If Jake Fraley doesn’t have a commercial deal with eye drops in the next week or two, then the marketing folks for Clear Eyes or Visine, well, they aren’t doing their jobs properly.
After dealing with something caught in his eye that required head athletic trainer Kyle Torgerson to put drops in his eye, Fraley launched his first career homer — a three-run blast to deep right-center — that would eventually be the game-winning hit in the Seattle Mariners’ 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
Fraley’s homer turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead that Seattle only added upon in the later innings.
Realistically, Fraley’s future commercial endeavors with eye drops could also be predicated on his ability to discern balls and strikes and take a walk. Besides his homer, he also took two walks in the game, giving him 15 walks on the season. Throw in his four hits and Fraley has a .556 on-base percentage.
Seattle also got a solid start from Justus Sheffield, who pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts to improve to 5-4 on the season. The two runs came on a pair of solo homers. Justin Upton smoked a deep shot to center for a 1-0 lead to start the second. After Sheffield struck out Juan Lagares, Jared Walsh clubbed an even harder homer to right-center. The ball had a 113 mph exit velocity.
Down 2-0, the Mariners answered with a run in the top of third on a Mitch Haniger infield single.
Sheffield seemed destined for a shortened start. The Angels loaded the bases in the third inning with one out, but he managed to wiggle out of it without allowing a run, getting Juan Lagares to fly out to shallow right field and getting Walsh to ground out to end the inning.
Once Fraley gave the Mariners a lead, Sheffield was given a reprieve and a reset to the start. He didn’t waste it.
He posted a scoreless inning in the fourth that included striking Shohei Ohtani for the third time in the game, with a pair of runners on base. Sheffield worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning and retired the first two batters of the sixth. But after walking Max Stassi, manager Scott Servais went to the bullpen, much to Sheffield’s displeasure.
J.T. Chargois retired David Fletcher to end the sixth and keep Sheffield in line for the win.
The Mariners picked up a run in the sixth on J.P. Crawford’s RBI double to left-center.
Kyle Seager, who came into the game with a .150/.190/.250 slash line over his past 10 games, clubbed a solo homer off of lefty Alex Claudio that made it 6-2.
The Mariners’ bullpen had a nice rebound after an awful outing on Wednesday. Chargois, Paul Sewald, Keynan Middleton and Rafael Montero combined to work 3 1/3 innings without allowing a run, hit or a walk while striking out three batters.
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