After navigating ups-and-downs throughout the season, the Seattle Mariners are on the verge of pulling even with the Toronto Blue Jays for the final spot in the American League Wild Card race. The reawakening of young Julio Rodriguez is a big reason why this club is finally realizing its full potential.

The 2022 Rookie of the Year capped off a historic 24 hours against the Kansas City Royals in Seattle's 6-4 Thursday afternoon victory. Rodriguez went 5-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs. He is the first MLB player to record five hits in a day game following a four-hit showing the previous night (4-for-6, two RBIs) since Juan Pierre accomplished the feat with the Colorado Rockies in 2002, per ESPN Stats & Info. That's not all, though.

Rodriguez also boldly etched his name in franchise history by tallying 12 hits in the four-game road series. That is the most by any Mariners player ever. This is the star fans have waited months to arrive. A productive July has given way to an even better August. The 22-year-old is now batting a respectable .269 with 20 home runs, 78 RBIs and a .451 slugging percentage.

Despite suffering a couple of tough extra-inning losses versus the Baltimore Orioles last weekend, Seattle took care of business against the Royals, winning three of four. The Blue Jays have the night off before visiting the Cincinnati Reds Friday night, while the Mariners head to Houston for a critical series with the defending champion Astros.

Julio Rodriguez will probably need to stay hot if they are to overcome one of the deepest and most persistent clubs in baseball. Though, betting against him and the streaking M's is proving to be a futile exercise in August.