Julius Rodriguez left the Houston Astros’ win over the Seattle Mariners in the ninth inning, citing concerns that he might also hurt his hand. All-Star Rodriguez is the AL Rookie of the Year favorite after his first year in the major leagues. The 21-year-old outfielder has helped lead the Mariners to a wild card spot as they bid to end their 21-year playoff drought.
Seattle improved to 55-47 on Saturday with a 5-4 win over the AL West-leading Astros, who drew the first 5 conference groups. However, Rodriguez was purposefully out of the game when Abraham Toro – as his substitute pinch-hitter – delivered the decisive two-run single. Rodriguez injured the back of his hand while batting eighth; He finished the innings before getting out.
It was the Mariners’ ninth win in or after their ninth inning this year. During the trendy era, no MLB pitching staff had more wins before August than the Mariners, including the 1921 St. Louis Browns. 1970 Kansas City Royals 1991 Chicago White Sox and 2003 Cincinnati Reds.
Toro takes the middle stage
While Rodriguez’s absence was a shock, it was perhaps no shock that Toro was the hero this time around. The former Astros has 52 RBI as a Mariner, breaking last season with 20 against the team.