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Mariners Log: Nelson Cruz hits pair of homers and M’s cruise past A’s

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 9, 2017, 4:35 p.m.

Seattle Mariners’ Nelson Cruz follows through on his two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners’ Nelson Cruz follows through on his two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

CRUZ, SEAGER BOMBARD ATHLETICS IN SERIES FINALE

What happened: Nelson Cruz homered twice and the Seattle Mariners cruised to a 6-3 win over the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday, sweeping the abbreviated two-game series.

Cruz delivered a 450-foot blast in the third inning for a two-run shot and smacked a solo homer in the fifth for the M’s sixth run of the day.

Kyle Seager started the scoring with a three-run homer in the first inning.

M’s starter Yovani Gallardo couldn’t even benefit from the run support. He needed 94 pitches to get through 4 1/3 innings and left before he qualified for the win after giving up a single and double in the fifth, resulting the A’s second run. He gave up three runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

Line Outs

  • The Mariners jumped on A’s starter Jharel Cotton right off the bat. Jean Segura led the game off with a single and with one down, Robinson Cano dropped a single to center. Nelson Cruz popped out, but Kyle Seager crushed three-run bomb to right-center for his 17th home run of the season.
  • A’s leadoff guy Matt Joyce cut into the early deficit, knocking his 15th homer in the bottom half of the first.
  • Seattle padded its lead in the third. Cano led off the frame with a single into right field, then Cruz followed with a mammoth shot that landed above the concourse in the left-center grandstand, an estimated 450 feet with an exit velocity of 115 mph to make it 5-1.
  • In the bottom of the third and for the second day in a row, Khris Davis homered against the M’s starter. No. 31 of the season carried just over the tall fence in right center. For the season, Davis is 5 for 35 against the Mariners with four homers and a triple with 11 RBIs, 11 walks and 12 strikeouts.
  • Cruz’ second of the day – less impressive but just as effective, made it 6-2 in the fifth. It was his 26th of the season and his second multi-homer game of the season and 23rd of his career. The M’s DH has hit .400 (14 for 35) with six HRs and 12 RBI in his last nine games.
  • In the fifth, Ben Gamel took away at least extra bases and maybe a homer away from Marcus Semien with a terrific catch, crashing into the left field wall in the process.
  • Closer Edwin Diaz issued a walk with one out in the ninth but buckled down to retire Jaycob Brugman and Joyce on fly balls to earn his 25th save.

The Takeaway

Cruz had a great road trip and the M’s head home for their only homestand of the month. Now surprisingly in the driver’s seat in the chase for the second wildcard spot, these next seven games at Safeco Field can help the M’s solidify their tenuous hold on a playoff position.

Tweet of the Day

Players of the Game

Hero: Nelson Cruz. Two homers, three RBIs.

Goat: Yonder Alonso. 0 for 4 in the two-spot.

Next Game

Los Angeles Angels (56-58) as Seattle Mariners (59-56) on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. at Safeco Field. James Paxton (12-3, 2.70) hosts Tyler Skaggs (1-2, 4.32).

What others are saying (and writing)

The offense has been carrying the M’s recently, most especially on the 6-3 road trip. Now the Mariners head home to face the Angels. … Yesterday in Oakland, the offense did its part again, with Cruz and Seager being the catalyst against the A’s rookie starter, Jharel Cotton. … No matter how many runs it costs, Seattle will stay aggressive on the bases. … Seager’s nickname is the best. His hot streak is also pretty good.