and Bryan Reynolds, Rodolfo Castro, Jack Suwinski, Ke'Bryan Hayes and Ji-Hwan Bae added two apiece. Miguel Andujar drove in two runs.

Chris Stratton (10-4) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

“They weren’t the prettiest two innings I’ve ever pitched but I got a great play from the defense in the 10th inning to help me out,” Stratton said. “It was a good play all the way around.’

Pujols’ hit put the Cardinals ahead 3-1 but the Pirates answered with six runs in the bottom of the third. Andujar’s run-scoring double highlighted an inning that includes RBI singles by Castro, Suwinski, Ben Gamel and Bae.

The Cardinals then scored four runs in the seventh inning to tie the score at 7-all. Donovan hit an RBI single, Dickerson drove in two runs with a double and the tying run scored on a throwing error by Cruz, the rookie shortstop.

Both starting pitchers lasted just 2 2/3 innings. The Cardinals’ Dakota Hudson was rocked for seven runs and nine hits while the Pirates’ JT Brubaker allowed three runs on four hits.

Brubaker was activated from the injured list before the game. He had been out since Sept. 16 with right lat discomfort.

HELSLEY HURT

Reliever Ryan Helsley, the Cardinals’ closer, left in the eighth inning with a jammed right middle finger. Helsley was injured after catching a line drive by Bae and using his hands to brace himself while dodging a piece of a broken bat.

Helsley said he expects to be ready to pitch Friday.

“I don’t think there was anything super wrong with it,” Helsley said. `Just give it some rest and let it resolve itself.”

ROSTER MOVES

The Pirates optioned right-hander Roansy Contreras to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear a roster spot for Brubaker. They also recalled infielder/outfielder Tucapita Marcano from Indianapolis and optioned catcher Jose Godoy to the same club.

PIRATES AWARDS

Center fielder Bryan Reynolds was voted the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, emblematic of the Pirates’ MVP, by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Mitch Keller won the Steve Blass Award for best pitcher. Former infielder Michael Chavis was voted the Chuck Tanner Good Guy Award.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: OF Tyler O'Neill (strained right hamstring) has been ruled out for the wild-card series but St. Louis is hopeful he can play in the NLDS round if it advances. . 3B Nolan Arenado (left quadriceps tightness) missed his second straight game but could play Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Have not decided on a starter for Wednesday, though Marmol said LHP Matthew Liberatore (2-1, 5.46) and RHP Jake Woodford (4-0, 2.33) are possibilities.

Pirates: RHP Johan Oviedo (4-3, 3.12), who was acquired from the Cardinals on Aug. 1, gets the start.