Rookie Lewis breaks up no-hitter ... again

No. 10 prospect is third Mariner to homer in first two career games

September 12th, 2019

SEATTLE -- Somebody forgot to tell Kyle Lewis how hard this Major League game is for a rookie.

For the second straight night, the newly arrived 24-year-old broke up a no-hitter with a home run; this time it was a three-run shot off Reds right-hander Sonny Gray with one out in the seventh inning to help the Mariners to a 5-3 victory Wednesday at T-Mobile Park.

“It’s unreal,” Lewis said. “But I just try to continue to work, day by day, keep my head down and see if I can help the team win. We’ve gotten two wins and that’s really fun, too.”

Lewis is just the third Mariner to homer in each of his first two career games, joining Alvin Davis (1984) and Kenji Johjima (2006), and just the 24th Major Leaguer since 1908 to pull off that feat. The last was Astros’ Rookie of the Year candidate Yordan Alvarez in June of this season.

Lewis, the Mariners’ No. 10 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, delivered his go-ahead blow after Gray hit Austin Nola with a pitch and walked Kyle Seager. Lewis jumped on a 94 mph, first-pitch fastball down the middle and drove it 383 feet the opposite way into the right-field seats.

“With runners on, I was trying to go early,” Lewis said. “He’d been snapping curveballs off pretty good. I thought he might go fastball early and I wanted to be ready to swing.”

Lewis only waited until the fifth inning on Tuesday night to end a no-hit bid from Trevor Bauer, launching a 438-foot blast to left field for his first MLB hit, becoming just the fifth Mariner to homer in his Major League debut on the day he was called up from Double-A Arkansas.

was the beneficiary of Lewis’ latest poke, as the 27-year-old southpaw improved to 15-11 with a 4.30 ERA by allowing just two runs on five hits over seven innings.

“I’m so happy for him,” Gonzales said. “To come up here and have an impact like that. I mean, to break up a no-hitter two days in a row? You don’t see that. From a first-year guy, you definitely don’t see it. I’m really proud of him.”

Gonzales is the first Seattle lefty to reach 15 victories since Jamie Moyer won 21 in 2003 at age 40. Gonzales is more pleased with having thrown a career-high 31 starts and 182 innings and staying strong through the second-half stretch, including a 6-0 record and 2.20 ERA in his last seven starts at home.

“The fact I’ve made every start, that’s an important thing for me, just because of health reasons,” he said. “It shows I’ve put the work in and stuck to a process that’s worked for me this year. We have a little ways to go, but at the end of the year I’ll be most happy with that.”

The Mariners scored two more runs off the Reds’ bullpen in the eighth and then needed Anthony Bass to wiggle out of a bases-loaded jam for the final two outs in the ninth, and are now 15-2 against the Reds since the Interleague series started in 2002. Seattle improved to 60-86 on the season with its second straight win, while Cincinnati slipped to 67-79.

The Mariners have been no-hit twice this year and managed just one hit in a 21-1 loss to the Astros on Sunday. No Major League team has ever been no-hit three times in a season and the Mariners -- who started four rookies -- dodged that bullet again, as they won, despite totaling just four hits for a second straight night.

Gray, who came into the night having gone 6-1 with a 1.44 ERA in his last 12 starts, befuddled the Mariners for six innings with his nasty curveball and mid-90s heater. But he had walked three and hit two batters while seeing his pitch count climb to 105 before Lewis ended his no-hitter and shutout bid.

“Quite a start to his Major League career,” said manager Scott Servais. “We’re kind of putting him up against it. We don’t get a hit until he comes up for the second or third time in the ballgame. That was a huge hit tonight and you see the kind of ability this guy has, the way the ball jumps off the bat.

“We’ve seen a few guys with that kind of power here. His ball was in the air forever and had great carry on it. He’s a really talented young guy and it’s going be fun to see how it plays out over the next years here at T-Mobile Park.”