Rookie star Julio Rodriguez hit two hits in his return to the lineup with the Seattle Mariners, who beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 on Friday night to provisionally clinch the first wild-card spot in the American League.
The 21-year-old Dominican, who had an impressive showing in the All-Star Home Run Derby, sat out the previous 11 games with a wrist injury.
In the fourth inning, the center fielder broke the tie with a short single to right field with the bases loaded. He was the first batter to face Jose Leclerc, who had relieved Taylor Hearn (5-7).
George Kirby (4-3) got his second straight win. The rookie gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out seven in 5 2/3 innings.
Seattle’s win, combined with Toronto’s loss to Cleveland, gave the Mariners a half-game lead over the Blue Jays.
For the Rangers, the Cuban Adolis García 4-2. Dominicans Leody Taveras 4-0 and Ezequiel Durán 4-2, one scored.
For the Mariners, the Dominicans Julio Rodríguez 4-2, two produced, and Carlos Santana 4-1, one scored. The Venezuelan Eugenio Suárez 4-1, an RBI.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.