Seager's bat speaks volumes for Seattle
ST. PETERSBURG -- Kyle Seager is as understated as they come, even in the wake of a two-homer, six-RBI night that carried the Mariners to a 7-6, 10-inning victory over the Rays on Tuesday at Tropicana Field. But Seager's bat spoke loudly, helping the Mariners pull out a roller-coaster win that clinched a winning road trip and inched them closer to .500.
Seager ripped a grand slam in the eighth to put Seattle ahead, 6-3, then saved the day in the 10th with a solo shot to center field after Tampa Bay tied the score in the bottom of the ninth against closer Fernando Rodney with help from an uncharacteristic poor throw from Robinson Cano on what should have been the game-ending double play.
"I've been around a long time, and this was a first for me in a lot of different respects," said manager Lloyd McClendon. "There were a lot of weird things that went on in that ballgame. Sometimes it's winning ugly, but you win. That's all that counts."
Not only did Cano make a rare throwing error, cleanup hitter Nelson Cruz was thrown out trying to steal a base after leading off the 10th with a single, a move that also had McClendon shaking his head. And Rodney's blown save was just his second in his last 36 opportunities.
The only thing that wasn't ugly was Seager's swing, which accounted for six runs in his 3-for-5 night.
"It was definitely a good win for us," said Seager. "It was pretty back and forth, and pretty emotional. They battled. They put together quite a few good at-bats in a row there [in the ninth] and certainly didn't make it easy for us."
Seager finally capped off the three-hour, 52-minute marathon with his second go-ahead homer -- this one off Brad Boxberger on an 0-2 fastball that just carried over the center-field fence.
"Usually that part of the ballpark, I'm not too sure," Seager said. "I knew I hit it good. It felt good. But I was running, let's put it that way."
Seager's recent surge has helped the Mariners climb their way back to 22-23. They've won 11 of their last 17 games and are 5-3 on a road trip that ends on Wednesday with the finale against the Rays. Seager was hitting .238 on May 13 but has since gone on a 12-game hitting streak, during which he's hit .400 with five home runs and 10 RBIs to hike his season average to .281.
"I feel like I'm getting in pretty good position to hit," he said. "It definitely feels good."
Seager's resurgence, along with the offensive revival of Cano over the past two games, is finally giving Cruz some help in the middle of the order.
"We're a different lineup when they're both starting to swing the bat the way they're capable," McClendon said.
The Mariners have said all along that they're a better team than they've shown in the initial two months, and Seager believes things are moving in the right direction.
"We haven't clicked in a lot of areas yet," he said. "We're starting to play a lot better right now. We have a good team. Everything is going to work out all right."