HomeSportsWalk-off home run sends Mariners to postseason for first time since 2001

Walk-off home run sends Mariners to postseason for first time since 2001


The longest playoff drought in North American sports has finally come to an end.

the Seattle Mariners clinched a playoff spot on Friday night in dramatic fashion, earning a spot in the Major League Baseball postseason with a final victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Manager Scott Servais, #9, of the Seattle Mariners celebrates after securing a postseason berth after beating the Oakland Athletics 2-1 at T-Mobile Park on September 30, 2022, in Seattle, Washington . The Seattle Mariners made a postseason appearance for the first time in 21 years, the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports.
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Seattle catcher Cal Raleigh hit a two-out home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to secure a wildcard spot in the American League and drive T-Mobile Park crazy.

“The moment I knew it was fair and then I looked at the team and everyone was jumping, it was crazy,” Raleigh said, according to MLB.com.

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Raleigh, pinch hitter for Luis Torrens, hit a 3-2 slider off A’s pitcher Domingo Acevedo 406 feet for his 26th home run of the season.

Manager Scott Servais #9 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates after scoring a postseason birth after beating the Oakland Athletics 2-1 at T-Mobile Park on September 30, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.  The Seattle Mariners made a postseason appearance for the first time in 21 years, the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports.

Manager Scott Servais #9 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates after scoring a postseason birth after beating the Oakland Athletics 2-1 at T-Mobile Park on September 30, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Mariners made a postseason appearance for the first time in 21 years, the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports.
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

“We did it. These players behind me are special. They care. They care about winning the right way. They care about representing the city of Seattle,” Seattle coach Servais told the crowd.

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The last time Seattle was in the playoffsIt was 2001 and the Mariners tied the MLB record for wins with 116.

“There are so many kids who grew up in the Pacific Northwest who don’t know anything about the Mariners being in the playoffs,” Servais said. “And now we can show them to you.”

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Seattle starting pitcher Logan Gilbert pitched a career-high eight innings, striking out four while allowing just one run on three hits.

Cal Raleigh #29 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his home run during the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics at T-Mobile Park on September 30, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.  With the win, the Seattle Mariners clinched a postseason appearance for the first time in 21 years, the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports.

Cal Raleigh #29 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his home run during the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics at T-Mobile Park on September 30, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. With the win, the Seattle Mariners clinched a postseason appearance for the first time in 21 years, the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports.
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

“It was crazy. I mean, I haven’t been in Seattle for a few years, but I feel like I’m one of the fans who’s waited 21 years,” Gilbert said. “It was just the culmination of a lot of waiting.”

With the victory, Seattle stays 1.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the top wild card spot with just six games to go.

Associated Press contributed to this report.



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