Gilbert ties high with 9 strikeouts, M’s beat White Sox 3-0

SEATTLE (AP) — Logan Gilbert finished his career with nine strikeouts, Cal Raleigh hit a homered and the Seattle Mariners defeated the Chicago White Sox 3-0 Tuesday night to hold the AL wildcard close.

Raleigh hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning as the Mariners won for the eighth time in nine games. Seattle and Tampa Bay are 1 1/2 games ahead of Toronto, which is 3 1/2 games ahead of Baltimore for the last AL wildcard. Raleigh has 23 home runs, spikes among catchers.

Chicago has lost two of three and is three games behind first-placed Cleveland in the AL Central, also behind Minnesota by 1 1/2 games.

“Pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, this is the 2022 Mariners at its finest tonight,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais.

Though it wasn’t his best game as he struggled with an erratic fastball, Gilbert (12-5) allowed five hits in six innings, hitting two each in the third, fifth and sixth.

“He’s about as good a hearted and nice boy, young man as you’ll find and the way he treats everyone is super, every kind of respect,” Servais said. “But when it’s his day, he gets out of the dugout to take the hill and it’s on and I love that about him.”

The second-year starter allowed runners twice in the scoring position. José Abreu had an out-one double in game six, his third of the game, and finished third with Eloy Jiménez’s single. But Gilbert beat Gavin Sheets and fanned out AJ Pollock with a shoulder-high 98 mph fastball, Gilbert’s 101st and final throw. It was his hardest throw of the game and brought in a rare fist pump.

“That’s pretty cool,” Gilbert said. “I just let it go. I mean, in a big moment like this, the crowd goes nuts, it’s pretty easy to get excited and throw it as hard as you can. So it’s nice, I just felt like I put an extra gear in there.

Pollock also bottomed out against Andrés Muñoz in the eighth race with two runners on board. Paul Sewald hit two in a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 22 chances. The Mariners’ baton is 8-1 in their last nine games, four saves and 71 strikeouts.

“It’s great to see those emotions from him,” Servais said of the fist pump. “He knew it was a tough night. It was a fight every inning and it was just great to get through it and not give up. And then our bullpen – it wasn’t easy again tonight.”

Seattle has conceded three runs or fewer in nine straight games from June 1–11, 2009, for the second-longest streak in team history after 13 straight games in 2014.

Johnny Cueto (7-7) allowed one run, five hits and three walks in more than six innings.

Ty France doubled on the fourth ball, which hit the wall in the right corner and bounced past Sheets. France switched to right field on Mitch Haniger’s fly, and Sheets’ throw was wide and rebounded well on camera for a mistake that sent France across the plate.

“It was incredible,” acting Chicago manager Miguel Cairo said of the pitching. “Gilbert served well and Johnny was able to keep us in the game and we just fell short today. It was a really good game. (Gilbert) just has a fast ball that’s hard to hit.”

White Sox: Already injured CF Luis Robert was substituted in the fifth inning after injuring his left hand in an earlier tackle. Coaches visited Robert at the bat during his second inning after the ball hit the bat’s button, causing him pain. He returned to the batter’s box and struck. After a second strikeout in the fifth, he was replaced by Adam Engel. Robert, who also strained his left wrist on August 12, is day to day. … Acting manager Miguel Cairo said SS Tim Anderson (hand) is not ready to swing a racquet just yet.

White Sox: RHP Michael Kopech (4-9, 3.58) is 0-3 in his last five starts. He has been sidelined since August 23 with a sprained left knee.

Mariners: RHP Luis Castillo (6-5, 2.71) is 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA in six starts since being acquired from Cincinnati. On September 2, he contested six shutout innings against Cleveland. Gilbert ties high with 9 strikeouts, M’s beat White Sox 3-0

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