SEATTLE -- Replacing Robinson Cano's bat wasn't an issue for one night, as the Mariners outslugged the Rangers, 9-8, in 11 innings in the opener of a two-game series on Tuesday night at Safeco Field.Three straight one-out singles in the 11th off reliever Alex Claudio lifted the Mariners to the walk-off
SEATTLE -- Replacing Robinson Cano's bat wasn't an issue for one night, as the Mariners outslugged the Rangers, 9-8, in 11 innings in the opener of a two-game series on Tuesday night at Safeco Field.
Three straight one-out singles in the 11th off reliever Alex Claudio lifted the Mariners to the walk-off win, with Guillermo Heredia plating Ryon Healy from second for the winning run to end the 4-hour, 26-minute affair.
Even wIth Cano suspended until mid-August and designated hitter Nelson Cruz leaving the game after sustaining a bruised foot when he was hit by a pitch in the fourth, the Mariners' offense kept producing.
"It was a huge game, because those are two very important pieces of our lineup," Heredia said through an interpreter. "Despite all the sadness around here, the guys were able to pull it together."
Jean Segura went 3-for-5 with a walk, three runs scored and a team-record four stolen bases. Mitch Haniger, hitting in Cano's typical No. 3 spot in the lineup, was 3-for-5 with a triple, a walk and two RBIs.
"We demonstrated today that even with Robbie and Nelly out, we can do some damage," Segura said. "We have big league players. The energy level we brought today, with the rough day we were having, means a lot. Not just for the Mariners, but the fans and the organization."
Segura is close friends with Cano and said he was devastated after getting an early-morning call from his friend and teammate with news of his suspension.
"Jean brought his 'A' game tonight, and we needed every bit of it," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Our guys were down in the clubhouse today and coming in after the news of everything that happened. But you could see the guys, especially Jean, being frustrated by it. And the best way to take out your frustration is out on the field against the other team."
Kyle Seager launched a three-run double in the third, and Healy continued his recent hot streak with a solo shot in the second, his eighth homer in the past 16 games.
It all added up to just enough to push the Mariners to 24-17 and keep them 1 1/2 games back in the American League West, as they started a stretch of 16 of 19 games at home against teams with sub-.500 records.
Mariners starter Mike Leake saw a 6-3 lead erased when he allowed three runs in the sixth. The veteran right-hander allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings, as his record remains 3-2 with a 6.00 ERA.
The Mariners scored twice in the bottom of the eighth to take an 8-7 lead, but the Rangers tied it back up off closer Edwin Diaz on a controversial play in the ninth. Jurickson Profar scored from second on a Joey Gallo ground ball that first baseman Healy tossed to Diaz for the second out. Diaz got tangled briefly with Gallo and didn't get a throw off, as Profar crossed the plate for the tying run. Servais was ejected for arguing for an interference call.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Seager provides early offense: Seager just missed hitting his second grand slam in the past six days, settling instead for a three-run double high off center-field wall that gave Seattle a 5-3 lead in the third. Seager's line drive was projected at 391 feet by Statcast™. The three RBIs raised Seager's total to 27, third on the team behind Haniger (32) and Segura (28).
Segura became the sixth player in Mariners history with four stolen bases in a game, and the first since Ichiro Suzuki on Aug. 4, 2010. He broke his own career high of three.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Dee Gordon appears to be heading back to second base to replace Cano once he takes a few days of infield pregame work. But he started again in center field and showed why the Mariners like his speed in the outfield, as he ran down a deep drive by Shin-Soo Choo for his first 4-star catch in his outfield career, per Statcast™. The play had just a 41 percent catch probability, as Gordon covered 102 feet in 5.7 seconds.
HE SAID IT
"It shows our resilience. We're not stopping. There's going to be the Mariners all the way to the playoffs." -- Heredia, on Seattle battling to win in extras
Due to a rainout last Friday, the Mariners will promote Christian Bergman from Triple-A Tacoma for a spot start in Wednesday's 12:40 p.m. PT game against the Rangers, live exclusively on Facebook. The right-hander is 3-3 with a 3.40 ERA in eight starts for Tacoma, and he went 4-5 with a 5.00 ERA in 13 games (eight starts) last year for Seattle. The Rangers will go with veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon (1-1, 3.32).
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.