NEW YORK (AP) — J.P. Crawford had three hits, including a tiebreaking homer leading off the ninth inning, and the Seattle Mariners beat the New York Mets 8-7 on Saturday night to extend their slim lead in the AL West.
Crawford hit the second pitch from Adam Ottavino (1-5) into the right-field seats for the Mariners, who squandered a four-run lead but still improved to 39-16 since July 1 — the best record in the majors during that span.
“That’s what good teams do — they don’t give up, they come back,” Crawford said. “Tonight they did that. They came back and kept rolling with the punches. Thankfully, we were able to get that last punch.”
Seattle moved a game ahead of second-place Houston, which lost 5-4 to the New York Yankees.
“Obviously you check in on it, but if we don’t get a win, it doesn’t really matter,” winning pitcher Justin Topa said with a laugh.
Crawford singled in his first two at-bats before being hit by a pitch to open the fifth. He went into the dugout after the Mets pulled starter David Peterson but emerged as Grant Hartwig took his warmups.
“Get a drink of water,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said with a grin. “Chill out.”
The homer was Crawford’s first go-ahead shot in the ninth inning or later and gave him round-trippers in back-to-back games for the second time in his career.
“It’s going to take a lot for me to come out of the game,” Crawford said.
Topa (5-4) got the final four outs for Seattle. He gave up two hits in the ninth, but 270-pound designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach was thrown out trying to stretch a leadoff single and Topa retired Francisco Álvarez on a comebacker for the final out to leave Tim Locastro at first.
“It’s like a long jump shot,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “If you make it, it’s this. And if you don’t, it’s these questions.”
Topa went to college at Long Island University in Brooklyn and grew up about four hours north of Citi Field near Binghamton, where he served as a bat boy for the Mets’ Double-A affiliate. He said he had about 25 friends and family members in attendance Saturday night.
“It’s cool — obviously a lot of ties here,” Topa said. “Tonight was pretty special.”
The Mariners have played 40 consecutive games in which they’ve won outright or lost by two or fewer runs, including 22 on the road.
“Man, crazy games. We play them on the road and certainly have a few more ahead of us in September,” Servais said. “Awesome effort by our guys tonight.”
Teoscar Hernandez homered and finished with three RBIs. Dominic Canzone delivered his first career pinch-hit homer, a two-run drive in the sixth. Julio Rodríguez hit an RBI triple in the second and Sam Haggerty built a run in the sixth by walking, stealing two bases and scoring on an error.
Jeff McNeil finished a homer shy of the cycle for the Mets and tied the game with a run-scoring triple in the eighth. DJ Stewart stayed hot with a three-run shot — his ninth homer in the last 15 games. Francisco Lindor and Mark Vientos also went deep.
Mets rookie Ronny Mauricio, recalled from the minors Friday, had his second straight two-hit game.
Mariners right-hander Luis Castillo allowed five runs and struck out a season-low two in five-plus innings, snapping a streak of eight straight starts in which he lasted at least six innings.
Mauricio became the seventh Mets player to begin his career with consecutive multi-hit games and the first to do it since Josh Thole in September 2009.
New York recalled RHP Grant Hartwig from Triple-A Syracuse and optioned RHP Denyi Reyes to the same affiliate. The Mets also claimed RHP Peyton Battenfield off waivers from Cleveland and optioned him to Syracuse. Battenfield was 0-4 with a 5.19 ERA in seven games (six starts) this season for the Guardians.
The Mets left 10 runners on base for the second time in three games. Brandon Nimmo (first inning) and McNeil (fifth inning) each failed to score after hitting a leadoff double.
“I’m more thinking about we had a man on second and nobody out a couple times and didn’t execute getting those runs home,” Showalter said.
Mariners: 1B Ty France left the game immediately after being hit by Hartwig’s pitch leading off the sixth. He has a bruised right elbow.
Mets: Vientos aggravated a left foot injury while running the bases in the seventh and was replaced by Jonathan Araúz in the top of the eighth. … RHP Edwin Díaz (right patellar tendon) threw another bullpen, his fourth of the homestand.
A nine-game homestand against AL West opponents concludes Sunday for the Mets, who will send RHP Tylor Megill (7-7, 5.29 ERA) to the mound against Mariners RHP George Kirby (10-8, 3.28). Megill is facing Seattle for the first time. Kirby, who grew up a little more than 20 miles from Citi Field, hasn’t started since Aug. 23 due to an illness.