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Haniger's walk-off HR lifts M's past Rays in 13th

Seattle improves to 6-0 in extra-innings contests this year
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Mitch Haniger ripped a game-winning home run leading off the 13th inning to lift the Mariners to their fifth walk-off win of the season on Friday, a 4-3 victory over the Rays in yet another Safeco Field cliffhanger.

Seattle has won 11 of its last 14 games, including six of eight on its current homestand, and remains one back of Houston in the American League West at 35-22. Eight of those 11 wins have been by one run, and the Mariners are now 6-0 in extra-inning contests on the year.

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SEATTLE -- Mitch Haniger ripped a game-winning home run leading off the 13th inning to lift the Mariners to their fifth walk-off win of the season on Friday, a 4-3 victory over the Rays in yet another Safeco Field cliffhanger.

Seattle has won 11 of its last 14 games, including six of eight on its current homestand, and remains one back of Houston in the American League West at 35-22. Eight of those 11 wins have been by one run, and the Mariners are now 6-0 in extra-inning contests on the year.

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Haniger belted a 3-2 fastball from Matt Andriese over the right-center field wall, an opposite-field drive projected at 403 feet by Statcast™ with an exit velocity of 105 mph. It was just what the Mariners needed after coming up empty since taking a 3-0 lead in the fourth.

"When I hit it, I knew I crushed it," Haniger said of his 12th homer of the season. "But I was hard out of the box because I've hit some balls to right center here that didn't go out. Especially at night, center and right center can play a little deep. That was fun. I was just happy to end the game, to be honest."

Video: TB@SEA: Haniger on his walk-off homer in the 13th

Haniger took a big swing at a 3-1 fastball from Andriese, then drove the next pitch over the wall for the first walk-off hit of his career.

"I can not believe Mitch Haniger hit that ball out of the ballpark in that part," manager Scott Servais said. "Folks that have been down here and seen Safeco late in the game when it starts to get cool, it's really hard for a right-handed hitter to drive the ball out opposite field. He got all of it. He really killed it, and it's exactly what we needed to get over the hump tonight."

Roenis Elias, called up from Triple-A Tacoma earlier in the day, pitched the final two scoreless frames to pick up the win in his first appearance for Seattle since 2015.

Video: TB@SEA: Elias gets Ramos to hit into inning-ending DP

Mike Leake (5-3, 4.71 ERA) allowed six hits with no walks while striking out a season-high eight and was in line for the win until the Rays tied the game off closer Edwin Diaz in the ninth. Leake is 2-0 with a 2.91 ERA over his last five starts, all wins by the Mariners.

Mariners pitchers have a 2.40 ERA over the last 14 games, while the offense has consistently chipped in just enough to get the job done.

Video: TB@SEA: Leake strikes out 8 over 7 strong innings

Ben Gamel went 2-for-4 with a triple, hit by pitch and run scored, and Nelson Cruz was 2-for-5 with a double and RBI. Seattle is now 17-9 in one-run games, the most one-run wins in the Majors.

The Rays' only damage against Leake came on back-to-back homers by Carlos Gomez and Johnny Field in the sixth.

Former Rays closer Alex Colome, acquired by Seattle last week, threw a scoreless eighth inning before Tampa Bay tallied the tying run off Diaz on an RBI single by Matt Duffy after Joey Wendle walked, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. It was the third blown save of the year for Diaz, who leads the Majors with 19 saves.

Video: TB@SEA: Duffy ties game with an RBI single in the 9th

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gamel's strong May carried over to June as the Mariners left fielder tripled in the fourth and scored on a single by Ryon Healy to highlight his 2-for-4 day. Gamel hit .343 in May, the ninth-best average of any AL hitter, and is 10-for-20 over his last six games. After a rugged first month when he opened the year on the disabled list and then hit .121 in his first 12 games, he's hiked his season average to .279 and made a strong claim for continued playing time despite the recent acquisition of veteran Denard Span from the Rays.

Video: TB@SEA: Gamel hits a triple to left-center in the 4th

SOUND SMART
Mariners reliever Juan Nicasio struck out three in the 10th to keep the game tied, including an 11-pitch whiff of Wendle to end the frame after a two-out single by C.J. Cron. Nicasio has retired 25 of the last 28 batters he's faced over seven games with 17 strikeouts. He's struck out 14 of the last 19 batters.

HE SAID IT
"When we're in those close games, we've been in a lot of them and we've come out on the right side of them because the guys believe. And it's a different guy every night. It's not always the same guy you're looking for the big hit from. But Haniger has been in quite a few of the middle of those rallies, so we had the right guy up at the right time." -- Servais

UP NEXT
Marco Gonzales (5-3, 3.60 ERA) will look to extend his recent hot streak on Saturday when he faces Rays right-hander Chris Archer (3-3, 4.29) at 7:10 p.m. PT at Safeco. Gonzales has not allowed an earned run in 19 1/3 innings over his last three starts and is 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA over his last seven outings. This will be his first time facing the Rays.

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

Seattle Mariners, Mitch Haniger