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Brotherly love: Seagers share field for first time

Corey, Kyle square off in spring game; 7 years separated them as kids
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb and @kengurnick

PEORIA, Ariz. -- They're as close as baseball brothers can be, working out together every winter in North Carolina, rooting each other on from afar during the season and sharing ideas via text or phone on a near-daily basis.

But Kyle Seager is seven years older than Corey Seager and never played with or against him growing up. Other than buying a ticket to see his younger brother play a World Series game in Houston last October, the Mariners third baseman hadn't even seen his sibling play in person since Corey was 11.

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- They're as close as baseball brothers can be, working out together every winter in North Carolina, rooting each other on from afar during the season and sharing ideas via text or phone on a near-daily basis.

But Kyle Seager is seven years older than Corey Seager and never played with or against him growing up. Other than buying a ticket to see his younger brother play a World Series game in Houston last October, the Mariners third baseman hadn't even seen his sibling play in person since Corey was 11.

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Until Sunday, that is, when Kyle and Corey lined up against each other at Peoria Stadium as Seattle beat Corey's Dodgers, 2-0, in Cactus League action.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Corey, playing designated hitter for the Dodgers, avoided the temptation to drop a bunt down on Kyle and instead grounded out to the right side of the infield in his first two-at-bats and then struck out in his final plate appearance.

Kyle went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles, making him 4-for-4 this spring, though he was thrown out at third trying to advance during a rundown in the first inning, tagged out by Dodgers backup shortstop Donovan Solano.

"Being out there and being on the same field as him, it was pretty cool," Kyle said. "It worked out because he wasn't playing shortstop, because I think he'd have given me a lot more grief if he'd tagged me out on that play. So that worked out."

The Mariners jokingly tried to pick Kyle's brain for any tips on how to get Corey out in their morning meeting.

"I think there's a little brotherly love there, and I can't blame him for it," said Mariners starter Marco Gonzales, who got Corey to ground out in his first at-bat. "He didn't give away any secrets. He just said he built that swing and he's proud of it.

"So I took that as, 'All right, I better bring my stuff today,'" Gonzales said with a smile. "But when he grounded out, 'Seag' threw me the ball and I told him, 'I'm sorry,' and he just kind of smirked and laughed and said, 'It's all right.'"

Tweet from @Dodgers: Little bro vs. big bro. #DodgersST pic.twitter.com/F44Tfxct52

Kyle wore the nickname "Corey's brother" on his jersey during Players Weekend last season and sings the praises of his younger sibling every chance he gets, while Corey regards his older brother as a role model and someone he's looked up to his entire life.

Which made it odd, Corey acknowledged, to look over and see his big brother striding to the plate in the first inning.

"It's hard to think about. It's him, you've been around him your whole life and watched him play a ton," Corey said. "It's still weird. You still feel like a fan in the stands watching him. It was a really cool moment."

Kyle, 30, was a 2014 All-Star for Seattle and has been a fixture at third base for the past 6 1/2 seasons. But Corey has already been to two All-Star Games for the Dodgers, won the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year Award and played in 26 more postseason games -- including the World Series at age 23.

"It's been pretty cool just getting to work with him and watching how he's progressed over the years," Kyle said. "He's doing everything right and he's doing really good."

The Mariners and Dodgers have played each other in previous springs, but one of the two brothers always happened to have the day off when their teams aligned -- until Sunday.

It won't be long before they square off again. The Mariners host the Dodgers in a three-game Interleague series on Aug. 17-19. The Seagers' parents didn't make the trip to Arizona, but they will be at Safeco Field for that gathering.

"That one's already on the schedule," Corey said. "They'll be there for sure."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, Kyle Seager, Corey Seager