SEATTLE – Hours after the shortest start of Mariners starer Mike Leake’s nine-season, big-league career, Seattle finished off one of their most exciting wins of the year.
Leake was out after 1 1/3 innings, but the Mariners kept battling, finally catching the A’s with two outs in the ninth inning, tying the score at 8 on Kyle Seager’s pinch-hit single.
Then, in the 11th inning, Chris Hermann hit a two-run homer, giving the Mariners a 10-8 win Tuesday night, sending the few thousand remaining fans at Safeco Field home happy.
Leach’s night was over long before the late-inning heroics. He gave up six runs and eight hits, but a bevy of Mariner relievers – they used nine – kept it close enough.
Down 8-5, the Mariners scored two runs off former Seattle closer Fernando Rodney on two walks, two wild pitches and a two-run double by Denard Span.
It didn’t look good in the ninth against the A’s brilliant closer, Blake Treinen, particularly after he got the first two outs. Nelson Cruz then singled, but the game appeared over when Ryon Healy grounded out to third. Chapman seemed unsure whether to get the out at first or second, then bobbled the ball for an error.
Seager then tied it with a sharp single to right field.
The A’s got a gift from the Mariners in the first inning, and like good teams do, they made the opponent pay. Leake retired the first two hitters, then Jed Lowrie hit a grounder to shortstop that Jean Segura got to with a diving stop.
His throw was a bit low, but definitely catchable for first baseman Healy. But Healy could not come up with it and it was generously ruled a hit. Then came three more hits, the first on a broken-bat blooper to right field by Matt Olson, and the Mariners found themselves in a 3-0 hole.
Seattle quickly got the runs back. Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura had singles to lead off the inning, and Cruz tied the score when his line drive to right-center field just cleared the fence.
But Leake, who all of sudden found himself even again, gave up three more runs in the second, including a two-run triple to Nick Martini, and Servais relieved him with one out in the second inning. It was only the third time in the right-hander’s career that he has failed to get through two innings as a starter. The last time it happened was in 2013.
Oakland starter Brett Anderson did not fare much better, allowing five runs before being pulled with one out in the third inning, long before the wild finish.
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