OAKLAND -- It's been a "surreal" three days for new Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso.After being traded from the A's to Seattle on Sunday, Alonso played his first game with the Mariners at the Coliseum on Tuesday night. Alonso said it was "surreal" being in the visiting dugout and seeing
OAKLAND -- It's been a "surreal" three days for new Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso.
After being traded from the A's to Seattle on Sunday, Alonso played his first game with the Mariners at the Coliseum on Tuesday night. Alonso said it was "surreal" being in the visiting dugout and seeing his former A's teammates while wearing a different uniform.
"They were saying it was pretty weird, but I'm welcoming everything that's happening to me right now," Alonso said. "I'm just excited. I know they're happy for me to have a chance to play a little bit further than September."
Alonso went 1-for-5 in his first game for the Mariners on Tuesday, a 7-6 victory in 10 innings, as he reached on an infield single in the seventh. He nearly hit a homer to left in the ninth, but the ball was caught just short of the fence.
Alonso found out he was traded two hours before Oakland's game Sunday in Anaheim, leading to the unusual situation of him flying back to the Bay Area with the team that just traded him. He arrived at the ballpark Tuesday morning to clean out his A's locker and move everything to the visiting clubhouse.
Alonso was Oakland's lone All-Star this year and is batting .286 with a career-high 22 homers. Manager Scott Servais said that the left-handed hitter will be batting second often, ahead of fellow All-Stars Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz.
"It's a big addition to our lineup," Servais said of Alonso. "We've got a number of right-handed starting pitchers pitching against us here coming up in the next couple of weeks, and he certainly handles those guys really well. He's having a breakout season for him with the home runs and he's always gotten on base. He'll play a lot for us, and I'm excited to have him and I think he's excited to be here."
Alonso added, "It's going to be electric. It's going to be exciting for me and the rest of the team."
The trade also reunites Alonso with Danny Valencia, whom Alonso has known since high school and was teammates with in college at the University of Miami and again with the A's last season.
"He's a competitor, he's a great player, he's a great teammate," Alonso said of Valencia. "We're just enjoying ourselves right now and trying to win as many games as we can."
Alonso and Valencia will be platooning at first base, with Alonso starting against right-handed pitchers and Valencia getting the nod against lefties. After starting Valencia for the majority of the year, Servais acknowledged that it'll be tricky to manage the new platoon.
"Danny's been around the league a lot and is a big part of our team. He's really contributed and done a heck of a job for us," Servais said. "It is going to be a challenge to keep both he and Alonso going, and I don't want Danny to sit for seven, eight days and not play if we run through a streak [of right-handers].
"So [Valencia] still going to get some time at first base and he has played the outfield before, so you could see him out there. The one thing it does to our bench is, if they flip and bring in some left-handed pitching, I do have some right-handed hitters that can pinch-hit between Danny and [Guillermo] Heredia if he's on the bench."
Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. He covered the Mariners on Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.