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Mariners tie it with HR in 9th, walk off in 11th

Segura drives in winner after Haniger's homer sends it to extras
May 20, 2018

SEATTLE -- Dee Gordon could barely walk, let alone run on an aching toe. And the Mariners' offense could barely score, let alone win on what had been a frustrating Sunday at Safeco Field. But in the end, Gordon ran, the Mariners won and a surprising Seattle squad stayed squarely

SEATTLE -- Dee Gordon could barely walk, let alone run on an aching toe. And the Mariners' offense could barely score, let alone win on what had been a frustrating Sunday at Safeco Field. But in the end, Gordon ran, the Mariners won and a surprising Seattle squad stayed squarely in the hunt in the American League West.
After being handcuffed by Francisco Liriano on one hit for eight scoreless innings, the Mariners pulled out a 3-2, 11-inning win over the Tigers with some late fireworks.
Gordon singled off Tigers reliever Buck Farmer leading off the 11th, stole second and raced home on Jean Segura's walk-off base hit down the first-base line. The Mariners are 3-0 in extra-inning games this season with three walk-off wins.
Mitch Haniger's two-run homer off closer Shane Greene tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. Haniger broke up Liriano's no-hit bid with a one-out single in the seventh and then broke the Tigers' hearts with a blast projected at 415 feet by Statcast™ after Segura's one-out single.

"The heart this club has is pretty, pretty impressive," manager Scott Servais said. "These guys just keep battling through adversity. One thing after another. We've had some injuries, some guys out of the lineup, guys hobbling around out there.
"Dee Gordon gets on base and has an issue with his toe that's bothering him. But he steals second base. Just bite your lip and keep going. And Jean Segura, right guy up at the right time. Jean has been just on fire here all week."

Servais said Gordon reinjured his toe on a diving attempt at a bloop hit in the top of the 11th by John Hicks and might not be able to play Tuesday in Oakland. But Gordon dug deep when needed with his AL-leading 16th stolen base, setting the stage for Segura's second career walk-off hit.
"When he gets on base, he sets the tone," Segura said. "When he's on base, we're a completely different team. Now you put so much pressure on the pitcher because he's running and he left a fastball down the middle and I was able to make good contact."
Liriano (3-1, 3.42 ERA) was gunning for his second career no-hitter until Haniger's one-out single in the seventh. The Mariners never advanced a runner past first against the 34-year-old, who issued three walks with five strikeouts.
But on a day they got out-hit, 10-6, the Mariners made their blows count at the end.
"It's huge. All wins are big," Haniger said. "The way we came back and battled shows a lot about the guys in this clubhouse."
Veteran lefty Wade LeBlanc allowed just two runs in 5 1/3 innings for Seattle, with a two-run homer by Hicks, a former Mariners catching prospect, in the first inning the only damage done in his 78-pitch outing.
LeBlanc has been extremely effective since stepping in for the injured Erasmo Ramirez, with a 1.33 ERA and 17 hits allowed in 20 1/3 innings over four starts.
The win capped a 4-2 homestand for the Mariners as they remain second in the American League West at 27-19. The Tigers lost the season series to Seattle, 4-3, and fell to 20-26 overall.
Haniger's homer came on an 0-2 slider from Greene and continued his run of late-inning heroics. Haniger is hitting .357 (20-for-56) with two doubles, a triple, nine homers and 17 RBIs in the seventh inning or later this season. Haniger hit 10 home runs in the season's first month, but this was his first blast in 19 games in May.

"We've got a lot of fighters in this clubhouse," Haniger said. "With our lineup, we're never out of a game, I don't care what the score is. Two runs, we feel like we can get that with one swing, like it happened. We're just trying to stay focused and get runs however we can."
The Mariners are eight games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2016 season, when they finished the year 86-76.
Six Mariners relievers combined to throw 5 2/3 scoreless innings on three hits to keep Seattle in position for the late rally. The Tigers nearly made it 3-0 in the sixth when Ryan Cook gave up a double down the left-field line to Jose Iglesias, but catcher James McCann -- running from first -- was thrown out at the plate on a relay from left fielder Andrew Romine to third baseman James Beckham to catcher David Freitas, all backups. That run loomed large when Seattle came back to tie it in the ninth.

"Some late heroics offensively, but really the story of the day was our bullpen," Servais said. "They kept the game right there. Every one of those guys threw the ball really, really well. Lucky with the complete game last night [by James Paxton], everybody was available and it really played into today's ballgame."
"It's hard when you've got your third- and fourth-hole hitters out of the lineup and you come here and grind every day and win without those people. It tells you what kind of team you have and what group of guys you have in the clubhouse. Every day grinding every at-bat. It's amazing how we've battled with those two guys out." -- Segura, on winning with Robinson Cano suspended and Nelson Cruz sidelined by an elbow injury
After an off-day on Monday, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake (4-3, 6.00 ERA) opens a three-game series in Oakland against right-hander Trevor Cahill (1-2, 2.79) on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. PT. Leake took a no-decision against the A's on April 13, allowing seven hits and three runs in six innings.

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