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.

Yankees star Judge hits 62nd homer to break Maris’ AL record

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers - Game Two
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ARLINGTON, Texas – Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night, breaking Roger Maris’ American League record and setting what some fans consider baseball’s “clean” standard.

The 30-year-old Yankees slugger drove a 1-1 slider from Texas right-hander Jesus Tinoco into the first couple of rows of seats in left field when leading off the second game of New York’s day-night doubleheader.

Maris’ 61 for the Yankees in 1961 had been exceeded six times previously, but all were tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year. Barry Bonds hit an MLB-record 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001, and the Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris as holder of the legitimate record.

A Ruthian figure with a smile as outsized as his body, the 6-foot-7 Judge has rocked the major leagues with a series of deep drives that hearken to the sepia tone movie reels of his legendary pinstriped predecessors.

“He should be revered for being the actual single-season home run champ,” Roger Maris Jr. said Wednesday night after his father’s mark was matched by Judge. “I think baseball needs to look at the records and I think baseball should do something.”

Judge had homered only once in the past 13 games, and that was when he hit No. 61 last Wednesday in Toronto. The doubleheader nightcap in Texas was his 55th game in row played since Aug. 5.

After a single in five at-bats in the first game Tuesday, Judge was 3 for 17 with five walks and a hit by pitch since moving past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league record for 34 years. Maris hit his 61st off Boston’s Tracy Stallard at old Yankee Stadium on Oct. 1, 1961.

Judge has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012. He leads the AL with 131 RBIs and began the day trailing Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315.

The home run in his first at-bat put him back to .311, where he had started the day before dropping a point in the opener.

Judge’s accomplishment will cause endless debate.

“To me, the holder of the record for home runs in a season is Roger Maris,” author George Will said earlier this month. “There’s no hint of suspicion that we’re seeing better baseball than better chemistry in the case of Judge. He’s clean. He’s not doing something that forces other players to jeopardize their health.”