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Mariners to start playoffs on road after loss to Tigers, Haggerty hurts leg

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SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners will start their first playoff trip in two decades on the road after a costly 4-3 loss Monday night to the Detroit Tigers, who got a two-run homer from Javier Báez.

Sam Haggerty singled with two outs in the ninth and hurt his left groin while sliding into second base successfully. He needed assistance to leave the field, an arm draped over manager Scott Servais and an athletic trainer. 

Haggerty is to have an MRI Tuesday.

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Andrew Chafin struck out Carlos Santana for his third save.

Seattle, assured of a postseason trip for the first time since 2001, will open a best-of-three series at Tampa Bay or Cleveland on Friday, with all three games on the road.

Seattle has three games left against Detroit, including a doubleheader Tuesday.

Bryan Garcia (2-0), making his fourth start of the season after being recalled from Triple-A Toledo before the game, struck out six over 6 2/3 innings with two walks. 

Seattle star Julio Rodríguez, back from a trip to the injured list caused by a lower back strain, played designated hitter and likely will be in center for one of the games in Tuesday’s doubleheader.

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He hit a 110.1 mph single up the middle leading off the first, advanced when Ty France was hit by a pitch and tied the score at 1 when he moved up a base on flyouts by Mitch Haniger and Eugenio Suárez. 

Rodríguez dropped another hit between three fielders in the third inning and cut the lead to 4-3 with an RBI single in the seventh against José Cisnero.

Cisnero struck out France to end the threat and the Tigers held on for their 11th win in 13 games. 

Seattle rookie George Kirby (8-5), bidding for a postseason start, allowed four runs, six hits and three walks in four innings. Kirby entered with the highest strikeout-to-walk ratio by a rookie since 1900 at 6.74.

Akil Baddoo walked leading off, stole second and scored on Miguel Cabrera’s two-out single. Riley Greene walked with two outs in the third and Báez hit a two-run homer for a 3-1 lead. 

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Victor Reyes extended the lead with an RBI single in the fourth that bounced out of right fielder Mitch Haniger’s glove on a tough shoe-top scoop attempt.

Adam Frazier had two hits for the Mariners and drove in a run.

ROSTER SHUFFLE

Seattle optioned infielder Abraham Toro to Triple-A Tacoma. Toro is expected to join a group of players in the Mariners system currently working out in Arizona in case they are needed during the playoffs. Seattle also reinstated catcher Curt Casali from the paternity list and optioned catcher Brian O’Keefe to Tacoma.

PLAYOFF OPENER

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Luis Castillo is in line to start the wild-card opener.

“He’s got all the intangibles, plus the stuff and he likes pitching in big games and this is going to be a big game,” Servais said. “I say all that and we can’t get too far down the road. We got four games left to play.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal is with the team in Seattle as he recovers from surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his left arm. Skubal has not pitched since Aug. 1 and underwent surgery in mid-August. But Skubal played his college ball at Seattle University and the Tigers wanted to have him around the team for a little bit at the end of the season. 

“He’s such a big part of our of our culture and our presence and we miss him on the field, obviously, but it’s gonna be a while,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “But it’s good to see a familiar face and get him back in a team environment.”

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Tigers LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (5-5, 4.02 ERA) starts the first game. Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (10-15, 4.14) starts the opener and RHP Chris Flexen (8-9, 3.64) the nightcap. Gonzales has lost three straight decisions.

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Canada's first-ever World Cup goal, even in blowout loss, sparks hope

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There is hope that Canada’s young group can continue to grow and emerge as a genuine force alongside the United States and Mexico in the CONCACAF region.



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Canada Player Ratings: Davies gets redemption, but World Cup hopes end

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AL RAYYAN, Qatar – The Canadian men’s national team’s first World Cup campaign in 36 years will end this Thursday.

Andrej Kramaric and Marko Livaja wiped out Alphonso Davies’ early opener 67 seconds in, the first Canadian goal at a men’s World Cup, to lift Croatia to a 4-1 win.

With the defeat, Canada will be eliminated at the group stage, regardless of Thursday’s result versus Morocco, to close out Group F action.

