Logan Gilbert and Ty France push Mariners to sweep Athletics

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SEATTLE — Logan Gilbert admitted he wanted the chance to finish his first full game of his career. With 77 economical and rolling shots, having given up 22 of his last 23, it was as timely a chance as there will likely be all season.

But Mariners manager Scott Servais’ conversation was deliberate – and well received. Seattle is on a 13-game streak with no rest days and Oakland’s top command was due, so Servais turned to Paul Sewald to secure a 3-2 win Thursday at T-Mobile Park and complete a sweep of four games. of his.

“I still want to keep going, especially at this stage and being so close to the end there,” Gilbert said. “So I thought maybe I would have a chance with the pitch count where he was. But I mean, we have the best bullpen in baseball.

Despite all that his rotation mates have accomplished, Gilbert may have flown more under the radar in what has been an incredibly productive season.

The towering Seattle right-hander tied his career high with eight innings, and his offense broke through in a deciding eighth to advance the Mariners to two games over .500 (26-24) for the first time this year.

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Ty France smashed two solo home runs – his first multi-home run game with Seattle – before the Mariners loaded the bases in the eighth for Eugenio Suárez, who tied on walks to drive home the winning run.

“That’s how you win baseball games,” France said. “That’s exactly the kind of team we are. We’re not going to go out and do 10 errands every night and beat them to death. So I’m not surprised by the at-bats we took.

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France allayed doubts over the health of his left hand, which was hit by a 94.5mph fastball on Tuesday and forced him to miss Wednesday’s game. Julio Rodríguez showed better timing with a 101.8mph single, upside down in the first and a 100.6mph double wide wide from center right in the eighth that set up the 14th win for the Mariners this year.

But the star of the day was Gilbert, who landed the Mariners’ 28th quality start at the top of MLB — and additionally finds himself as an all-around pitcher.

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“It’s not an easy decision, but Logan understands,” Servais said. “I think the funniest thing is that I talked to him about when to empty the tank. When you hit that 80-step mark, that’s kind of it. He says, ‘I never even had 80 pitches.’ He is well placed. »

Gilbert turned to his fastball more than his last outing in Atlanta, when he had as even a mix of his four pitches as ever. But it was the fortification of his secondary lands, particularly the Divider, that made him a more pronounced threat.

“It’s probably the first time in my career that consistently I would say it’s like that,” Gilbert said of all four pitches clicking at the same time.

“I think going into spring training, I was kind of testing the waters and I felt really good. The slider, where it’s been somewhat inconsistent in the past, I felt really good about it. (Same with) the curve. So after a few starts here, and working with the catchers, seeing when the stuff plays best, I think I feel pretty good.

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Gilbert gave up a brace to Ryan Noda and a two-run homer to Seth Brown in the first inning, the second straight outing he made in the opening frame, but settled in to dominate by only allowing only one base runner the rest of the way. He also struck six, taking his total for the season to 69 and overtaking Luis Castillo for the team lead.

Gilbert also issued zero free passes for only the second time in 10 starts, lowering his walk rate to 4.3 percent, tied for eighth among 72 qualified pitchers. George Kirby (2.2%) leads that group and Bryce Miller (2.7%) would be in that range if he had enough innings to qualify. Gilbert’s 25.3% strikeout rate trails only Spencer Strider (32.5%) and Kevin Gausman (27.6%), two top Cy Young Award nominees.

“He mixes up his throws a lot more, and I think that helps him,” France said of Gilbert. “And that wins him long-term slots. He no longer tries to hit everyone. He knows he has a very good defense behind him and we are ready to work for him.

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