SEATTLE -- For much of the season, the Mariners' ability to to do the right things late in the game and eke out close victories has allowed them to stay in playoff position -- despite a run differential that hovers around zero.For the second straight game, Seattle found itself locked
SEATTLE -- For much of the season, the Mariners' ability to to do the right things late in the game and eke out close victories has allowed them to stay in playoff position -- despite a run differential that hovers around zero.
For the second straight game, Seattle found itself locked in a tie as the contest reached the eighth inning, but this time, it found a way to beat the Giants on Wednesday at Safeco Field, 3-2.
The Mariners improved to 27-13 in one-run games this year, which leads baseball.
"We've executed late in games," said manager Scott Servais. "Last night we didn't. Today we did. And it still takes getting a big hit."
Guillermo Heredia walked, advanced to second on a Dee Gordon sacrifice bunt and scored on Jean Segura's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning, which proved to be the deciding run as the Mariners pulled off the victory.
"I just was trying to get a sinker down and over the plate and he threw the perfect pitch," Segura said. "I put a good swing on it and [drove] it to the middle of the field."
Closer Edwin Diaz rebounded after giving up the lead in a tie game and taking the loss on Tuesday, retiring the Giants in order to notch his 38th save of the season and 21st one-run save, both of which lead MLB.
Although the Mariners' offense executed late, the same could not be said for Seattle's defense. Mike Leake cruised through his first six scoreless innings of work before a rocky seventh.
Leake surrendered an infield single to Brandon Belt, made worse by a hurried Gordon throw that went into the Mariners' dugout. Manager Scott Servais pulled Leake after an RBI double from Brandon Crawford two batters later.
With Crawford on second, Hunter Pence knocked a soft line drive to right fielder Mitch Haniger -- who is tied for first in the American League with nine outfield assists -- but there would be no play at the plate. Haniger bobbled the ball on the hop, in what the official scorer initially ruled an error but would eventually deem a double.
The Mariners' early scoring was highlighted by a solo shot from Ryon Healy, who is now 6-for-11 with three homers over his last three games.
Healy said he has tweaked his routine, including seeing more velocity pregame to get his eyes trained and warmed up and on time for fastballs.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Leake came up with two clutch strikeouts to get himself out of a one-out, second-and-third jam in the sixth inning to protect what was then a 2-0 lead. He first retired Giants' No. 2 hitter Alen Hanson on a slider before getting Andrew McCutchen to whiff on a cutter.
"It was needed," Leake said. "That [McCutchen] at-bat, I had to attack him on the outer half. And we showed him in, just to kind of get him thinking a little bit. He's staying pretty stacked and [he's been] hitting the ball on any mistakes that are down the middle."
With Wednesday's win, the Mariners are 18-29 when they score three runs or fewer. That may not sound like much, but it's actually the top winning percentage in the Majors when scoring three or fewer.
HE SAID IT
"I like the way Dee Gordon plays. I think our fans do. And everybody in this clubhouse does. With diving plays and the acrobatic, athletic things he can do on a baseball field, I never want to limit players. Dee Gordon is Dee Gordon, he does those type of things. That's how we play. That's how he plays. He's been a leader in our clubhouse, he's going to continue to be. Sometimes you're going to make the great acrobatic plays, sometimes you're not, but I have no problem with how Dee Gordon plays." -- Servais, on if he felt Gordon was trying to do too much in the field
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Giants successfully challenged a safe call at first base on a bunt by Gordon in the eighth inning. With Heredia on first base after a leadoff walk from Tony Watson, Gordon dropped the ball down the third-base line and was initially ruled to have beat the throw from Watson to Pablo Sandoval. But after a review, the call was reversed and Gordon was instead ruled out and credited with a sacrifice in moving Heredia to second.
Seattle gets a day off before heading to Los Angeles for a matchup against the Angels at 7:07 p.m. PT on Friday at Angel Stadium. Wade LeBlanc gets the start for the Mariners. The veteran lefty pitched into the eighth inning and earned a victory against the White Sox his last time out. He'll contend with Angels lefty Andrew Heaney (6-6, 3.66 ERA).
David Gottlieb covers the Mariners for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DGottliebMLB.