Mariners complete a big sweep of Oakland, climb two games

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 3: Yonder Alonso
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 3: Yonder Alonso /

Things were bad in Seattle. A bad stretch of five consecutive losses had dropped the Mariners to two games under .500 and 4.5 back of the second wild card spot. The pitching had gone a full time through the rotation without a win, the bats were quiet, but with a month to play, Seattle was still hanging around.

Then Mike Leake happened. He pitched seven strong innings, just the 22nd time a Mariners starter completed seven all year. He only surrendered two runs. It was a stellar outing from the newly-acquired veteran.

Saturday saw a stellar comeback where Seattle trailed 6-2 early. Then a homer from Yonder Alonso, a heck of a night from Jean Segura, and a timely wild pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth got the M’s a nice win.

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Sunday, everything pretty much went right for Seattle.

Andrew Albers had a no-hit bid through 5, and the only hit he surrendered in 6 complete innings was a solo homer.

Robbie Cano hit his second blast in as many days (after going 35 games without one) to put the Mariners up in the first inning.

A five-run eighth inning put the exclamation point on the Mariners 10-2 victory.

The biggest story from the weekend, though: The return of Mitch Haniger.

After his return from the first disabled list trip in June, Haniger hit 32-for-167, good for a batting average of .192. Since his second DL trip, he’s gone just 5-for-37, but over the last four games, he seems to be picking things back up.

Going back to the last game of the Orioles’ series, Haniger is hitting .588 with 3 doubles and 2 homers. He boasts an OPS of 1.706 in those four games. Now yes, that’s just four games, but Mitch hasn’t had a four game hitting streak or played anywhere close to this level over four consecutive games since before his first DL stint.

Next: Alternate Universe: The Mariners blow it up for 2018

The return of Haniger could be a huge addition to the M’s as they push for the postseason, now just 2.5 back of the second spot, as they enter a huge series with the AL West-leading Astros.