Logan Gilbert, Ty France propel Mariners into athletics

SEATTLE — Logan Gilbert admitted he wanted the chance to complete his first career complete game. With a frugal 77 pitches and rolls, having struck out 22 of his past 23, it was a chance that will likely last all season.

But Mariners manager Scott Servais’ talk was thoughtful — and well received. Seattle is in a 13-game period with no off-days and Oakland’s top of the league was imminent, so Servais turned to Paul Sewald to secure a 3-2 victory at T-Mobile Park on Thursday and complete a four-game sweep. complete. of the As.

“I always want to keep going, especially at that point and because I’m so close to the end there,” said Gilbert. “So I thought I might have a chance with the number of pitches where it was. But I mean, we have the best bullpen in baseball.”

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

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

Ty France crushed two solo homers—his first multi-homer game with Seattle—before the Mariners loaded the bases in the eighth inning for Eugenio Suárez, who walked to bring in the winning run.

“That’s how we win baseball games,” said France. “That’s just the kind of team we are. We’re not going to come out and put on 10 runs every night and beat them to death. So I’m not surprised by the at bats we’ve been taking.

France allayed doubts about the health of his left hand, which was hit by a 94.5 mph fastball on Tuesday and forced him to miss Wednesday’s game. Julio Rodríguez showed improved timing with a 101.8 mph inside-out single in the first and a 160.6 mph double to the right-center hole in the eighth that marked the Mariners’ 14th comeback win this year yielded.

But the star of the day was Gilbert, who recorded the Mariners’ MLB-leading 28th quality start — and increasingly considers himself a complete pitcher.

“It’s not an easy decision, but Logan understands it,” Servais said. “I think the funny thing is I talked to him about when to empty the tank. When you get to that 80-pitch mark, that’s about it. He says, “I never even got 80 pitches.” He’s in a good place.”

Gilbert focused more on his fastball than his last time in Atlanta, when he had an even mix of his four pitches as ever. But it’s the strengthening of his secondary fields, especially the splitter, that has made him a more pronounced threat.

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

“I think when I went into Spring Training I was testing the waters a little bit and I felt really good about it. The slider, where that has been somewhat inconsistent in the past, I felt really good about that. (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.”

Gilbert surrendered a double to Ryan Noda and a two-run homer to Seth Brown in the first inning, the second straight appearance he made in the opening frame, but dominated by allowing only one runner the rest of the way. He also struckout six, bringing his season total to 69 and passing Luis Castillo for team lead.

Gilbert also made zero free passes for the second time in 10 starts, dropping his run percentage to 4.3%, tied for eighth among 72 qualified pitchers. George Kirby (2.2%) leads that group and Bryce Miller (2.7%) would be in that series if he had enough innings to qualify. Gilbert’s strikeout-to-walk percentage of 25.3% trails only Spencer Strider (32.5%) and Kevin Gausman (27.6%), two early Cy Young Award contenders.

“He mixes up his pitches a lot more and I think that helps him,” France said of Gilbert. “And it saves him pitches in the long run. He’s not trying to beat everyone out anymore. He knows he has a very good defense behind him and we are ready to work for him.”

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