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Homer-happy Mariners outslug Athletics

April 15, 2018

SEATTLE -- Daniel Vogelbach is coming to learn that as he slows down, he heats up.Vogelbach launched a 433-foot homer Saturday night that highlighted the Mariners' 10-8 slugfest victory over the Athletics at Safeco Field. It was his second homer in as many nights, and it starts with a reminder

SEATTLE -- Daniel Vogelbach is coming to learn that as he slows down, he heats up.
Vogelbach launched a 433-foot homer Saturday night that highlighted the Mariners' 10-8 slugfest victory over the Athletics at Safeco Field. It was his second homer in as many nights, and it starts with a reminder taped to his wrist: Slow down.
"I look at it a lot," Vogelbach said. "I've got to talk to myself every time. Everybody has their thing that kind of gets them into their zone. Sometimes I speed up and try to do too much. I tell myself to slow down.
"Looking at the tape is just a reminder every single day to slow down and let it come to me."
Make that a reminder that required a reminder.
"It was funny," Vogelbach said. "I did it all spring [when he hit his way onto the club], and I didn't do it two games ago. [Mike] Zunino pointed it out and asked, `Why don't you have that thing on there?' I went back to doing it."

The Mariners also got homers from Jean Segura, Kyle Seager and Mitch Haniger in extending their winning streak to four games. They built leads of 3-0, 5-3 and 9-4 before the Athletics stormed back against the Mariners' bullpen.
"That was a lot of hitting going on out there tonight," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "Great ballgame, offensively. We had a lot of positive things. … It's nice and easy to win 4-2 or 5-3, but you've got to figure out a way to win the 10-8 games, too."

It was a wild ride, particularly in the early innings as neither Mariners starter Marco Gonzales nor Oakland starter Kendall Graveman (0-3) found a comfort zone.
Gonzales gave up four runs while lasting just 3 1/3 innings, but middle relievers Chasen Bradford (1-0) and Dan Altavilla worked through the sixth without further damage.

Then it got interesting.
Oakland closed to 9-7 with a three-run seventh. Marc Rzepczynski permitted a two-out homer to Mark Canha and exited after a Jed Lowrie single. Khris Davis then crushed Nick Vincent's first pitch for a homer to center.
Vogelbach's homer later in the inning pushed the lead back to three runs, but Stephen Piscotty answered with a two-out homer in the eighth against Juan Nicasio before Edwin Diaz worked a scoreless ninth for his sixth save in six chances.

"We keep coming back," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said, "and we're scoring some runs. Similar to last night, we just can't hold them down."
Particularly when Vogelbach slows himself down.
Vogelbach crushes homer over "Hit it Here" sign
"Vogey's got big power," Servais said. "He got all of that one tonight. That's about as good as you can hit a ball. He also hung in there against a lefty [Danny Coulombe], got a double there, too.
"[Vogelbach's] starting to heat up a little bit. His confidence is starting to come back."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Vogelbach made a nice scoop at first base on a short-hop throw from Segura to complete an inning-ending double play with runners at first and third in the fourth. The play required a replay review to overturn a call by umpire Paul Nauert, but enabled the Mariners to hold onto a one-run lead.

SOUND SMART
Dee Gordon has the longest hitting streak of his career -- sort of. A leadoff single in the first inning means he has hits this season in all 12 games. He ended last season with hits in six straight games for an overall 18-game run. But MLB does not recognize hitting streaks carrying over from one season to the next. So his career best remains a 17-game streak last season with Miami.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
How cautious was Nelson Cruz in running the bases after missing the previous nine games because of a sprained right ankle? Well, Seager isn't known for his speed, but he nearly beat Cruz to the plate when both players scored on Haniger's two-run single in the third inning. More >

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Mariners initially caught a break when a replay review in the third inning showed a two-out drive by Semien skipped over the left-field wall before caroming back onto the field. But it turned out far better for the A's in the long run. Initially, Jonathan Lucroy scored on the drive and Semien was out at the plate when he tried to score after the throw got past catcher David Freitas. The review sent the runners back to second and third with two outs, but Gonzales couldn't cash the second chance. Singles by Canha and Lowrie produced three runs.

UP NEXT
All players across MLB will be wearing No. 42 on Sunday as part of the annual Jackie Robinson tribute, but Felix Hernandez will try to keep everything else the same when he faces the Athletics at 1:10 p.m. PT. King Felix is 25-9 in 45 career starts against Oakland, which is starting Sean Manaea.

Bob Dutton is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle.