Welcome Back: Mitch Haniger blasts homer in Mariners return

Mar 28, 2024, 9:05 PM | Updated: 10:31 pm

Seattle Mariners Mitch Haniger...

Mitch Haniger of the Seattle Mariners on Sept. 28, 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Mitch Haniger homered in his first game back with the Seattle Mariners.

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Of course he did.

With the Mariners down 3-0 entering the bottom of the fourth inning on opening day against the Boston Red Sox, Haniger came up for his second at-bat of the game – he had a weak lineout to the first baseman in his first plate appearance – and took a 97 mph fastball on the outer third and blasted it to right field for a two-run homer, scoring Cal Raleigh.

Haniger, who had a big spring training for the Mariners, hit the home run 372 feet and it was 102.1 mph off the bat, per Statcast.

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Haniger was a Mariner from 2017-22 before leaving Seattle for San Francisco in free agency. He was traded back to the Mariners this past offseason, though, after just one year with the Giants.

The expectation for Haniger this year is to be the team’s primary right fielder and a key part of a lineup hat the M’s think is much deeper and more balanced than last season, when Seattle finished just short of the postseason. He hit sixth in Seattle’s opening day lineup on Thursday.

The homer was Haniger’s 119th of his career and 108th as a member of the Mariners. It was also Haniger’s first home run with the M’s celebratory trident, which the team added to the mix last season.

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Welcome Back: Mitch Haniger blasts homer in Mariners return