Haniger’s 9th Inning HR Tops KC, M’s win 6-5
Seattle started the night with a 2-0 series lead against Kansas City for the four game series. With a win, the M’s would win the series and start 12-2 on the year. Yusei Kikuchi was on the mound looking for his first win in the Majors. Here’s how the game happened.
The Mariners started out with the lead yet again. Top of the first, Jay Bruce reached, and then with two outs Edwin Encarnacion drove in Bruce. 1-0 M’s.
In the bottom of the first, the Royals answered. Jorge Soler’s RBI single scored Adalberto Mondesi. 1-1 through one inning.
Seattle went quietly in the second, but KC would not be so brief. Hunter Dozier smashed a home run to left. 2-1 KC.
The Mariners haven’t trailed much this season, so they were looking to change things in the third. The first three batters reached, and Encarnacion nearly cleared the bases, but he had to settle for a sacrifice fly instead. 2-2, top third.
Daniel Vogelbach wasn’t satisfied with the tie, so he sent a shot deep. Unfortunately, it was caught by Whit Merrifield, limiting the damage to a second sacrifice fly. 3-2 M’s.
Soler wasn’t happy being down, so the Royals DH clobbered a Kikuchi pitch to the middle deck in left center field. 3-3, bottom third.
The fourth inning started the same as the third. KC Starter, Heath Fillmyer filled the bases with Mariners. This time, Mallex Smith smoked a ball to left field and scored two. 5-3 M’s.
Kikuchi pitched a gem through six innings, but the Mariners pulled him before the seventh… that would bite Seattle. Terrance Gore hit an RBI triple first, scoring Chris Owings. 5-4 M’s.
Then, Whit Merrifield set the Kansas City record for consecutive games with a hit, dating back to last season, with a bunt single to score Gore and tie the game. 5-5, through seven innings.
The Mariners found some trouble in the bottom of the eighth but the closer from Tuesday, Anthony Swarzak, got Seattle out of trouble. Then in the top of the ninth inning, Mitch Haniger slugged a homer to right field to give the M’s the lead once again. 6-5 M’s.
After Haniger’s HR, Seattle found themselves in position for their 12th win. Kansas City had other ideas, but if you read the headline you know what happens. KC quickly hit two fly balls for outs in the bottom of the ninth. So, with two outs Gore continued to be a thorn in the M’s side with a double. Then back-to-back walks (one intentional), and Roenis Elias was right where he wanted to be.
Seattle won 6-5 in improbable fashion. However, this team is completely over-performing what all pundits thought they were capable of being this season.
Winning Pitcher, Anthony Swarzak: 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, 1 BB | Losing Pitcher, Brad Boxburger: 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 K, 0 BB | Save (2), Roenis Elias: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 K, 2 BB
Mitch Haniger didn’t have a great night, but he did what the M’s needed; 1-for-4, HR, 2 Runs scored, 1 BB, 2 K.
- Mitch Haniger’s 9th inning home run set and tied a MLB record;
- The HR marks the 14th straight game Seattle has hit a HR to start the season. That ties the 2002 Cleveland Indians.
- The HR also gave Seattle six runs, which meant the Mariners have scored 6+ runs in 12 of their first 14 games which breaks a record set by the 1932 Yankees.
- Yusei Kikuchi started for the Mariners, and picked up another No-Decision. He is the only M’s starter without a Win this season.
- KC’s Whit Merrifield bunt single gave him 31 straight games with a base hit; that passes the 30 game mark set by George Brett in 1980.
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