The Mariners used the long ball to open up a floodgate of runs – the most in a game this season – while rolling to a third straight victory on Thursday night at Safeco Field.
Yes, a home run – where a pitched ball is hit a great distance, traveling over the wall, allowing the batter on base and any runners to jog home. Also known as round-tripper, bomb, jack, dinger, tater, gopher ball and four-bagger.
Call them whatever you want, but the Mariners got three of them off White Sox starter Scott Carroll and another one against Chicago’s hapless bullpen en route to a 13-3 rout.
The 13 runs and four home runs tied season highs for Seattle (59-54).
The Mariners aren’t a big home-run hitting team. They came into Thursday’s game with 89, sixth-fewest in the American League.
But on this night they looked like a bashing team.
Dustin Ackley got the power parade started in the first inning, belting a 3-1 fastball off Carroll into the right-field seats, continuing his run of torrid hitting since the All-Star break. It was Ackley’s eighth homer on the season and fourth in his past seven games.
The second homer came in the fourth inning from one of the unlikeliest candidates. Endy Chavez, age 36 and all of 170 pounds, belted a 1-1 curveball deep into the right field seats for a two-run blast. While every one of his swings is violent enough to look like he wants to hit a home run, it was just the second this season. The other came on June 27.
The third came from a guy that many fans wish would hit more of them. With Ackley on first base and one out, Robinson Cano belted his ninth bomb.
Of Cano’s nine homers this season, all have come with runners on base. He has five two-run homers and four three-run homers.
Seattle starter Roenis Elias used the run support to his advantage to improve to 9-9 on the season. He had a no-hitter through four innings, allowing just a walk. Conor Gillaspie broke up the no-hit bid with one-out in the fifth inning.
Elias couldn’t make it out of the sixth thanks to a pair of fellow Cuban defectors. With two-outs he hit hulking first baseman Jose Abreu with a pitch and then the equally powerful Dayan Viciedo belted a hanging curveball over the wall in right-center for his 15th homer of the season.
Elias was lifted for reliever Brandon Maurer, who came in and struck out Paul Konerko on three pitches.
After the initial power display in the first five innings, Seattle showed some versatility, continuing to add runs off Carroll and taking advantage of the White Sox’s abysmal bullpen to score eight more runs and turn it into a blowout.
It was the seventh time this season the Mariners have scored in double figures. The last time came on July 1 in a 13-2 win at Houston.
Kyle Seager ripped his 17th homer of the season to make it 13-3.