Julio Rodriguez has made a name for himself at the Home Run Derby
However, the Seattle Mariners' young superstar took a much different approach Wednesday afternoon
Rodriguez drove in the go-ahead run on a broken-bat single in the seventh inning and capped the rally by stealing home as Seattle defeated the visiting Boston Red Sox 6-3
The Mariners, who have won their past four series, open a four-game set Thursday night in Anaheim, Calif., against the Los Angeles Angels, a team they just passed in the American League wild-card chase
"It wasn't pretty," Mariners manager Scott Servais said of Rodriguez's hit. "There have been much prettier singles. Your bat gets blown up and it goes right at the shortstop when he's trying to field the ball. But, we often talk, it's baseball. You need a little luck once in a while.
With Rodriguez's bat pinwheeling through the air, Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers and shortstop Yu Chang collided, the slow roller trickling into left field to make it 4-3. Eugenio Suarez followed with a run-scoring single, and he and Rodriguez pulled off a double steal to cap the Mariners' comeback from a three-run deficit
Rodriguez has a career-high, 27-game on-base streak, the longest active streak in the majors. The stolen base was his 25th of the season and the 50th of his career
The Mariners, who sent closer Paul Sewald to the Arizona Diamondbacks at the trade deadline despite sharing the best record in the majors in July (17-9), are four games above .500, matching their season high
"This team is gaining momentum," Servais said. "They believe in themselves, no matter what the score is or where we're at in the game, and that's what it takes this time of year. You've just got to keep believing, believing, believing something good will happen. And oftentimes it does.
The Angels, who decided to keep two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani, a free agent at the end of the season, at the trade deadline and dealt several of their top prospects to bolster their big-league roster, lost 12-5 at Atlanta on Wednesday in the rubber game of a three-game series. Newly acquired Lucas Giolito gave up nine runs, including three homers, in 3 2/3 innings
It was the second straight loss for the Angels and their fourth defeat in the past six games
"Big picture, you look at it, you want to play over .500 on the road, but certainly some games we thought we could have gotten," Angels manager Phil Nevin said. "Today's a disappointment for sure. A chance to win a series against the best team in the league.
Ohtani (9-5, 3.43 ERA), who had his turn skipped in Atlanta because of blister issues, is scheduled to make his first mound start in a week on Thursday against Mariners rookie right-hander Bryan Woo (1-3, 4.96)
Ohtani is coming off his first career shutout, a one-hitter in a 6-0 victory over the host Detroit Tigers on July 27. He walked three and struck out eight in the 111-pitch outing
In eight career starts against the Mariners, Ohtani is 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA. He beat them 4-3 in Seattle on April 5, allowing one run on three hits over six innings, with four walks and eight strikeouts. Ohtani didn't get a decision in a 5-4 Angels win on June 9 over Seattle in Anaheim, giving up three runs on three hits in five innings, with five walks and six strikeouts
Woo, who is 0-2 with a 8.16 ERA in his past three starts, will be facing the Angels for the second time. On June 10, he allowed two runs on four hits in 4 2/3 innings during a no-decision. Woo fanned seven and walked one
--Field Level Medi