Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Luis Castillo delivers against the New York Yankees in the first inning Wednesday in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Luis Castillo delivers against the New York Yankees in the first inning Wednesday in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

SEATTLE MARINERS: Castillo dazzles in debut

  • By Larry Fleisher The Associated Press
  • Wednesday, August 3, 2022 4:59pm
  • SportsMariners

NEW YORK — Luis Castillo pitched five-hit ball into the seventh inning in his Seattle debut, and the Mariners used a fast start to beat Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees 7-3 on Wednesday.

Eugenio Suárez, Carlos Santana and Jarred Kelenic homered against Cole (9-4) during Seattle’s six-run first. Jesse Winker connected against Wandy Peralta in the seventh, helping the Mariners match their season high for homers.

“It was just another Luis Castillo start,” said Winker, who played with the pitcher in Cincinnati. “He did great. First start here, I’m sure he was fired up and excited and he did his thing.”

Castillo (5-4) struck out eight in 6⅔ innings in his second start in the Bronx in less than a month. The right-hander allowed three runs and walked three.

“It was a little emotional … but that did not distract me from my routine,” Castillo said through a translator.

Castillo threw 109 pitches, 66 for strikes. He has struck out eight batters in each of his last four starts.

“Thought he was awesome,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Couldn’t be any more excited about what he’s going to bring to our ballclub, the stability, taking the ball every fifth day and the confidence and the stuff.”

The 29-year-old Castillo pitched seven sparkling innings for Cincinnati at New York on July 14. The Reds traded the ace to the Mariners on Friday night for four prospects.

The Yankees were reportedly in the mix for Castillo, but they acquired right-hander Frankie Montas in a trade with Oakland on Monday.

“They were one of the teams that was very interested in me, but I’m here with the Mariners now and just got to keep moving forward and now I’m here to take this team as far as I can,” Castillo said.

Castillo got some help from shortstop J.P. Crawford, who made a pair of impressive defensive plays.

Crawford cut down Isiah Kiner-Falefa with a strong relay throw when he tried to score from first on a double by Kyle Higashioka. Crawford also speared a 106.5 mph liner by Aaron Hicks to open the fifth while shifted to the right of second base.

Castillo retired 10 straight before issuing consecutive walks to DJ LeMahieu and Josh Donaldson in the sixth. But he got out of the jam by striking out Josh Donaldson on a slider and retiring Andrew Benintendi on a liner to second.

Castillo cruised into the seventh at 95 pitches and easily got the first two outs. He allowed a single to Kiner-Falefa and exited after Higashioka hit a two-run homer.

Cole was booed at various points of the first when Ronald Marinaccio began warming up. He allowed seven hits, struck out eight and walked one in six innings.

“Just a tough inning where he was struggling to … just find his command and his rhythm and getting all his pitches,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Unfortunately we’re behind the eight ball there and then pitched really well from there.”

It was the second time he allowed three homers in the first inning this season. Cole allowed three straight homers in the first and five total for his outing during the Yankees’ 10-7 win at Minnesota on June 9.

“There were bad pitch selections,” Cole said. “There were some bad pitches and we got punished for it again.”

The Mariners took a 3-0 lead when Suárez hit a first-pitch slider into the seats in left for his second straight homer in the opening inning. Santana followed with his 10th homer, driving a 3-1 fastball deep to right-center field.

After Seattle hit back-to-back homers for the second time this season, Crawford singled before Kyle Lewis struck out. Kelenic then made it 6-0 by reaching the short porch in right for his first homer since returning from spending over two months in the minors.

“It was a great day for us,” Winker said.

Trainer’s room

Mariners 1B Ty France missed a fourth straight game with a sore left wrist.

Up next

Mariners LHP Robbie Ray (8-8, 4.11 ERA) opens a three-game series against the Angels on Friday in Seattle.

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