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Castillo throws 7 shutout innings, then Mariners bullpen hangs on to beat Braves

Seattle starting pitchers have allowed 2 earned runs or fewer in 18 consecutive games

By SHANE LANTZ, Associated Press
Published: April 30, 2024, 9:25pm
5 Photos
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Luis Castillo reacts while walking off the field after facing the against the Atlanta Braves through the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 30, 2024, in Seattle.
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Luis Castillo reacts while walking off the field after facing the against the Atlanta Braves through the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 30, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson) Photo Gallery

SEATTLE — Luis Castillo threw seven shutout innings to continue Seattle’s run of starting pitching dominance and the Mariners’ bullpen held on for a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

Castillo (3-4) retired the final 11 hitters he faced and allowed just three hits against an Atlanta squad with the second-best offense in MLB. He left to a standing ovation after throwing 103 pitches and striking out seven.

After starting the season 0-4, Castillo has won three straight decisions and allowed a total of two earned runs in that span.

“He’s a killer,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I mean, you have to take that attitude when you’re out there. When you get them 0-2, 1-2, I’m killing you, you’re done. And we just reminded him of that. That’s who he is, and when he does that and he has that mentality out there, he’s electric.”

With Castillo’s stellar outing, Mariners starting pitchers have allowed two earned runs or fewer in a franchise-record 18 consecutive games.

“It is like historic starting pitching,” Servais said. “We’re on that kind of run. You have guys doing it different, a little bit differently every night.”

The AL West-leading Mariners are also the first team in MLB history to post an ERA of 1.60 or lower and 160-plus strikeouts in an 18-game span.

“It makes me a little proud because, you know, I’m a little older than them,” the 31-year old Castillo said of his younger rotation mates. “And those guys go out there and the work that they’re doing, it doesn’t really show their age.”

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The Braves lost consecutive games for the first time this season, the last team in the majors to do so.

Atlanta threatened in the fourth inning when Matt Olson drew a one-out walk and Marcell Ozuna followed with a single, but Castillo struck out Orlando Arcia and got Michael Harris III to ground out to end the inning.

The Mariners struck first on Jorge Polanco’s two-run homer in the third. Dylan Moore added another for Seattle with a fourth-inning RBI double against Braves starter Reynaldo López.

López (2-1) allowed six hits and three earned runs over five innings, with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Ozzie Albies drove in a run with an RBI single off Mariners reliever Ryne Stanek in the eighth. Stanek allowed three singles before he was replaced by Andrés Muñoz with two on. Muñoz threw the ball away on an infield single by Austin Riley to score Jarred Kelenic.

After intentionally walking Olson to load the bases, Muñoz retired Ozuna and Arcia to end the inning.

Muñoz then pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.

“It’s rough, really good,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We’re facing a lot of really good slider guys here all of a sudden.”

Seattle has won 11 of its last 14, tied with Philadelphia for best record in MLB since April 15, and has won five straight series.

UP NEXT

Mariners RHP Emerson Hancock (3-2, 5.06 ERA) will try for his third consecutive win Wednesday against Braves LHP Chris Sale (3-1, 3.69 ERA).

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MARINERS 3, BRAVES 2

Atlanta AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Acuña rf 4 0 0 0 0 2 .245
Albies 2b 4 0 2 1 0 0 .333
Riley 3b 4 0 1 0 0 1 .226
Olson 1b 2 0 0 0 2 0 .202
Ozuna dh 4 0 1 0 0 2 .327
Arcia ss 4 0 0 0 0 2 .276
Harris cf 4 0 1 0 0 1 .304
d’Arnaud c 4 1 1 0 0 1 .282
Kelenic lf 4 1 1 0 0 1 .303
Totals 34 2 7 1 2 10
Seattle AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Rojas 3b 1 1 1 0 3 0 .318
Rodríguez cf 4 0 0 0 0 3 .256
Polanco 2b 4 1 1 2 0 2 .170
Garver dh 4 0 0 0 0 2 .143
Raleigh c 4 0 1 0 0 1 .227
Haniger rf 4 1 1 0 0 1 .228
France 1b 4 0 1 0 0 0 .242
Raley lf 3 0 1 0 0 1 .218
Moore ss 3 0 1 1 0 1 .193
Totals 31 3 7 3 3 11
Atlanta 000 000 020—2 7 0
Seattle 002 100 00x—3 7 1

E—Muñoz (1). LOB—Atlanta 7, Seattle 7. 2B—Moore (3). HR—Polanco (4), off López. RBI—Albies (18), Polanco 2 (10), Moore (4). SB—Rojas (2).

Runners left in scoring position—Atlanta 3 (Arcia 2, Harris); Seattle 3 (Garver, Rodríguez 2). RISP—Atlanta 3 for 8; Seattle 1 for 3. Runners moved up—Acuña.

Atlanta IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
López, L, 2-1 5 6 3 3 2 7 88 1.50
Chavez 2 0 0 0 1 3 27 1.59
Bummer 1 1 0 0 0 1 14 5.23
Seattle IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
Castillo, W, 3-4 7 3 0 0 1 7 103 3.46
Stanek, H, 6 1-3 3 2 2 0 0 13 4.35
Muñoz, S, 5-6 1 2-3 1 0 0 1 3 27 2.25

Inherited runners-scored—Muñoz 2-1. IBB—off Muñoz (Olson). WP—Stanek.

Umpires—Home, Gabe Morales; First, Nic Lentz; Second, Emil Jimenez; Third, Lance Barksdale.

T—2:16. A—23,534 (47,929).

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