SEATTLE – With the Seattle Mariners struggling to find offense, Jean Segura wasn’t going to sit through a long at-bat looking for a perfect pitch. In this situation, the first one was good enough.
Segura chopped the first pitch from Sam Dyson into center field, scoring Guillermo Heredia with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and the Mariners won another one-run game, beating the San Francisco Giants 3-2 at Safeco Field on Wednesday.
Seattle came up with just enough offense to split the two-game interleague series, and it was one of the Mariners’ All-Stars who came through. Heredia walked leading off the eighth against Tony Watson (3-4) and advanced to second on Dee Gordon’s bunt. Gordon was initially called safe but was out on a video review.
Dyson, who shut down the Mariners a night earlier, took over and was greeted by Segura’s chopper up the middle; Heredia beat the throw home from Steven Duggar. Seattle improved to a majors-best 27-12 in one-run games this season.
“I was just trying to get a sinker down and over the plate. He threw a perfect pitch to put a good swing on it,” Segura said.
Seattle is in the midst of an offensive swoon, having scored three runs or fewer in 11 of the past 14 games. Trying to rediscover the offense of May and June has been a struggle, both going into and coming out of the All-Star break, which puts more an emphasis on winning games like Wednesday.
Segura had a first-inning sacrifice fly and two of Seattle’s three RBIs. Ryon Healy added his 21st home run, a solo shot in the second.
“You go through these stretches during the course of the season. It’s tough,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It’s not like these guys aren’t trying or trying to make adjustments or whatnot. It’s just the ballgames we’re playing in right now. We’ve got to get it going offensively.”
Managing a lagging offense is easier when Seattle gets the kind of pitching it received from starter Mike Leake and Edwin Diaz closing it out. Leake pitched into the seventh before giving way to the bullpen. Alex Colome (3-5) pitched the eighth and Diaz struck out the side in the ninth for his league-best 38th save in 41 chances.
Leake cruised through the first five innings on 51 pitches and one hit allowed.
San Francisco threatened in the sixth thanks to an error on Hunter Pence’s grounder and a single by Nick Hundley to open the inning. The runners advanced to second and third with one out; Leake responded with his first two strikeouts. He got Alen Hanson swinging over a slider, then watched Andrew McCutchen swing and miss at a cutter.
San Francisco got to Leake an inning later when Brandon Crawford’s blooper fell in for a double off the glove of a sliding Denard Span in left, scoring pinch-runner Chase d’Arnaud. Hunter Pence followed with a two-out broken-bat single off reliever Juan Nicasio, scoring Crawford with the tying run.
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