With a Wild Comeback, Mariners Sweep Blue Jays
TORONTO — Adam Frazier hit a tiebreaking R.B.I. double in the ninth inning, and the Seattle Mariners erased a seven-run deficit while topping the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-9, on Saturday for a sweep of their American League wild-card series.
It was the biggest road comeback win in playoff history and baseball’s largest comeback victory to clinch a postseason series. Next up for resilient Seattle is Houston in an A.L. division series.
Making the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2001, Seattle trailed by 8-1 through five innings, but it tied it at 9 with four runs in the eighth.
With two out and the bases loaded, J.P. Crawford hit a blooper to center against the All-Star closer Jordan Romano. Center fielder George Springer and shortstop Bo Bichette went hard after the ball, but it landed as the two collided. All three runners scored on the double, tying it at 9.
It looked as if Bichette’s right arm whacked Springer across the forehead. Bichette got up pretty quickly and stayed in the game after he was checked on by a trainer. A woozy Springer was helped to his feet before he was carted off the field.
Springer, 33, a four-time All-Star, encouraged the cheering crowd as he was driven off.
Cal Raleigh, who hit an R.B.I. single for Seattle in the eighth, reached on a one-out double against Romano in the ninth. After Mitch Haniger flied out, Frazier drove in Raleigh with a double to right.
George Kirby, Seattle’s eighth pitcher of the game, handled the ninth for his first career save. Matt Chapman walked with one out, but Danny Jansen struck out and Raimel Tapia lined out to end the game.
The Mariners then poured out of their dugout and celebrated behind the mound. They also beat Toronto, 4-0, in Game 1 of the best-of-three series on Friday.
Toronto got off to a fast start in Game 2. Teoscar Hernández hit a two-run homer in the second and a solo drive in the fourth against Robbie Ray, who won the AL Cy Young Award while pitching for the Blue Jays last year.
Hernández joined teammate Danny Jansen and former Toronto slugger José Bautista as the only Blue Jays players with multi-homer games in the postseason.
After Ty France scored on Tim Mayza’s wild pitch in the sixth, Carlos Santana gave Seattle’s comeback a big boost with a three-run homer.
Jansen made it 9-5 with an R.B.I. single off Penn Murfee in the seventh, but Toronto’s bullpen couldn’t close it out. Anthony Bass gave up hits to all three batters he faced in the eighth, including Raleigh’s R.B.I. single, forcing interim Blue Jays manager John Schneider to call on Romano for a six-out save.
Romano gave up a single to Frazier and struck out Santana and Dylan Moore, but Crawford tied it with a first-pitch double.
Toronto intentionally walked Julio Rodríguez before Romano struck out France to end the inning.
Ray, who signed a $115 million, five-year contract with Seattle in November, allowed four runs and six hits in three-plus innings.
Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman was charged with four runs and five hits over 5 ⅔ innings in his second career postseason start. Gausman struck out seven and walked one.
Toronto’s Whit Merrifield stayed in to run the bases after being hit on the side of his batting helmet by an 88 mph slider from Diego Castillo on his first pitch after entering in the fifth. Tapia replaced Merrifield in left field in the sixth.