SEATTLE -- Mitch Haniger, Ryon Healy and Michael Trout battled to a draw in their personal home run derby Tuesday at Safeco Field, but it was the surging Mariners who walked away winners with a 6-3 victory over the Angels that preserved their half-game lead in the American League West.Haniger
SEATTLE -- Mitch Haniger, Ryon Healy and Michael Trout battled to a draw in their personal home run derby Tuesday at Safeco Field, but it was the surging Mariners who walked away winners with a 6-3 victory over the Angels that preserved their half-game lead in the American League West.
Haniger and Trout each homered twice and both outfielders made an outstanding defensive play as well. But Haniger got enough help from his Seattle mates -- including a pair of solo homers by Healy -- to lift the Mariners to their 10th victory in 12 games.
"There were some balls that were well struck tonight," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Mitch Haniger, what a game. A couple home runs, an unbelievable throw. Healy hits a couple bombs. Our offense really had some good at-bats."
At 43-24, the Mariners are 19 games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 25, 2007, and they maintained their slim margin over the Astros atop the division after Houston beat Oakland, 6-3. The Angels fell to 37-31 with their third straight loss and are now 6 1/2 back of Seattle.
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Haniger applied the early hammer with his 14th and 15th homers of the season, going 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs. Healy joined the fun with his two blasts in the sixth and eighth to provide the late cushion and give him 12 home runs on the year.
"I figured I should join in the party because those guys make it look pretty darn easy," said Healy. "It's nice company to be in."
Not to be outdone, Trout went 3-for-5 with two homers and three RBIs for the Angels, giving him back-to-back two-homer games for the first time in his career and increasing his Major League lead to 23.
"That guy has been unbelievable," Haniger said. "Unfortunately, he's on the opposite team from us, but nothing but respect for what that guy can do."
Trout also made an excellent catch to rob Nelson Cruz of a potential extra-base hit at the center-field wall in the third, while Haniger countered with a rocket throw from right field to nail Luis Valbuena trying to stretch a single in the sixth.
Seattle also got an RBI double from Jean Segura in the seventh. That was plenty to make a winner of Mike Leake, who allowed one run on four hits over six innings and improved to 7-3 with a 4.26 ERA. Edwin Diaz notched his MLB-leading 25th save with a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out Trout for the final out.
"Mike Leake continues to roll," Servais said. "He does what he does, he gives us a chance to win and is very competitive."
Leake is now 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA over his last seven starts, with Seattle winning all seven of those games.
Even while home runs were the story on Tuesday, it's been pitching that has helped the Mariners go an MLB-best 21-7 since Robinson Cano was injured and suspended. Seattle's starting pitchers are 14-2 with a 2.60 ERA since May 16.
The Mariners didn't just play long ball in this one as Dee Gordon and Ben Gamel each went 3-for-4 as part of the 14-hit night. Gordon snapped an 0-for-16 streak with his first-inning single. Seattle is now 13-1 in games Gordon has started at second base since Cano's suspension.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Haniger didn't limit his highlights to the home run blasts as the Mariners right fielder dished up a defensive gem as well with his sixth-inning rocket from the right-field corner to nail Valbuena trying to stretch a leadoff single. Segura made an excellent play on the ball as well, catching the throw and spinning at the same time to tag Valbuena just before his arrival.
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"Balls hit down the line in the corner, I always know I have a chance if it's not a guy that can really turn it on a run," Haniger said. "Luckily I got a really good bounce off the bottom of the wall. I was hoping it would hit that cement piece at the bottom and it bounced right up to me. And the tag was unbelievable. If he goes down the traditional way, we don't get that. Big props to Jean for that."
HE SAID IT
"That's a good club over there. They have a pretty good player on their team, too. We saw it again tonight. Mr. Trout has given me and our pitching coaches … he's really tough to pitch to. Some of the pitches hit tonight were kind of where you wanted to throw 'em and he still does damage." -- Servais
Marco Gonzales (7-3, 3.28 ERA) has been one of the hottest pitchers in the Majors and he'll look to go for the Mariners' sweep against Angels right-hander Garrett Richards (4-4, 3.26) in Wednesday's 1:10 p.m. PT series finale. Gonzales is 4-0 with a 0.81 ERA over his last five starts, allowing just 21 hits in 33 1/3 innings. The game has been selected by MLB as a Facebook Watch contest, meaning it's only available on Facebook and the Mariners radio network.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.