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Seager in rare Mariners club with 200th HR

@gregjohnsmlb
August 6, 2020

SEATTLE -- Kyle Seager joined some exclusive company with his 200th career home run on Wednesday, a three-run blast into the second deck in right field at T-Mobile Park in a 7-6 victory over the Angels. Seager is just the fourth player to hit 200 homers with Seattle, along with

SEATTLE -- Kyle Seager joined some exclusive company with his 200th career home run on Wednesday, a three-run blast into the second deck in right field at T-Mobile Park in a 7-6 victory over the Angels.

Seager is just the fourth player to hit 200 homers with Seattle, along with Ken Griffey Jr. (417), Edgar Martinez (309) and Jay Buhner (307). All three of those players are in the Mariners Hall of Fame, and Griffey and Martinez are National Baseball Hall of Famers.

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“I’m still a few behind them,” Seager said with a laugh. “I appreciate the company, but I still have a little while to go to catch those guys. But 200 is definitely something I’m very proud of. It’s not something I necessarily thought would be part of my game growing up or even when you break in, so it’s something I’m extremely proud of.”

Seager’s shot came in the third inning off lefty reliever Ryan Buchter, who had just replaced starter Julio Teheran with two outs and two runners on. The high arching shot landed just to the left of the Hit it Here Cafe.

“Pretty awesome to see,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais. “I’ve seen a lot of them, but I don’t know if I’ve seen one that far here. He really got all of that one. I’ve seen him hit some long ones on the road, but that’s probably one of the farthest I’ve seen him hit in this ballpark.”

While Statcast didn’t get a measurement on the home run, it indeed was rare territory for Seager.

“I don’t go up there too often, I guess,” he said. “I figured out the home runs that land in the third row count just as much. That’s been more my approach. I leave up there for the big boys.”

Of Seager’s 200 homers, 71 have come against left-handed pitchers. Since his first full season as a starter in 2012, no other left-handed hitter has hit more homers off southpaw pitchers, with Baltimore’s Chris Davis second with 58.

Seager, one of the few veterans on the youngest team in the Majors, is off to a hot start this season and lifted his average to .326 with a 2-for-5 night. His second homer of the season, a three-run shot, increased his team-leading RBI total to 14.

“We’ve certainly seen ups and downs throughout the last 4-5 years, but right now he’s probably swinging the bat as well as he has at any point,” Servais said. “Just the consistency of the at-bats. They bring in the left-hander to face him tonight, and he hits a bomb off him. It’s great to see. We certainly need it. The stability in the middle of our lineup is really key.”

Seager continues getting plenty of help from rookie center fielder Kyle Lewis, who went 2-for-4 with a walk and drove in a run in the fifth to put his average at .385 with 10 RBIs. Catcher Austin Nola chipped in with a two-run double to score both Lewis and Seager in the seventh, and rookie first baseman Evan White snapped an 0-for-17 streak with an RBI double of his own to provide a needed 7-3 cushion.

The offense was a welcome sign for the Mariners, who snapped a four-game losing streak during which they’d totaled just eight runs.

The support was also welcomed by Marco Gonzales, who gave up three solo home runs -- the only hits allowed in seven frames -- and improved to 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA in three starts. The 28-year-old lefty has beaten the Angels in two straight starts and is 7-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 14 career outings against the American League West rivals.

Gonzales appreciates what Seager has meant to the franchise as the longest-tenured player on the roster.

“Very cool,” Gonzales said. “He put an exclamation point on that thing, too. I’m super happy for him. He’s had an amazing career, and to do it all here in Seattle is really admirable. I hope he celebrates that one. It’s a great accomplishment for him.”

The Angels hit four homers of their own on the night, with two coming from Mike Trout, including a three-run shot off reliever Taylor Williams to cut the margin to one in the eighth. But Carl Edwards Jr. came on to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth and earn his third career save and first since he was a rookie in 2016 with the Cubs.

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