Leake masterful as Mariners complete sweep

Righty allows one run in eight innings in his longest outing of season

May 27th, 2018

SEATTLE -- Missing the top three hitters in their batting order, the Mariners managed to rally late once again Sunday with a two-run double in the eighth by , lifting Seattle to a 3-1 win and series sweep of the Twins at Safeco Field.

With Dee Gordon on the 10-day disabled list with a broken toe, sidelined Sunday by a minor concussion and suspended for 80 games, Seattle's lineup has undergone some significant hits.

But the Mariners (32-20) have managed to win eight of their last nine games and moved to just one game back of Houston in the American League West after the Astros lost in 14 innings at Cleveland.

"There's a lot of trust in our lineup, one through nine, no matter who is in there," said Healy, who went 3-for-4 and notched his fourth game-winning RBI of the season. "Obviously we've got some guys dinged up right now, but there's a lot of trust. It takes an army, it takes a village to be able to win and I think we've done a great job of utilizing every roster spot we have to win these ballgames and continue the success we've had."

Minus so much offensive punch, pitching has kept Seattle competitive and right-hander Mike Leake continued that trend with eight innings of one-run ball in his best outing of the season. Leake allowed just four hits with no walks and two strikeouts in an 86-pitch gem, lowering his ERA to 4.93 as he's allowed just one earned run over 14 2/3 frames in his last two starts.

"It was an outstanding series and our pitching staff really took care of business," said manager Scott Servais. "The roll we've been on has been driving by our pitching. It was everything the doctor ordered today to get eight innings out of Mike."

Twins right-hander  (5-5) battled Leake to a draw on his 24th birthday, but Healy's two-run double off reliever  that broke a 1-1 tie with two out in the eighth spoiled that effort.

went 2-for-4 with a home run and Ben Gamel was 3-for-4 as the Mariners totaled 11 hits despite their short-handed lineup. But Seager also put full credit on Leake and a pitching staff that has stepped up.

"That's what's been amazing about this whole thing, how good our pitching has been," Seager said. "They've been absolutely carrying us for a little while. We've been grinding offensively and it's been a resilient group, but our pitching has absolutely saved us."

Alex Colome, acquired from the Rays on Friday, made his Mariners debut and earned the save with a perfect ninth as Mariners closer was held out after pitching four of the previous five games.

"Colome is a serious dude and I'll just leave it at that," Servais said. "He's all business. Obviously off to a good start. He came in today, a man of very few words. I just welcomed him to the team, said, 'I'll see you in the ninth inning' and sure enough, that's when I saw him. He's a great addition."


Seager was fighting an 0-for-9 skid when he unleashed his leadoff homer off Berrios in the fourth off a 2-1 changeup to get Seattle going after the Mariners had come up empty despite loading the bases with one out the previous inning. It was his fifth homer in the past 17 games. He added a key single off lefty Zach Duke in the eighth to set up Healy's go-ahead double.

"The home run was great to see. I was actually more excited by the line drive off the lefty," Servais said. "Hanging in there, just slowing it down. We certainly need Kyle to get on a good roll here. Him and [Nelson Cruz] have struggled here a little of late, but good signs from Seegs today."


The Mariners are 12 games over .500 for the first time since being 86-74 with two games remaining in the 2016 season.


Seager not only hit the tying home run in the fourth, the Mariners third baseman put on a defensive show as well. His best of several outstanding plays came on a backhand stop of a shot down the line by leading off the sixth, with Seager quickly spinning to his feet and easily throwing out the Twins second baseman.

"Some of the stuff he does at third base sometimes we take for granted and we shouldn't," Servais said. "Those were tremendous slow-roller plays coming in and the backhand bullet that Dozier hit him there in the middle of the game. Those things sometimes go unnoticed, it's just another out. No, it's a huge out."


"There's a different confidence level with this group. It's a different group. A much more resilient, much more energetic group. It's been a lot of fun to be a part of and see it work." -- Seager, on the Mariners' never-say-die attitude


Gamel was caught stealing after a leadoff single in the eighth, wiping out an opportunity to put the go-ahead run in scoring position in the 1-1 tie. The Mariners challenged as Gamel's foot appeared to reach the bag right as he was tagged by Dozier, but the play stood. The Mariners recovered from that out to score twice later in the inning after Mitch Haniger walked, Seager singled and Healy followed with his two-run double.


Left-hander (4-3, 4.05 ERA) takes on former Mariner right-hander Doug Fister (1-4, 4.22) as Seattle opens a four-game series against the Rangers on Monday at 1:10 p.m. PT in a Memorial Day contest. Gonzales is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA over his last six starts, including seven shutout innings with just two hits in a 1-0 victory at Oakland on Wednesday.