When the Seattle Mariners were last on a winning streak that spanned 14 games, 21-year-old rookie All-Star Julio Rodríguez was not yet six months old.
Now, he is a key part of a team one game away from matching a franchise-best 15-game winning run.
Already, the Mariners have equaled the Atlanta Braves’ run for the longest streak in the majors this season and smashed the record longest winning streak for a team entering the All-Star break.
They join the illustrious company of just three other teams who have gone into the All-Star break after winning 10 consecutive games: the 1935 Detroit Tigers, the 1945 Chicago Cubs and the 1975 Cincinnati Reds – all of which won a pennant.
Seattle’s latest triumph came on Sunday with a 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers behind home runs from first baseman Ty France and catcher Cal Raleigh.
Rodríguez and France – the team’s newly anointed All-Stars – combined for four of Seattle’s 10 hits.
“We are riding some kind of momentum high right now, and it’s what baseball is supposed to be. This is a stretch we’re in that I don’t think anybody will ever forget it,” manager Scott Servais said, according to MLB.com. “What a way to end the first half.”
Texas initially led thanks to a Marcus Semien home run, before Raleigh scored a two-run homer at the top of the fourth inning – his 13th of the season – to put Seattle 2-1 up.
France then celebrated his recent inclusion in the All-Star team with a 432-foot solo shot to extend Seattle’s lead at the top of the fifth.
“I think it’ll be good for us to kind of let our bodies recover,” he said afterward, according to The Seattle Times.
“There’s a lot of guys in that locker room, they play every day, they’re playing hurt, they’re playing banged up. These next couple of days will be good for them, and hopefully, we can just keep that rolling.”
Seattle’s rookie star Rodríguez hit a two-run RBI double in the seventh to seal the game and ensure that the Mariners swept a fourth consecutive series for the first time since 2001.
Following its latest win, Seattle is now 51-42 and half a game behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the top wild-card spot in the American League.