Mariners Rookie Julio Rodriguez Swats First Career Home Run

It wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Julio Rodriguez would make the Seattle Mariners Opening Day roster when Spring Training camps opened. But a 1.281 on-base plus slugging percentage, including three home runs, through 14 Cactus League games made it impossible not to include Rodriguez in the lineup.

After 20 mildly successful games, the Mariners’ franchise cornerstone centerfielder got off the schneid against the Miami Marlins on Sunday. Rodriguez knocked in his first career home run, sending a Sandy Alcantara sinker into orbit on a 450-foot shot.

J-Rod was slugging just .260 coming into Sunday afternoon’s contest, with just four of his 15 hits going for extra bases. Still, the 21-year-old has been trending positively, improving his batting average from .196 to .224 over the past six games.

The homer staked the M’s to a five-run lead, although the Marlins responded with one run of their own in the bottom half of the sixth inning.

Seattle continues to lead the Marlins late. Check out FanDuel Sportsbook for a live line on the inter-league matchup.