SEATTLE – A Kyle provided the Mariners with their first run on a night when few were expected with his first homer in his first major-league game. Another Kyle provide the winning runs with the 197th homer of his MLB career in his 1,244th big-league game.
Kyle Lewis and Kyle Seager, the rookie and the veteran, led the Mariners to a 4-3 victory over the Reds on Tuesday night at T-Mobile Park to open the six-game homestand.
With the Mariners trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Seager stepped to the plate with two outs and Austin Nola on first base. The Reds brought in left-handed closer Amir Garrett to face Seager. But as he shown before, the left vs. left matchup doesn’t intimidate Seager. He crushed a 2-2 slider into the right-field seats for the decisive homer. It was his 22nd homer of the season.
Called up to the big leagues earlier in the day, Lewis got the start and a standing ovation in his first at-bat. A former first-round pick who has battled through the effects of a gruesome knee injury suffered just a month into his first professional season, he put together a solid season with Double-A Arkansas, playing in 120-plus games and earning a call-up with three other teammates.
His introduction to the big leagues featured a matchup against talented right-hander Trevor Bauer. While Bauer has struggled since being traded from the Indians to the Reds, he still possesses elite-level stuff, including an array of offspeed pitches and a willingness to throw them whenever.
But Lewis was able to find a fastball from Bauer in his first at-bat, hitting a rocket ground ball to third base that was gloved by Eugenio Suarez for an out. The ball registered a 100 mph exit velocity, which was a sign of things to come.
With Bauer holding the Mariners hitless through the first four innings, Lewis stepped to the plate in the second inning. He worked the count in his advantage, refusing to chase two balls off the plate. Up 2-0, Bauer threw a 94-mph fastball to the upper-inside quadrant of the strike zone. Lewis was ready for it. He smashed a towering fly ball into the Mariners’ bullpen. His first big-league hit was a homer, making sure the possibility of a no-hitter would no longer be discussed for this game.
The homer offset a couple of shaky plays in the outfield earlier in the game for Lewis, which is understandable considering he’d never played a game in T-Mobile Park.
The Mariners got another useful start from Justus Sheffield. The rookie left-hander pitched six innings, allowing one run on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Thanks to his sinking fastball, he was able to generate timely ground balls that allowed the Mariners to turn four double plays. They were key in helping limit damage.
He was in line to get his first big-league victory, exiting with a 2-1 lead.
But his replacement, right-hander Austin Adams, couldn’t keep it. After two quick outs, Adams walked the No. 9 hitter Tucker Barnhart. Reds manager David Bell called on left-handed-hitting pinch-hitter Brian O’Grady. The rookie crushed a 95 mph fastball from Adams into the open-air seating of the Hit It Here Cafe in the second deck of right field. It was O’Grady’s first big-league homer as well.
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