SEATTLE (AP) — Rookie Kyle Lewis broke up a no-hitter bid with a home run for the second consecutive game, and the Seattle Mariners beat Sonny Gray and the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 on Wednesday night.
Just as he did on Tuesday night against the Reds’ Trevor Bauer, Lewis delivered Seattle’s first hit of the game with a towering homer. In Tuesday’s 4-3 win, Lewis hit a solo home run to left field in the fifth inning for his first career hit. On Wednesday, he sent Gray’s 105th pitch of the game into right field for a three-run homer in the seventh, his second major league hit.
Lewis was among four players called up Tuesday from Double-A Arkansas. The 6-foot-4 prospect is quickly becoming a clubhouse favorite because of his timely hits and inspiring backstory after recovering from a catastrophic knee injury.
Gray struck out nine against a lineup that included four rookies. He was rarely threatened, but was done in by a few long at-bats and a sloppy start to the seventh, when he hit Austin Nola with a pitch, then walked Kyle Seager.
The Mariners have been no-hit twice in 2019. No team has been no-hit three times in a season.
Gray was pulled after allowing a single to Daniel Vogelbach, one batter after Lewis. He matched his season high with 111 pitches in 6 1/3 innings. It was his third career two-hit performance.
Nola and Seager added RBI hits in the eighth inning against reliever Kevin Gausman.
Marco Gonzales (15-11) struck out seven and allowed five hits in seven innings as he extended his career-best win total. He gave up an RBI double to Joey Votto in the third and a solo home run to Phillip Ervin in the fourth. He didn’t allow another hit.
Brandon Brennan struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth, and Anthony Bass appeared to earn the save with two strikeouts after reliever Sam Tuivailala loaded the bases with one out in the ninth. But, the third strike to pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich got away from catcher Omar Narvaez, and rolled to the backstop.
Home plate umpire John Libka called Dietrich out immediately, but Dietrich beat Narvaez’s throw to first and Tucker Barnhart scored.
Seattle manager Scott Servais argued that the game was over because Libka signaled the out. He was tossed after returning to the dugout.
Bass then got Votto to ground out to first for his second save in two nights.
A day after expressing optimism about his availability, Reds manager David Bell said CF Nick Senzel (shoulder) is not progressing as well as hoped. The two thought Senzel could serve as a runner or hitter in certain situations, even making a deal that there would be no head-first slides. But Senzel said his shoulder hurts when he attempts to hit, as well.
“Anything I’ve been trying to do throwing or hitting, it just hasn’t felt right,” Senzel said. “We’ll just keep going day by day. That’s really all there is to it.”
With 16 games left, though, Bell wonders if Senzel and fellow injured players Adam Wood (back) and Jesse Winker (cervical strain) will make it back into the lineup this season.
“They’re all unique situations, unique injuries,” Bell said. “But at this point, when you look at how many games we have left, we don’t’ know if we’re going to get them back or not.”
Mariners: J.P. Crawford (hamstring) cleared himself to play and the team will soon follow. Manager Scott Servais said the shortstop will likely return to the lineup Thursday or Friday. In the meantime, rookie Donnie Walton got his first major league start at shortstop Wednesday and will back up Crawford the rest of the year.
Rookie Jake Fraley‘s season is over after an MRI revealed a strained ligament in his right thumb. The centerfielder jammed his thumb in a light collision with teammate Mallex Smith while trying to make a catch Saturday at Houston.
Fraley won’t need surgery, but an estimated recovery time of four weeks takes him into the offseason.
“It’s unfortunate,” Servais said. “This time is really important for these guys. Not so much geared to how they perform or the results, it’s just getting the experience. I feel really bad for him.”
OF/DH Domingo Santana (elbow strain) has been throwing lightly on the side and could return to the lineup as a designated hitter this weekend or on next week’s road trip.
Reds: RHP Tyler Mahle (2-11, 4.94 ERA) takes the mound for his first start against the Mariners and will be seeking his first win since May 31.
Mariners: RHP Justin Dunn will be making his major league debut as an opener for Tommy Milone. Dunn is expected to pitch two to three innings.
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