Mariners' Cal Raleigh aims to come up clutch again vs. White Sox

Wed Jun 12 8:28am ET
Field Level Media

When the Seattle Mariners need a clutch hit, there's no doubt who they want stepping to the plate.

But the answer might surprise some.

Cal Raleigh had the winning hit for a second consecutive game as the Mariners defeated the visiting Chicago White Sox 4-3 Tuesday night.

The four-game series continues Wednesday night in Seattle.

Raleigh hit a walk-off grand slam as the Mariners rallied from a four-run deficit to win the series opener 8-4 on Monday. He went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs Tuesday. His double into the right-field corner on a 3-0 count with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning off White Sox reliever John Brebbia brought home the tying and go-ahead runs.

"Timely hitting is everything in this game," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "We've lived on both sides of that and right now we're living on the right side of it. A lot has to do with Cal Raleigh in those spots."

Raleigh is batting .211 for the season, but in 40 at-bats in the seventh inning or later with the game in the balance, he's hitting .275 with three doubles, four homers and 18 RBIs. According to Baseball Reference, he's had six hits in those situations that have either tied the score or put the Mariners ahead.

Raleigh said he tries to be "less smart" in those moments.

"You really have to be committed to your plan, and whatever it is you got to live and die by it," he said. "And Lord knows I've died by it many times where it's gone the other way, but there's been a lot of times where it does work out. Staying to the big part of the field is a big thing. I've heard that from a lot of people."

That the Mariners gave Raleigh the green light with a 3-0 count showed their faith in him.

"I think with 3-0, you know you're getting the heater and you're looking in the middle of the zone," Raleigh said. "You just want to take a nice, free and easy swing. If you foul it off, you foul it off. That's kind of how I look at it. You don't want to get jammed or be late on a fastball. I just want to get the (bat) head out, get extended and try to hit something hard."

Raleigh's latest heroics spoiled the major-league debut of Drew Thorpe, one of Chicago's top pitching prospects.

Thorpe, who was acquired March 13 from San Diego in the four-player deal for Dylan Cease, allowed two runs -- one earned -- on three hits over five innings. The right-hander walked two and struck out four.

Thorpe was in line to get the victory until the Mariners rallied late.

Veteran White Sox catcher Martin Maldonado said he was impressed, mostly with Thorpe's "ability to pitch a strike" with his changeup.

"He threw a couple of changeups and nobody knew they were coming in," Maldonado said. "Good sweeper, good slider, good fastball. I think he threw the ball really good on the whole lineup."

Andrew Vaughn and Paul DeJong homered in the third inning for the White Sox, who fell to 5-28 on the road.

The White Sox are scheduled to send another rookie to the mound Wednesday in right-hander Jonathan Cannon (0-1, 5.94 ERA), who will be facing the Mariners for the first time.

Seattle plans to counter with righty Bryce Miller (5-5, 3.81). Miller is coming off his worst start of the season in which he gave up seven runs over five innings in a no-decision at Kansas City as the Mariners squandered an eight-run lead and lost 10-9. Miller is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in one previous start against the White Sox.


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Wed Jun 12 9:40pm ET