ANAHEIM, Calif. — — Carlos Santana not only delivered a huge birthday present to his mother on Monday, he helped get the Seattle Mariners back on track in their bid to make the postseason for the first time since 2001.
Santana homered twice, including his first grand slam in three years, and Ty France drove in four runs as the Mariners snapped a three-game losing streak with a 9-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
“My wife said to me, ‘I think if you don’t hit a home run, you don’t love your mom.'” I said, “OK, I love my mom,” Santana said after his 15th multi-homer game and fourth of the season. “That’s a lot of love here.”
The 13-year veteran, who helped Cleveland to four postseason appearances, including the 2016 World Series, has hit 15 of his 19 home runs this season since Seattle acquired him from Kansas City in late June.
He also went deep seven times in his last nine games for Seattle (81-65), which opened a five-game lead over Baltimore (76-70) for the final AL wild-card spot.
“After the second one, I said, ‘You’ve got to really love your mom,’ and he said, ‘She’s the best,'” manager Scott Servez said. “Carlos was great. He is a veteran in his presence in the clubhouse and helping guys out, even with this little carry. Those guys are valuable, especially when they hit grand slams.”
Logan Gilbert struck out a career-high 11, allowing one run and four hits over six innings and helped prevent the Mariners from winning a four-game series at Angel Stadium for the first time in 10 years.
Gilbert got Shohei Ohtani to chase down a slider to end a 12-pitch at-bat in the first inning and then struck out the side in the second.
“I felt pretty good. I think it just means your submissions are working and you’re getting good results, which is a priority all the time. It’s not all about the strikeouts, but it’s good to see,” Gilbert said.
Ohtani had two hits and scored in the sixth inning. The reigning AL MVP has hit safely in his last five games and is 6 for 17 over that span. Mike Trout was not in the lineup due to a scheduled vacation.
Seattle took a 5-0 lead into the fifth inning of Santana’s fifth career grand slam. He drove a 91.5-mile fastball from Jose Suarez 420 feet beyond the bullpen and into the left-center stands. He then added a solo shot to center in Mike Myers’ ninth that went 423 feet.
France’s double down the left-field line scored JP Crawford to put the Mariners up 1-0 in the opener. France hit a three-run homer off Zach Weiss to make it 8-1 in the seventh.
Suarez allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings.
“The first four innings he was good,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “Crawford took some good swings off him, but he threw the ball well until that (fifth) inning. You’re down 3-0 and you go in against a guy like Santana, he’s going to do some damage.”
ON A ROLL
Gilbert has a 2.01 ERA (nine earned runs in 40 1/3 innings) with nine walks and 45 strikeouts in his last seven starts since Aug. 14.
THIS IS A PACKAGE
Los Angeles went 10-9 over the Mariners in 2022 and has won the season series in three of the last four years.
Mariners: CF Julio Rodriguez (back) took at least 30 swings from a pitching game before the game and could return to the lineup Tuesday. … C Cal Raleigh is out as he deals with a sore left thumb.
Nevin said his plan is for Trout to play all but one of the remaining 15 games in center field, with the other likely to appear at designated hitter.
Mariners: Continue their 10-game road trip with three in Oakland. RHP Luis Castillo (7-5, 2.68) is 3-1 in nine starts since being acquired from Cincinnati at the trade deadline.
Angels: Hit the road for six games starting Tuesday against Texas. LHP Patrick Sandoval (5-9, 2.99 ERA) is 0-2 in five games against the Rangers.