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Here are your on-the-whistle player ratings for every Canadian starter.

Ratings are based off a 10-point scale. Anything above a six, the usual average for soccer ratings, is considered solid or better.

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Milan Borjan (goalkeeper): 8/10

Before the second half, Milan Borjan was going to receive a lower rating.

His hesitancy to come off his line and collect passes that ran through was peculiar. It nearly allowed Livaja and Kramaric to latch onto what seemed to be lost causes.

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Then Borjan produced four solid saves, including on Kramaric in the 55th minute, to keep Canada within touching distance until the third goal, reminding us of his heroics during World Cup Qualifying.

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Alistair Johnston (right-back): 7/10

Considering he was isolated most of the night, Alistair Johnston coped well. It’s a tough assignment having to face either Ivan Perisic or Borna Sosa on your own.

Johnston went on to win four of his seven defensive duels. Not bad at all.

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Steven Vitoria (centre-back): 6/10

Vitoria’s decision to push up, which vacated a wide-open lane for Livaja right before halftime, was one of his glaring mistakes on the night.

As usual, Vitoria’s distribution was decent, albeit with a couple of misplaced passes under pressure, but he remained strong in the air.

Kamal Miller (centre-back): 4/10

Four days after his man-of-the-match performance, Kamal Miller did struggle more often against a rapid Croatian attack and midfield.

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Miller’s weaknesses defending on the turn and in the air were exposed on the first and third goals. The mishit clearance for the fourth didn’t help, either.

It’s a shame, too, after what was a tremendous display in transitional moments against Belgium.

Richie Laryea (left-back): 6/10

Sunday wasn’t as eventful for Richie Laryea but he was solid at the back when Canada needed him.

The only wish Canadians would’ve wanted from Laryea was to be more influential in the final third, but Croatia’s defence rendered that task moot.

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Tajon Buchanan (right winger): 7/10

A lively start for Tajon Buchanan was negated by lackadaisical defensive duties. It was clear that Croatia was exploiting the right side with Johnston the only player covering the entire flank.

But there’s no doubt that Buchanan was a live wire when asked to be, as he posed a constant threat in transition and assisted Davies’ opener.

Atiba Hutchinson (midfielder): 5/10

It was apparent that Atiba Hutchinson, on three days’ rest at age 39, was struggling to keep up with the pace of play.

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Croatia’s midfield might have 37-year-old Luka Modric, but they still play incredibly slick and fluid football. Unfortunately, Hutchinson learned that the hard way.

The fact he stayed on the pitch for 73 minutes is quite surprising considering those struggles.

Stephen Eustaquio (midfielder): 9/10

Before he withdrew with a suspected injury, Stephen Eustaquio was terrific yet again.

He didn’t misplace a single pass on 27 attempts, and completed five clearances, a tackle and an interception before he checked out of the game at halftime.

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Depending on the severity of his injury, this could be a major blow for Canada ahead of the Morocco match on Thursday.

Alphonso Davies (left-winger): 8/10

Credit Alphonso Davies. The Bayern Munich superstar scored the first-ever Canadian men’s national team goal at the World Cup after one of the most heartbreaking moments in the squad’s history. That takes incredible mental strength.

He also tried to will his team back into the match after going 2-1 down by taking on Croatia’s defence, often on his own. The final ball didn’t always come off – he completed two of six dribbles and one key pass – but credit Davies for trying.

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Jonathan David (forward): 6/10

David looked timid and hesitant compared to the Belgium match. He was so eager to score in the opener that perhaps he was more selective with his shooting on Sunday.

Cyle Larin (forward): 5/10

After a strong performance against Belgium, Larin was relatively anonymous. He didn’t have a single shot and finished with just 14 touches.

Larin is a forward who needs to be actively involved, so the fact he was so invisible didn’t help unlock his best qualities.

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Croatia's Andrej Kramaric scores goal vs. Canada in 70' | 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Watch Croatia’s Andrej Kramaric scoring a goal against Canada in the 70′ in the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup.



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