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Washington pro-sports summary for Sept. 9

| September 9, 2022 1:25 AM

WASHINGTON STATE – Washington’s sports teams have been busy over the past week, with the Mariners entering the final stretch of the regular season, the Storm battling against the Las Vegas Aces and the Seahawks preparing for kickoff of the 2022 season.

Mariners

Sitting at 77-60 and coming off of back-to-back road sweeps against the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Guardians, the Seattle Mariners maintain possession of the American League’s second of three wild card spots. Seattle sits half a game ahead of Toronto in the final wild-card spot, with Tampa Bay 1.5 games back of Toronto. Bats were hot on the road, outscoring opponents 37-10 over the six-game span.

Seattle took the second game of the series against Detroit courtesy of a two-run home run by Abraham Toro in the seventh inning for an eventual 5-3 win. Pitcher Marco Gonzales earned the win. The final game against Detroit was a shutout 7-0 victory, with pitcher Logan Gilbert notching his 11th win of the season. Back-to-back solo home runs by Julio Rodríguez and Ty France in the third inning were among the game’s highlights, later followed by Curt Casali’s two-RBI double in the fourth.

Traveling to Cleveland last Friday, Seattle catcher Cal Raleigh hit two home runs, a solo shot to right field in the second inning and a three-run home run in the sixth inning, in the 6-1 series-opening win against the Guardians. A 4-0 win and a 6-3 win in extra innings closed out the series, with pitchers Robbie Ray and Matthew Boyd both earning wins.

Seattle begins a home stand against the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres, set to fun from Friday through Wednesday. The five games against the two teams are the Mariner’s final games against teams with a winning record – after Wednesday, Seattle sees a series against Kansas City, the Rangers, Detroit and two series against Oakland. None of the four remaining teams have over 60 wins.

Storm

After taking game one of the WNBA semi-finals, the Seattle Storm were unable to maintain their momentum and fell to the Las Vegas Aces on Tuesday, being eliminated from the postseason.

In Game 2, Seattle jumped out to an early 23-16 lead after the first quarter, with Breanna Stewart recording 8 points in the first 10 minutes. A slower second and third quarter for the Storm allowed the Aces to mount a comeback and win Game 2 78-73.

Game 3 saw a back-and-forth scoring affair between the Storm and Aces, with Seattle taking an 89-25 lead with 11.2 seconds remaining from two free throws made by Jewell Loyd. A quick three-pointer by Las Vegas’ Riquna Williams cut the lead to just one point, and, following two missed free throws by Tina Charles, the Aces took a one-point lead on a layup by A’ja Wilson with 2.9 seconds remaining. The Storm regained the lead on a 22-foot three pointer by Sue Bird, followed by the Aces tying the game at 92 on a Jackie Young layup with .2 seconds left.

Overtime saw the Aces run away with the game, outsourcing the home team Storm 18-8 in the five minutes of bonus time.

Down 2-1 in the series, Seattle was on the brink of elimination entering Game 4. Despite taking a 47-44 lead into halftime, the Storm were outscored 22-12 in the third quarter. The game was tied with under 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter, but Las Vegas was able to pull away for a 97-92 win, advancing to the WNBA Finals.

Seattle’s Stewart was edged out by Las Vegas’ Wilson for the WNBA MVP Award, with Wilson receiving 31 of 56 first-place votes for the award.

The loss ended Seattle’s season, but also closed up 18-year veteran Bird’s WNBA career. Bird leaves the game with four championships, the WNBA’s all-time leader in assists and starts, a 12-time WNBA all-star, Seattle’s all-time field goal leader and more, doing it all with Seattle.

Seahawks

The Seahawks announced their 2022 team captains on Monday, with wide receiver Tyler Lockett, safety Quandre Diggs, linebacker Nick Bellore and defensive tackle Al Woods all being named to the position.

Seattle signed linebacker Joshua Onujiogu and defensive end Jabari Zuniga to the team’s practice squad on Monday, completing the 16-man practice squad. Onujiogu was waived by Seattle after initially making the 53-man roster, and Zuniga, a 2020 third-round pick, was waived by the New York Jets.

While the NFL’s regular season kicked off on Thursday night with the Bills facing off against the Rams, Seattle will have to wait until Monday night to begin its 2022 campaign. The Seahawks will welcome back their former franchise quarterback Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos to Lumen Field, with kickoff set for 5:15 p.m.

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.

photo

AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (10) dribbles the ball against the Las Vegas Aces during the first half of Game 4 of a WNBA basketball playoff semifinal Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, in Seattle. The Aces beat the Storm 97-92 to advance to the WNBA Finals.

photo

AP Photo/Matt Durisko

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Joshua Onujiogu (49) defends during a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh, PA.

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