SEATTLE, August 31st- Abraham Toro lead the Seattle Mariners to a grand slam win over the Houston Astros Tuesday night. “Abra-slam” as the Mariners called it, hit a timely grand slam in the eighth inning to give the Mariners their only runs of the game.
Mariners Have Unproductive Day at the Plate
The Mariners had another unproductive day offensively until Toro came to bat. Including the home run, they only had six hits on the day. To be fair, both teams struggled. The pitching was effective, with neither starter giving up a run. However, the Mariners know that this is an area they have struggled in. With the calendar slimming down and the postseason race still very much alive, the state of the lineup is of huge concern. The inability to bring runners in was once again a factor throughout the game. In three of the first four innings, the Mariners had leadoff singles. None would come around to score.
Toro Hits Slam Against Former Team
It was looking to be a slow offensive day for the Mariners at the plate. Until, Kendall Graveman, the trade chip the Mariners sent to the Astros as part of the Toro deal, got the opportunity to face Toro in the eighth. Toro ultimately won, with a big grand slam for a Mariners win. Toro lifted a 2-2 pitch to deep center field to break the scoreless tie.
This was a rather out-of-character appearance for Graveman. Mariners fans and players alike were visibly upset at the deadline when he traded because he has been so consistent. It was expected that he would be as effective as usual in a ballpark that he is very familiar with. Graveman has been excellent at not allowing runners to score this whole season, so a grand slam was surprising.
Toro took advantage of the former Mariner with the first grand slam of his career. Upwards of 57.6% of pitches thrown to Toro have been a fastball variation. The pitch thrown to him was not unlike others he has seen this season, as it was a sinker. The way Toro was able to handle the at-bat and make contact on such a difficult pitch was impressive. Toro has been great at the plate, a young but disciplined hitter who can give the Mariners a shot from either side of the dish. Toro is making good contact at the plate, with an average of 86.4% in 2021. He made more than enough contact in this important at-bat. Not only is Toro not particularly a home run hitter, the slam being only his tenth of the season, but he also does not hit them to deep center field. In this case, he got all of it, sending it 413 feet. In comparison, six of Toro’s home runs have been over the right-field wall. The grand slam was one of his longest in 2021.
The flipping of the calendar into pivotal September will see the continuation of the Astros series at T-Mobile Park. The young Logan Gilbert goes against the experienced Jake Odorizzi at 1:10 pm PST. Now that September is here every game is even more important. The Mariners will be looking for another win against their division rival on Wednesday.
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