That was a big victory for the Mariners if they have any hope of carrying this little run at contention beyond the month of June. You could sense some momentum slipping away as this road trip progressed and even manager Eric Wedge said pre-game that he wanted the win in this one bad.
No explanation needed.
The Mariners took until the fifth inning to get the bats going, but did they ever once that fifth arrived.
Justin Smoak hit another two-run homer in the ninth to give the Mariners a 7-3 win in a game that was much tighter than the final score indicated. Miguel Olivo had two homers — his first multi-homer game since Sept. 2009 — and Ichiro delivered two more hits today after a couple of lame-looking at-bats early on.
Ichiro’s first hit was key, enabling the M’s to tie the game 2-2 after it looked like they’d go down to another defeat early on. That’s four hits since Ichiro’s day of rest. Guess that off-day must have done him some good, huh?
Felix Hernandez battled all day long but oh my, did he ever battle. As I wrote earlier, that’s one of the grittiest games I’ve ever seen him pitch.
He was down 2-0 after three and his pitch count was getting way up there at 57. He ends up going eight innings on 126 pitches while allowing one more run.
That’s a man-sized performance right there. A Felix Hernandez performance that speaks beyond the three runs allowed.
When the Mariners needed a win, Hernandez gave them their shot.
Seattle is now 18-2 since April 26 when scoring four or more runs.