Seager slams, and kids crush it at Texas

Dunn gets first win; fellow rookie Lewis homers

August 11th, 2020

This was just the kind of night and dreamed about when they were teammates last year at Double-A Arkansas.

Now rookie partners with the Mariners, the young duo helped lift Seattle to a 10-2 victory over the Rangers on Monday night at the new Globe Life Field in Arlington. Lewis launched a three-run homer in a three-hit night to help Dunn record the first win of his Major League pitching career.

Lewis continued his tremendous early season run with his fourth homer of the season -- this one a 411-foot blast to center off Rangers starter Kyle Gibson – and went 3-for-5 with a walk to hike his average to .373 and move back into the American League lead with 25 hits in 17 games.

“We talked about getting up here and how special it would be to get here together and spend our career together and get this organization going the right direction and be part of something special,” Dunn said. “To see him do what he’s doing and be with him and enjoy these moments with him, especially to see him have my back like that and come up with a big knock, that’s why I call him ‘Showtime’ when the lights come on.”

Lewis got plenty of help as launched his fifth career grand slam; went 3-for-4 with a home run, a walk and three RBIs; and Seattle racked up a season-high 15 hits. The runaway win lifted the Mariners’ record to 7-11 as they opened an eight-game, nine-day road trip.

The offensive support made things easier for Dunn as the 24-year-old right-hander completed six innings for the first time in his seven career starts and followed fellow rookie , into the win column. Sheffield picked up his first win on Sunday against the Rockies.

Dunn allowed two runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts as he evened his record at 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA in three starts this year.

Dunn, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Mariners’ No. 8 prospect, played at Arkansas with Sheffield, too, and said he was motivated by his performance the previous night. What did his own first victory mean?

“Everything,” said Dunn, who came to Seattle as part of the Robinson Cano deal with the Mets prior to the 2019 season. “It’s a dream come true. I’ve been waiting for this moment since I was 5-6 years old, so it was good to get the monkey off my back and quit chasing that and go to work.

“You know I couldn’t let Sheff have the moment alone. Once he did it, I knew I had to come out and give it everything I’ve got.”

Dunn has been brought along carefully in his young career, limited to brief starts last year as a September callup and was yet to get past four innings in his first two outings this season. So when he gave up a pair of singles to open the fifth, he knew he had to bear down to put himself in position for the win.

Three batters later, he’d struck out Willie Calhoun and Joey Gallo looking on sliders, then got Todd Frazier to fly out. Manager Scott Servais left him in for the sixth, and Dunn wound up throwing 90 pitches and feeling good about the effort.

“I went into compete mode, trusting my stuff,” Dunn said. “I just kind of went into a boxing ring, and I was going to go down throwing haymakers. It was my chance to get the win, and I saw the finish line. So I just tried to dig deep and give it every little thing I had.”

The Mariners’ offense gave plenty, as well. Like Lewis, Moore hit his fourth homer of the season and Seager continued his Texas tear, even at the new ballpark.

In 77 games at the former Globe Life Park, Seager posted a .301/.365/.536 slash line (92-for-306) with 55 runs, 23 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs and 56 RBIs. He took up where he left off in the new facility, which had been a much tougher place to hit until the Rangers left the roof open for the first time on Monday to see if that helped the ball carry.

“I did enjoy the old park,” Seager said. “It was a good place to hit, for sure. The new park is quite a bit bigger in the alleys, but the turf is pretty nice and this is a pretty sharp place.”

As for the ball carrying?

“Well, if you snake it just down the line, you can get it,” Seager said, referring to the 356-footer he lifted for his grand slam. “But I don’t think there was a park that was going to hold either Lewis or Dylan’s. They hit those pretty good.”