Sports

Castillo dominates for 6 2/3 innings, Raley has 2-run double in Mariners’ 2-1 win over Blue Jays

SEATTLE — Luis Castillo limited Toronto to two hits over a dominant 6 2/3 innings, Luke Raley had a two-run double in the third and the Seattle Mariners beat the Blue Jays 2-1 on Friday night.

Castillo (7-9) was nearly untouchable in his 200th career start, retiring each of the first nine Blue Jays hitters, and not allowing a hit until Kevin Kiermaier hit a solo home run with one out in the sixth.

Castillo’s only blemish before Kiermaier’s homer was a leadoff walk to Toronto first baseman Spencer Horwitz in the fourth inning.

After Kiermaier made it one-run game with a 379-foot shot to right field, Horwitz quickly hit a single back up the middle for Toronto’s final hit of the night. But Castillo escaped trouble, with Bo Bichette hitting into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.

Castillo departed to a standing ovation after walking Daulton Varsho in the seventh, having allowed one run on two hits, with eight strikeouts.

A big reason for Castillo’s success was a new grip for his slider, which made his already tough pitch come in a few miles per hour slower than usual and threw Toronto’s hitters off-balance.

“It helps a lot, the fastball coming in around 96, 97, and that changeup coming in around 85,” Castillo said. “But then this new slider that I’ve got coming in even slower, it gives me three different varieties of speed to play with. It just keeps them on their toes.”

Austin Voth and Ryne Stanek combined for 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, and Andrés Muñoz pitched the ninth for his 14th save.

“These guys pitch,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “They’re up there with the best arms in the league. There weren’t many opportunities.”

The Mariners struck first when Raley clubbed the double off Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman (6-8) in the third.

Cal Raleigh drew a two-out walk, and Julio Rodríguez reached base on an infield single. Rodríguez was originally called out on a throw from third baseman Ernie Clement, but the call was overturned on replay.

Manager Scott Servais credited replay coordinator Andy Bissell for seeing that Horwitz had come off the bag, which put Rodríguez aboard and kick-started the rally.

“It turned out to be a huge call in the game tonight,” Servais said. “Hats off to (Bissell). That is a tough job. It happens super fast and he’s on top of it and helped us win a game tonight,”

One batter later, Raley hit a fastball to the left-center field gap to put the Mariners up 2-0.

“It’s important for us to start getting some guys in and scoring some runs for our pitchers,” Raley said. “Even two runs, we still need to keep putting up more runs, but it’s nice the last two days to see us break through and get a couple of those big hits.”

Gausman finished with two earned runs allowed on six hits over six innings, with 10 strikeouts.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: SS Bo Bichette was back in the lineup Friday after being scratched Thursday with a right forearm contusion … RHP Yimi Garcia (elbow) will make a rehab start on Saturday in Triple-A Buffalo.

Mariners: RHP Bryan Woo (hamstring) will make a rehab start in Single-A Everett on Saturday, while RHP Gregory Santos will make an Everett rehab appearance in relief.

ROSTER MOVE

Toronto recalled RHP Ryan Burr from Triple-A Buffalo, and optioned RHP Jose Cuas.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays RHP Yariel Rodríguez (0-3, 4.63 ERA) will start Friday against RHP Emerson Hancock (3-3, 4.79 ERA).

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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