SEATTLE -- Bringing energy never seems to be a problem for Dee Gordon, and the speedy second baseman wasted no time infusing some of his vigor into the Mariners upon his return from the 10-day disabled list in Thursday's 6-1 win over the Rangers.
Gordon laced a triple in his first-inning at-bat off Rangers lefty Mike Minor and then raced home on a sacrifice fly to right by Jean Segura to give Seattle an early 1-0 lead.
"It was really nice to have Dee Gordon back," manager Scott Servais said. "Right from the get-go, he's been out 10 days and he gets a triple out of the chute and scores on a sac fly where many people wouldn't even attempt to go. That just kind of gets the ball rolling, energy-wise, in the dugout."
Gordon said he debated with third-base coach Scott Brosius whether to go on the sacrifice fly to Nomar Mazara.
"Me and Bro were having a full-on conversation when he hit it in the air," Gordon said. "I was saying, 'Bro, what should I do? What should I do?' And he was like, 'I don't know, what should you do?' I said "I don't know.'
"I actually didn't tag, I went like I was off the base and he kind of caught it flat-footed. I tapped it real quick and was just going to deke him, but he was flat-footed and maybe I'll get in there. That's how it happened. Seriously. Verbatim."
Servais acknowledged not many players in the game would have gone home on that play.
"It was very shallow," Servais said. "But nothing surprises me with Dee Gordon when it comes to speed. He wants to challenge it and show everybody he's the fastest man in the world, I think. It was a really close play, but he was safe.
"When I first saw him go back to tag, I thought he was going to bluff. But there's no bluff in his game. It was close, I'm really happy he was in there and non-injured and we play again tomorrow."
Gordon missed nine games with a fractured right big toe, but he was running full speed as he zipped into third standing up after hitting a line drive that got past a diving Joey Gallo in left field.
According to Statcast™, Gordon's sprint speed on the triple was 29.1 feet/second and he hit 29.0 feet/second going home on the sacrifice fly, which is very close to his average maximum effort sprint speed of 29.3 this year. So it would appear Gordon is running just fine on his recovering toe.
• Healy playfully scolds ball-hogging Gordon
Gordon's energy was apparent even before his first at-bat. In the top of the first, Rangers leadoff hitter Delino DeShields popped a ball up right at first baseman Ryon Healy. But Gordon roamed quickly to his left and called Healy off to make the catch, even though Healy was fully prepared to make the catch without even moving.
After allowing Gordon to make the catch, Healy gestured in mock anger to the Mariners bench, shouting, "This is MY position!" and pointing Gordon back to his second-base area.
Gordon noted that Segura later took two popups that he could have caught in the middle infield, so it all worked out.
"That's what we're doing now," Gordon said. "We're stealing each other's popups. I told Seggy, 'Listen, I'm the center fielder. I have priority over you.'"