HOUSTON — Julio Rodríguez has etched his name in the history of major league baseball with his 17th hit across four games, propelling the Seattle Mariners to a dominant 10-3 victory against the Houston Astros on Saturday night, securing their fifth consecutive triumph.
Rodríguez’s single to left field in the seventh inning not only fueled his team’s success but also shattered a long-standing record established in 1925 by Milt Stock of the Brooklyn Robins. Concluding the game with an impressive 4-for-6 performance at the plate, he marked his fourth successive game with four or more hits.
In relation to his accomplishment, Rodríguez modestly shared, “To be completely honest, it wasn’t until they displayed it on the scoreboard that I realized I had set a record for a four-game stretch. Prior to that moment, I had no inkling.”
His series of four consecutive four-hit games matches Stock’s achievement, as corroborated by research from ESPN Stats & Information, solidifying it as the lengthiest such streak in history. Amid this outstanding run, Rodríguez boasts an exceptional 17-for-21 (.810) record at the plate, elevating his season batting average from .256 to a notable .278.
Mariners manager Scott Servais admired Rodríguez’s extraordinary form, stating, “Julio is currently performing at an outstanding level, and it’s truly a pleasure to witness. Every time he steps up to bat, there’s an air of anticipation for a hit, both from him and from us. … Tonight, our offense truly gelled. We’re familiar with Framber Valdez, and our early at-bats put considerable pressure on him.”
Dylan Moore contributed to the Mariners’ victory with two home runs, while Logan Gilbert (11-5) demonstrated his prowess on the mound by conceding merely two runs on eight hits, tallying three strikeouts and one walk over six innings, securing his 14th high-quality start of the season.
The Mariners’ recent performance, boasting a 13-3 record in their last 16 games, has propelled them to within 1½ games of the Astros for the second AL wild-card position. Furthermore, they’ve maintained a slim half-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays for the third and final AL wild-card spot.
Despite the Rays encountering setbacks, the Braves initially appeared poised to attain the best record in baseball. However, the Dodgers’ dominance in August, with an impressive 17-3 record, has introduced an element of uncertainty even in the National League competition.
Concurrently, a parallel narrative is unfolding in the American League, particularly within the Rangers’ division. After commanding the AL West with a significant lead of 6½ games in late June, the Texas Rangers now find themselves entangled in a tightly contested three-way contest for the division title, contending with challenges from the Houston Astros and the surging Seattle Mariners.
With these competitions showcasing continual fluctuations, prognosticating their outcomes remains an invigorating challenge, adding to the allure of the baseball season.
Our panel of experts has collectively ranked each MLB team, synthesizing their observations from the ongoing 162-game marathon of the baseball season, coupled with their existing knowledge. Additionally, insights from ESPN MLB experts David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, Jesse Rogers, and Alden Gonzalez contribute to a comprehensive overview of all 30 teams in the league.