SEATTLE -- Winning hasn’t come easily of late for the Mariners. So all it took on Monday night was a three-run lightning bolt from Daniel Vogelbach in the eighth, a bases-loaded strikeout by Brandon Brennan in the ninth and a walk-off single by Omar Narváez in the 10th to secure
SEATTLE -- Winning hasn’t come easily of late for the Mariners. So all it took on Monday night was a three-run lightning bolt from Daniel Vogelbach in the eighth, a bases-loaded strikeout by Brandon Brennan in the ninth and a walk-off single by Omar Narváez in the 10th to secure a 6-5 victory over the A’s, snapping a four-game skid.
The Mariners had lost 12 of their previous 14 games by a combined score of 103-48, and were staring another defeat in the face until the late rally, which lifts their record to 21-23 as they open a six-game homestand at T-Mobile Park.
The game-winner came after Ramon Laureano had launched the A’s fifth solo homer of the night off Brennan in the top of the 10th. Vogelbach started the winning rally with a two-out walk, and Domingo Santana drove in pinch-runner Dee Gordon with a double before Narvaez's game-winner to left field off Joakim Soria.
• Box score
“Obviously we really felt down when they got the homer,” Narvaez said. “It was pretty good to bounce back. We haven’t been very good lately, but I think today was the beginning.”
Vogelbach awakened from his recent cold spell with a three-run blast off a 98-mph fastball from A’s standout reliever Lou Trivino to tie the game at 4-4. After a torrid start to the season, Vogelbach had hit .145 (8-for-55) with one home run over 18 games since April 21 until his two-out bolt to dead center, a projected 426-footer per Statcast.
The 26-year-old designated hitter told manager Scott Servais before the game that he needed to swing easier instead of trying so hard in recent days, and that ploy worked to perfection as he let the hard-throwing Trivino supply the power in his critical at-bat.
“I feel like every time I should be swinging 50 percent. I just haven’t slowed it down, and I got out of my approach a little bit,” Vogelbach said. “It happens. It’s a long season and pitchers are really good in this league. I’m just getting back to doing what I do and hopefully I can get back on track.”
Vogelbach’s 10th homer of the season gave the Mariners life after they’d been shut down for seven innings by Mike Fiers and Yusmeiro Petit. He hopes it translates to a turnaround for the entire team after its recent rough stretch.
“I feel like we’ve been in a lot of games that just haven’t gone our way,” Vogelbach said. “We have so many competitors in here. I know it’s still early in the season and a lot of people have already counted us out. But there’s no quit in this team. Domingo’s at-bat, Omar has just been raking. We just continue to go and go, and there’s something to be said about that with the guys we’ve got in this clubhouse.”
Brennan, the Mariners’ Rule 5 rookie right-hander, walked the bases loaded in the top of the ninth before whiffing Stephen Piscotty to keep the score tied. He gave up the A’s final homer in the 10th before ending up the winning pitcher after limiting the damage to that sole run.
“We needed this one,” Servais said. “It was kind of a crazy game. They say solo homers never beat you. Tonight, they almost did. But we got some big hits late.”
Equally critical was Vogelbach’s walk to kick-start that rally.
“Two out and nobody on in the last inning and Vogey doesn’t try to do too much,” Servais said. “A 3-1 borderline pitch up, he doesn’t go after it and try to be a hero again. He takes his walk, and that says a lot about him and his mindset.”
Another homer-happy game
The Mariners’ two home runs raised their season total to an MLB-leading 80 after 44 games. Fiers had no-hit the Reds in his previous start last week, but Mitch Haniger quickly removed any notion of a repeat by launching a leadoff blast on Fiers’ fifth pitch of the game.
Fiers became the first pitcher since Catfish Hunter in 1968 to allow a home run to the first batter he faced in the game after throwing a no-hitter. Hunter -- who coincidentally also pitched for the A’s -- gave up his long ball to fellow Hall of Famer Rod Carew of the Twins.
However, the 33-year-old right-hander slammed the door after Haniger’s 10th homer of the season with the Mariners managing just two hits in Fiers’ five innings, and four hits on the night until Vogelbach’s blast.
Oakland played plenty of long ball on its own with two homers by Khris Davis and one each from Mark Canha, Matt Olson and Laureano. Three of those blasts came off Yusei Kikuchi, who allowed only two other hits in his six-plus-inning quality start. The 27-year-old southpaw from Japan had given up just five homers in his previous nine starts.
Davis’ second long ball was off Austin Adams, who was making his Mariners debut after being promoted from Triple-A Tacoma earlier in the day.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.