SEATTLE — Luis Rodriguez might be the 25th player on the Mariners’ roster, but the utility infielder came up with the biggest hit of the young season Monday to cap a dramatic 8-7 victory over Toronto and snap a seven-game losing streak.
Rodriguez, who replaced an injured Chone Figgins in the fourth inning, finished off a 10-pitch battle with Blue Jays reliever Shawn Camp by ripping a game-winning two-run single in the bottom of the ninth, walking off as the Mariners overcame a 7-0 deficit.
The Mariners scored seven runs in the final two frames against a Blue Jays bullpen that came into the game with a league-leading 1.11 ERA.
After Michael Saunders led off the ninth with a double, the Mariners sacrificed him to third. With two outs, the Blue Jays chose to intentionally walk Ichiro Suzuki to pitch to Rodriguez, who came into the at-bat hitting .091 (1-for-11) on the season.
Ichiro wound up stealing second during Rodriguez’s long duel, then scored the winning run behind Saunders when Rodriguez stroked a Camp change-up into the right-center-field gap.
“I knew the situation, especially with our seven-game losing streak,” said Rodriguez, a career .243 hitter whose only previous walk-off hit came in 2008 for the Padres. “This win is really big for us.”