Lind has breakthrough game in loss to Halos

Mariners first baseman goes 2-for-4 with homer, four RBIs

May 15th, 2016

SEATTLE -- Sometimes you have to step back and take in the big picture, which for Adam Lind on Saturday night included a roaring Safeco Field crowd, four dramatic lead changes and his best game for his new Mariners club.

In the end, there was no celebration, not with a 9-7 heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Albert Pujols' three-run blast in the ninth. But Lind, a 10-year Major League veteran, has been around long enough to know this game was something special.

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"It was awesome," Lind said of the atmosphere when the Mariners charged back with a five-run rally in the eighth after the Angels scored five themselves in the seventh. "Not just the dugout, the whole stadium was a great environment to play the game in. And probably a great environment to watch the game in. For a Saturday night in May, it was really exciting. I think it was awesome for everybody."

Lind contributed greatly to the show with a two-run homer in the second inning to give Seattle the early lead, then a two-run double in the eighth to tie it.

His manager agreed, this one was special with the near-capacity crowd of 42,038 rooting for another comeback.

"I thought our fans were unbelievable," Scott Servais said. "I looked around during that rally and it's like, that's what it should be like. I tip my cap to them. It was a good ballgame, it was crazy, it was entertaining, it was exciting, it was gut-wrenching. It had everything."

Everything except a win in the end for the home team, but not for any lack of Lind. The first baseman rocketed an 0-1 changeup from Jhoulys Chacin over the center-field fence in the second on a line drive projected by Statcast™ to travel 402 feet. One foot less and the ball might have ended up in Mike Trout's mitt as the Angels all-everything center fielder just missed pulling it back in with a leaping try at the top of the fence.

Lind hesitated going around first, uncertain if Trout had gloved the ball or not, before continuing his home run trot.

"That would have been par for the course if he did," Lind said. "You never know. Sometimes those guys act like they don't catch it and then they pull it out. So you don't want to get too happy until you know for sure."

Lind's only previous homer was a meaningless solo shot late in a 7-4 loss at Houston on April 27 and he came into the game with just five RBIs and a .217/.240/.272 line, well south of his career norms of .274/.332/.466 in his previous 10 seasons in the big leagues.

"Adam Lind will get hot," general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "This guy was one of the 10 best hitters vs. right-handed pitchers in baseball over the last three years. He's not going to continue to go like he's going. And when the water rushes through the dam, it will rush and we'll get back to our water level."

The Angels wouldn't know of Lind's struggles this year, as he's 7-for-16 with five RBIs in five games this season against the Halos. He says he's been working on some things with hitting coach Edgar Martinez and feels the results are coming.

"It's a process," he said. "That's something we've talked about, not expecting too much in game one, but enjoying the process. And I think I'm on my way."