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Seattle Mariners

Jorge Polanco, Mitch Haniger homer, Mariners’ offense finally breaks out in win over Reds

By Ryan Divish Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Scott Servais stood in his familiar position on the top step of the Mariners dugout. With his hands jammed into the pockets of his heavy coat on a chilly Monday night made tolerable with the roof of T-Mobile Park closed, the terse expression of disappointment he’d worn for most of this season was gone.

It had been replaced by a relaxed look of content as his hitters watched pitch after pitch from Frankie Montas Jr. go by for balls and the few strikes he threw get pounded for home runs.

He wasn’t beaming, but he was definitely smiling on the inside. After spending the first two weeks of the season promising disappointed fans that this team’s offense was better than it had shown, his hitters finally displayed the sort of disciplined approach and offense production that he saw building in the final weeks of spring training.

The Mariners worked Montas for five walks and scored five runs off him in the first three innings, setting the tone for a decisive 9-3 victory over the Reds.

It was their most impressive offensive showing of the season with a season-high in runs and tied season-highs with 10 hits and six walks. They also struck out just seven times, which was their fewest in any game.

Seattle set the tone immediately against the talented but unpredictable Montas. Having faced him for several years during his time with the A’s, the Mariners knew that Montas could be dominant at times and erratic with his command at others.

When J.P. Crawford and Julio Rodriguez worked back-to-back walks to start the inning, the Mariner recognized what version of Montas they were facing. Jorge Polanco worked a 3-1 count and then smacked a three-run homer over the right-field wall. Montas would go on to walk two more hitters in a first inning where he threw a whopping 45 pitches.

Seattle ended his outing in the third. Polanco worked a leadoff walk and Mitch Haniger hammered a ball into the Mariners bullpen for his third homer of the season.

It was more than enough for George Kirby, who looked more like his normal self after back-to-back forgettable outings.

Kirby delivered the Mariners’ fifth consecutive quality start, tossing six innings and allowing two runs on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts to improve to 2-2 on the season. Due to lack of run support, the Mariners are 3-2 in the that five-game stretch.

It was Kirby’s second quality start of the season and the Mariners seventh overall. They are 5-2 in those games.