SAN DIEGO – OK, now we know. The Mariners can take a punch. Get up. And deliver a knockout.
The Mariners produced the biggest comeback victory Thursday night in the franchise’s 40-year history when they erased a 10-run deficit in 16-13 victory over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
Seven straight two-out hits capped a nine-run seventh inning. Stefen Romero tied the game with a pinch single before Shawn O’Malley drove in the go-ahead run with another single.
The Mariners trailed 12-2 after San Diego sent 13 batters to the plate in a seven-run fifth inning against starter Wade Miley and reliever Mike Montgomery.
Then it started.
Dae-Ho Lee’s three-run pinch homer capped a five-run sixth inning. Even then, the Mariners still trailed 12-7.
Noro Aoki started the improbable seventh inning with a one-out single against reliever Ryan Buchter. The Mariners loaded the bases with two outs but still scored.
Kyle Seager lined a two-run single. He finished the night with three hits and five RBIs. Lee and Chris Iannetta followed with RBI singles before Romero and O’Malley delivered.
Aoko made with 14-12 with another RBI single, and Franklin Gutierrez followed with a two-run single. The Mariners led 16-12.
Now they had to hold it.
San Diego got one run back against Nick Vincent later in the inning, but Joaquin Benoit pitched around a two-out double in the eighth before Steve Cishek closed out the remarkable comeback with his 13th save.
The victory sent the Mariners to Texas at 31-22 and tied with the Rangers for first place in the American League West Division. The two clubs play six times over the next 10 days.
Boy, it didn’t start well.
Wade Miley gave up nine runs and 12 hits in 4 2/3 innings, including four runs in the first inning that had the Mariners climbing uphill all night.
On Wednesday, James Paxton blew a three-run lead by giving up six runs in the first inning and departed after giving up eight runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings.
The Mariners’ previously reliable bullpen also sprouted leaks for a second straight game. Montgomery gave up three runs in one-third of an inning after replacing Miley.
It was a mess. A 12-2 mess. Then it all turned around.
Right-hander Cody Martin (1-0) got the victory by pitching one scoreless inning before the Mariners’ nine-run seventh. Ex-Mariner Brandon Maurer (0-2) got the loss. He faced three batters in the seventh and retired none.
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