SEATTLE -- Daniel Vogelbach hadn’t hit a home run since being selected to the All-Star Game last Sunday. Kyle Seager hadn’t hit a home run since, well, a long time. But the two Mariners launched two-run blasts in the fourth inning on Saturday to lift Seattle to a 6-3 victory
SEATTLE -- Daniel Vogelbach hadn’t hit a home run since being selected to the All-Star Game last Sunday. Kyle Seager hadn’t hit a home run since, well, a long time. But the two Mariners launched two-run blasts in the fourth inning on Saturday to lift Seattle to a 6-3 victory over the A’s and make a 10-game winner out of Marco Gonzales.
• Box score
Vogelbach tuned up for Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic in Cleveland with his 21st homer of the year, which was a high-arching 361-foot moonshot with a 6.7 second hangtime. The 43-degree launch angle was the third-highest on a home run by a Mariner since Statcast began recording in 2015, behind only a 45-degree shot by Nelson Cruz in ‘15 and a 44-degree swat by Leonys Martin in ‘16.
“I normally don’t hit high homers,” said Vogelbach, whose previous high was a 35-degree launch angle two weeks ago in Milwaukee. "I knew I hit it good, but I didn’t know if it was going to go out or not just because of how high I hit it. But it felt good off the bat.”
It was just the 17th homer hit in the Majors this year with a launch angle of 43 degrees or more.
“I said, ‘Vogey, you almost hit it too high,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He said, ‘Skip, if that one doesn’t leave, I quit.’ Vogey knows he just has to get the ball in the air on a good part of the bat and it usually does carry for him. He’s some kind of strong.”
Seager didn’t break any such barriers with his 367-foot line drive into the right-field seats two batters later, but he did snap out of an 0-for-21 slump with his first home run since June 21. It was his first hit of any type since June 25, prior to a right wrist injury that sidelined him for three games.
Seager added a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning in a three-RBI game, and Domingo Santana went 3-for-4 and scored two runs to lead an offense that had totaled just 22 runs while going 1-7 over its previous eight games.
Seager wound up just 1-for-3, but both his outs were hard line drives as well, an encouraging sign for the 31-year-old as he said he feels he straightened out a couple kinks in his approach after talking to his younger brother, Corey Seager, of the Dodgers.
“It was definitely better. It’s hard to be worse, so it’s a good way to go from there,” Seager said with a smile. “It was definitely a good day. I got some good work in with [hitting coach Tim] Laker down in the cages, and some good people reminding me of some stuff.
“Corey reminded me of some things I’ve always told him to do, so we kind of went full circle on that one. Things I’d gotten away from, getting off my backside. Last year I was too far out in front of everything and just pushing it, so this offseason I really worked hard to stay back much better, and I kind of went the opposite end of that spectrum.”
Seager said he definitely didn’t try to outdo Vogelbach’s skyscraper shot.
“I don’t know that I could,” he said. “That was a good one. I’ve tried to tell these guys over the years, it doesn’t matter how far they go, they all count the same. Apparently that’s good with height, too.”
Back-to-back 10s for Marco
The run support was welcomed by Gonzales as he improved to 10-7 with a 4.24 ERA by allowing just five hits and two runs in a 104-pitch gem.
The 27-year-old southpaw became just the fifth Mariner to win 10 games prior to the All-Star break in back-to-back seasons, joining Felix Hernandez (three straight years), Randy Johnson (three years), Freddy Garcia (two) and Aaron Sele (two).
“Getting 10 wins by the All-Star break says something,” Servais said. “He came out of the gate awesome, then struggled a bit like a lot of our guys did in May. But he’s turned it in the right direction again and has plenty left in the tank.”
After hitting a rough patch in May, Gonzales finished off his first half by going 5-1 with a 2.89 ERA in his last six starts.
“It’s a learning experience,” Gonzales said. “I wanted to finish the first half strong and prove to myself I could end on a good note here before the break. Ups and downs. It’s just learning what my stuff is like this year, and being able to pitch with what I’ve got and trusting in my ability to go out and make pitches, and go deep into the game. Knowing it’s not going to be perfect every time.”
Seattle snapped a three-game losing streak and sits at 39-54 going into Sunday’s first-half finale, while the A’s are 49-41 after losing for just the fifth time in their last 18 games.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.