From here on out this season, nobody really knows how many more prolonged hot streaks the Seattle Mariners have in them.
But they are enjoying this one.
And they are extending it any way they can.
Sunday, it was the late-game bop and bloop that led the Mariners to a 3-2 come-from-behind, extra-innings victory over Detroit at T-Mobile Park.
J.P. Crawford delivered his first career walk-off hit — a shallow-dropping, fly-ball single to center field that scored Dylan Moore with the winning run in the 10th inning.
Two innings earlier, Domingo Santana’s solo home run with two outs tied the game at 2-2.
“Big hits in the game,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
Seattle not only won its fifth consecutive game, it swept a four-game series for the first time since April 11 in Kansas City.
“Winning is very awesome,” Moore said. “We’ve just got to keep doing what we are doing.”
Now you might say most of this success came against the lowly Tigers, whose league-low 30 victories are five fewer than the next-worst team (Baltimore has 35).
But the Mariners faced off against one of the American League’s better left-handed pitchers Sunday in Matthew Boyd, an Eastside Catholic graduate who hails from Mercer Island — and who also has been talked about as a possible target for playoff-contending teams before the MLB trade deadline Wednesday.
Boyd was dominant for six scoreless innings, retiring 18 of the first 21 Seattle hitters, including the first nine before Mallex Smith singled to lead off the fourth inning.
But after issuing walks to Tim Beckham and Austin Nola in the seventh, Boyd was chased after Kyle Seager’s run-scoring double in the right-field corner that cut Detroit’s lead to 2-1.
Boyd allowed three hits, and struck out 10 for his seventh career double-digit strikeout effort.
“That’s about as good a starting pitching outing against us as we’ve seen in quite a while,” Servais said.
Santana’s ailing elbow will keep him from playing in the field for a while, Servais said, but it apparently has not hindered his power stroke.
Down 0-2 to hard-throwing Joe Jimenez, Santana rocketed a blast deep into the left-field seats to tie the game.
It was Santana’s 20th home run of the season — the second time he has eclipsed that mark in three seasons. He hit 30 in 2017 with the Milwaukee Brewers.
“(The elbow hurts) a little bit … but I tried not to swing too hard on that pitch,” Santana said. “I am glad I put a good swing on it.”
Moore led off the 10th inning with a double in the right-field corner, then surveyed Crawford’s fly ball off Detroit reliever Jose Cisnero.
“When it started coming down, I realized it was going to be between them because it came down pretty heavy,” Moore said.
And then Moore was off to the races, easily beating the throw home to win the game.
“That was like a 50-50 (ball), a do-or-die,” Crawford said. “He made the right read. It all worked out.”
After the game, teammates in the clubhouse were giving Kristopher Negron hugs, indicating he had been traded. The team confirmed it later Sunday evening, sending the utility player to the Dodgers for minor-league infielder Daniel Castro. Negron appeared in 10 games for Seattle this season, batting .217. In 82 games with Class AAA Tacoma, Negron hit .310 with 12 homers and 61 RBI. The 26-year-old Castro has played parts of three major-league seasons with the Braves and Rockies from 2015 to 2018 and hit .210. With AAA Oklahoma City this year, he’s batting .241 with one homer and 11 RBI in 45 games. He has not appeared with the Dodgers this season. He will report to Class AAA Tacoma. …
After missing the past four months — a span of 105 games — opening-day closer Hunter Strickland was activated by the Mariners from the 60-day injured list Sunday.
To make room, pitcher Matt Carasiti was optioned to Class AAA Tacoma and veteran Felix Hernandez was moved to the 60-day injured list to open up Strickland’s 40-man roster spot.
Strickland worked a clean eighth inning Sunday, but won’t pitch in back-to-back games for the time being, manager Scott Servais said before the game.
He will also pitch in a “couple of soft landings” situations before resuming closer duties, Servais said.
Meanwhile, Hernandez (shoulder) threw 30 pitches to live hitters before the game Sunday. Servais said his final 15 pitches were his best, but warned he is still a ways away from returning to the ballclub. …
Designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach (elbow) did not start after being hit by a pitch Saturday, but pinch-hit for Ryan Court in the seventh and stayed in at first base. …
First baseman Ryon Healy (back, hip) is expected to see a hip specialist Monday at Stanford University to see if that is the biggest cause of his back pain. Healy has been shut down from all baseball activity. …
Outfielder Mitch Haniger (ruptured testicles) is expected to start running in a swimming pool and starting plyometrics next week as part of his rehab. He will not travel with the team to Texas. …
Second baseman Dee Gordon (quad) has started running the base paths and swinging the bat. He is ahead of the original three- to four-week recovery timetable, and will travel with the Mariners on the upcoming road trip. …
Court’s pinch-hit appearance Friday marked the 13th different player this season to make a major-league debut with the Mariners.