OAKLAND -- This looked more like the Mariners team we were expecting to see this year.
Seattle earned its fourth straight comeback victory Thursday afternoon, beating the Athletics, 5-3, to complete the Mariners' second sweep of the season.
After the bats erupted for seven runs in the final four innings Wednesday night, they stayed hot in the series finale Thursday. Taylor Trammell launched an opposite-field, two-run homer in the third inning, and six straight hitters reached base with two outs in the fourth to ignite a three-run rally.
“It’s like a breath of fresh air,” Trammell said of the early runs. “We really want those starters to be able to have some comfortability in later innings. That was huge for us.”
Trammell missed the first month of the season with a broken hamate bone in his right hand, but in just four games since returning, he has already launched two crucial homers and driven in seven runs.
“Trammell brings a lot,” manager Scott Servais said. “The biggest thing he’s brought is he has made some adjustments to his swing. That ball he hit out today, he could not do that a year ago, or any time in the last few years. I mean, [it's so] effortless, didn’t swing hard, just trying to make contact, and he’s got some kind of ability. The ball just jumps off his bat. Huge hit.”
Kolten Wong, who has struggled with his new team to start the year, had the go-ahead, two-run single in the fourth to make it 5-3. He added another single in the sixth for his third multi-hit game of the season.
“It was huge,” Servais said. “He’s had opportunities, hasn’t come through here to this point in the season. But everybody has to chip in. All five RBIs came from the bottom of our lineup today. We need it.”
The Mariners finished the game with seven hits, including three extra-base hits, and perhaps most impressive, a season-high seven walks.
Trammell picked up his third RBI of the game when he drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth to tie the game at 3.
“It’s huge,” he said. “Just keep the baton moving.”
After a shaky first few innings, George Kirby settled in to record his fifth straight quality start, allowing three runs in seven innings.
Kirby (3-2) held Oakland scoreless after the third.
“Those runs, they bother you a little bit,” Kirby admitted. “But at the end of the day, you’ve just got to keep pounding the zone and attacking hitters. … I’d say it was not my best stuff, but I did a really good job of going inside on the guys all day with the sinker.”
The bullpen was phenomenal again, preserving the two-run lead in the final two frames and extending its scoreless streak to 16 innings. Paul Sewald pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save.
“I think he’s thrown the ball really well after maybe the first outing or two of the season,” Servais said. “He’s got in a nice rhythm and landing the breaking ball is really critical for Paul. Paul’s got a ton of confidence. Paul believes he’s one of the best relievers in the league, and he is. When he executes, he’s tough to hit.”
After dipping as many as five games below .500, the Mariners have nearly leveled their record at 15-16 heading into a showdown series against the defending World Series champion Astros this weekend in Seattle.
“We’re looking forward to this series,” Trammell said. “It’s going to be a nice test for us. Obviously, we know about Houston. They’re a well-rounded team. We’re going to come out, do our thing, compete each and every day that we’re out there and hopefully get some wins.”