Mariners come home after successful trip to play A’s
You know your team is rolling when its No. 9 hitter hits two home runs in a game.
That’s the case for the Seattle Mariners, who just completed a 10-day trip to Texas, Chicago and Cleveland by going 7-3 with series wins over the Rangers (2-1), White Sox (2-1) and Indians (3-1) to move into second place in the American League West.
“Heck of a road trip,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais, whose 16-11 team has the franchise’s most wins entering May since the 2003 club went 17-10. “I’m really excited where this team is and where it’s headed. Just an outstanding road trip.”
The Mariners open a six-game homestand Tuesday night against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field.
“Our team has a lot of confidence right now,” Servais said. “I’m looking forward to what’s ahead of us. It was a really good month of April and it was important for us to get off to a good start. I’m looking forward to May.”
The Mariners are producing throughout the lineup.
That No. 9 hitter was first baseman Ryon Healy, who went 3-for-4 Sunday with a double, two homers and four RBIs in a 10-4 victory in Cleveland. Healy also homered in Saturday’s 12-4 win.
Healy, acquired in an offseason trade with the A’s, came off the disabled list last week after spraining an ankle in a postgame weight room mishap early this season.
He was asked Sunday the last time he batted ninth.
“I don’t think I ever have to be honest,” he said.
And he didn’t seem to mind.
“There’s no arguments there,” he said. “Everyone knows that. No matter where you hit in this lineup, everybody is a 2-3-4 hitter. It’s ridiculous.”
Added teammate Robinson Cano: “We’ve got a lot of potential — one through nine. Our nine hitter (Sunday) hit two homers. He was the player of the game. That’s the thing. It’s not one guy. You can compare this lineup with any team right now in the league. What’s the best one? We can compete with anyone.”
The A’s have also been competitive this season, entering May with a 14-14 record. That makes the American League West one of only two divisions in baseball with four teams at .500 or better (the other is the National League Central).
Oakland was denied a fourth straight series victory Sunday, suffering an 8-4 loss to division-leading Houston.
“My stuff was better. I felt like I was moving the ball around better, and Lucroy put the signs down,” Triggs told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I sort of let him drive, and I was in the passenger seat.”
The A’s have won four times in Triggs’ five starts, the only loss a 7-4 decision April 13 in Seattle, where Triggs allowed two runs and five hits in five innings before the bullpen ran into trouble.
Triggs is 0-1 with a 7.13 ERA in four career appearances against Seattle with three starts.
The Mariners are set to start right-hander Felix Hernandez (3-2, 4.96). He suffered a 2-1 loss to the A’s on April 15, outdueled by Manaea. Hernandez allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1/2 innings that day, with no walks and seven strikeouts. Hernandez has a 25-10 career record with a 2.61 ERA in 47 career starts against Oakland.