Mariners Use Big Seventh Inning to Beat Oakland 7-4
It was beginning to look like a Mariners movie we had all watched one too many times. After a solid outing from a starting pitcher, the Mariners would just be unable to score enough to win.
And over the past 5 seasons or so, this pattern would repeat itself constantly. It seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, tonight was not the same old movie. Instead, the Mariners did something different. They fought back.
Trailing the A’s 3-2 with 2 outs in the 7th, Mitch Haniger stepped to the plate with 2 men on. With 2 strikes on him, most Mariners fans probably expected the worst. Instead, Mitch Haniger gave the stadium a much-needed jolt of adrenaline, clocking a 3-run home run into the bullpen.
The Mariners had a 5-3 lead, but they weren’t done yet. After a Kyle Seager single, Daniel Vogelbach stepped to the plate. He was riding a 0-3 start, including 2 bad plate appearances. But this time, Vogelbach stepped up and delivered his first career home run.
After a shaky 8th inning from Juan Nicasio, Edwin Diaz slammed the door shut in the ninth. Not to be forgotten was the third straight solid start of Mike Leake. Leake threw 6 innings of 3 run ball, including 5 innings of 1 run ball after the first.
Robinson Cano continued his early season success, reaching base 4 times. Kyle Seager continued his recent hot streak, reaching base 3 times, including an RBI double in the first.
The Mariners got some news on the injury front before the game. Under the watchful eye of Scott Servais and Rob Nodine, Nelson Cruz ran the bases to test out his ankle. Cruz lobbied to be activated for today’s game but should be activated for tomorrow’s game.
In addition, Ben Gamel is expected to rejoin the team for the Houston series. Mike Zunino got pushed back once again and is now tentatively scheduled to join the team for the weekend series.
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Seattle is back in action Saturday at 6:10 on Military Appreciation Night. Marco Gonzales will toe the rubber for Seattle. Oakland will counter with RHP Kendall Graveman, who has struggled thus far in 2018. We should also expect a roster move, likely a bullpen member being sent down to activate Nelson Cruz.