Mitch Haniger’s 3 hits, 4 RBIs lifts Mariners past Marlins 10-5
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) – Mitch Haniger had a day that would be tough to upstage, reaching base five times and driving in four runs as the Seattle rookie continued his hot start.
With one swing, Miami’s Ichiro Suzuki managed to overshadow what Haniger accomplished even if it came in a 10-5 loss to the Mariners on Wednesday.
Haniger extended his hitting streak to 13 games with three hits as the Mariners closed out their only homestand of April 6-3. But it was Suzuki providing a bit of nostalgia with a solo home run on the first pitch of the ninth inning, in possibly his final at-bat at Safeco Field where he anchored right field and the top of Seattle’s batting order for 11 ½ seasons.
Suzuki jumped on a fastball from Evan Marshall that had just enough to clear the fence in right field as Haniger watched. His first home run on the road in nearly four years came in perhaps his final Seattle appearance.
“It was my last at bat, obviously, and the last chance. With the game the way it was going, that’s what I wanted to hit, right there,” Suzuki said through an interpreter, while also indicating he hoped to have another trip to Seattle in the future. “Saw the ball go over the fence and I have to pinch myself to make sure that really happened. I feel grateful that happened.”
While Suzuki’s homer provided a longing for the past, it was the current right fielder that is provided the punch to Seattle’s offense on a day Felix Hernandez (2-1) did not have his best stuff.
A night after breaking up a potential no-hitter with a ninth-inning double, Haniger scored in the first inning, had a two-run single in the second and clanged a two-run double off the wall in deep center field in the fourth. He reached on an error in the sixth inning and dropped another single in the eighth.
Haniger was considered the extra piece of Seattle’s biggest offseason move when it acquired Jean Segura in a trade with Arizona. But with Segura sidelined by a hamstring strain, Haniger has starred. He is hitting .323.
“Mitch started out a little rough, the first couple of games to get the season going was a little rough but over time the at bats started to get better and the results come,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
Kyle Seager also had four RBIs and was on base four times and Seattle knocked around Miami starter Edinson Volquez (0-2) early. Volquez barely made it through three innings, giving up four runs and five hits. He walked four for the second straight start.
Hernandez was far from his best, giving four hits – all singles – on the first six pitches of the game. He allowed two runs and five hits in the first inning and surrendered long solo home runs later in the game to Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich. Stanton’s homer was his fourth this season, a 445-foot shot to deep left-center field.
Despite giving up four runs and 12 hits, Hernandez kept his pitch count down and was able to work into the seventh inning. Hernandez struck out five and issued his first walk of the season to Stanton in the fifth, ending a streak of 22 1/3 innings to open the season.
Hernandez also tied Freddy Garcia for most wins by a Venezuelan-born pitcher with 156.
“I knew I didn’t have my best stuff today but I was going to battle and stay in as long as I can,” Hernandez said.
Along with his fourth home run of the season, Yelich’s catch in the first inning will be tough to top all season. Yelich made an over-the-shoulder basket catch of Jarrod Dyson’s first-inning drive while crashing into the center-field wall. Yelich pinned the ball against his body as he slammed full speed into the padded wall.
Marlins: 3B Martin Prado was back in the lineup after leaving Monday’s game with a cramp in his calf. Prado had two hits.
Mariners: The return of Segura may be delayed until early next week. Servais said Segura could end up going to Double-A Arkansas for a couple of rehab games and rejoin the Mariners in Detroit for the start of a series next Tuesday.
Marlins: After an off day the Marlins open a series in San Diego. Adam Conley (1-1) gets the start in Friday’s series opener.
Mariners: James Paxton (2-0) starts Thursday at Oakland. Paxton has not allowed an earned run in his first 21 innings.