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Zunino unloads 454-foot, upper-deck blast

Catcher's 12th HR leaves bat at 116 mph, according to Statcast
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Royals' righty Ian Kennedy retired the first 10 batters that Seattle sent to the plate, but a pair of Mariners homered in their second plate appearances, including a blast that almost left the park.

Mike Zunino sent a 2-2 pitch to the second-to-last row of seats at Safeco field's top deck in the fifth inning. The ball left the catcher's bat at 116 mph, per Statcast™, making it the hardest-hit Mariners home run this season. Mitch Haniger homered an inning earlier with a two-run shot that broke a scoreless tie in Seattle's 4-1 win.

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SEATTLE -- Royals' righty Ian Kennedy retired the first 10 batters that Seattle sent to the plate, but a pair of Mariners homered in their second plate appearances, including a blast that almost left the park.

Mike Zunino sent a 2-2 pitch to the second-to-last row of seats at Safeco field's top deck in the fifth inning. The ball left the catcher's bat at 116 mph, per Statcast™, making it the hardest-hit Mariners home run this season. Mitch Haniger homered an inning earlier with a two-run shot that broke a scoreless tie in Seattle's 4-1 win.

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"I don't think Mike Zunino could hit a ball much farther than that," said manager Scott Servais. "Off the bat, I thought it might have had a chance to leave, and even Edgar [Martinez] hasn't seen too many go that far."

Zunino's blast was also the second-hardest Mariners homer since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015, and Seattle's second longest of the year at a projected 454 feet. Nelson Cruz has the top mark in both of those categories, with a 116.8-mph shot in '16 and a 465-foot homer last Friday at Fenway Park.

Cruz's reaction to the homer involved a slow pace across the dugout to greet Zunino and a "wow" out of his mouth, but the Mariners catcher said the reaction doesn't give him any bragging rights.

"I think at the end of the day, we react more to his home runs," Zunino said. "So it is nice, but it's one of those where I'll give him that title all day."

Haniger's two-run homer gave him his 60th and 61st RBIs of the year, good for the second most in baseball behind J.D. Martinez's 64.

Video: KC@SEA: Haniger crushes a 2-run homer to center

"Most of us probably hadn't seen [Kennedy] before, so second time through, you kind of know what to expect," Haniger said. "You just gotta make adjustments at the plate and that's what we were able to do."

David Gottlieb is a reporter for MLB.com.

Seattle Mariners, Mike Zunino