The Mariners’ Tim Beckham (right) celebrates in the dugout with Domingo Santana (16) after hitting a three-run home run against the White Sox during the fifth inning of a game on April 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

The Mariners’ Tim Beckham (right) celebrates in the dugout with Domingo Santana (16) after hitting a three-run home run against the White Sox during the fifth inning of a game on April 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

Mariners’ bats stay red-hot in win over White Sox

Jay Bruce homers twice and Tim Beckham adds another to lead Seattle to a 9-2 victory.

  • By Ryan Divish The Seattle Times
  • Saturday, April 6, 2019 7:57pm
  • SportsMariners

By Ryan Divish / The Seattle Times

CHICAGO — Mike Leake’s first trip to the south side ballpark now known as Guaranteed Rate Field, in its latest iteration, was less than enjoyable.

A 10-4 Seattle Mariners loss last April 23, it featured a five-run first inning that included seven consecutive hits to start the game and an exit with one out in the fourth inning after allowing a total of eight runs on 12 hits. There are outings you want to forget and some that need to be forgotten. That little adventure was one of them.

“Oh I remember it,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

But in his return trip to the park, just about a year later, Leake delivered a redeeming performance in the Mariners’ comfortable 9-2 victory, bolstered by an offense that whacked three homers for an MLB-leading 24 on the season.

With the win, Seattle improved to 8-2.

Instead of removing it completely from his mind, Leake instead used last year’s shellacking by the Sox for a little reflection and motivation.

“Last year, they walled me around a little bit,” he said. “I kept that in the back of the head along with staying in the moment and making pitches when I needed to. Last year, they took it to me, so I kind of wanted to make an adjustment. I went pitch by pitch and changed speeds.”

The veteran right-hander tossed 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on nine hits with no walks and six strikeouts to pick up his first win of the season. Both runs allowed by Leake came on solo homers. He threw a total of 106 pitches with a whopping 80 strikes.

“He just pounded the strike zone and we played error-free baseball,” manager Scott Servais said. “Wasn’t that great? Mike was outstanding. He was ahead in the count most of the day. That’s what he does when Mike Leake was on.”

Leake wasn’t completely dominant. He worked 1-2-3 frames in the first, third and fifth innings, but had to pitch around traffic on the bases in his other innings and exited with two runners on base. He stranded a total of five base runners.

Standing at first base, Bruce had witnessed these sorts of outings before from Leake during their time together in Cincinnati.

“I saw it for six years,” Bruce said. “Leake is Leake. He’s going to come out and throw strikes and make guys get out on their aggressiveness. He does what he wants up there. And I promise you, the day that he came to the big leagues after never going to the minor leagues, that’s exactly how he was then. He’s got a great idea of how to pitch.”

Of course, Leake benefited from a Seattle offense that continues to blast homers and wear out starting pitchers and their pitch counts. The Mariners got a pair of solo bombs from Bruce and a three-run shot from Tim Beckham, giving the team at least one homer in all of 10 of its games this season. All nine of Seattle’s starting position players reached base in the game.

“We have enough power on this team that when we do get our pitch to hit, we have a good chance to hit the ball out of the ballpark,” Servais said.

Seattle has scored fewer than five runs just once in those 10 games.

“It’s been a pretty amazing start,” Bruce said. “Guys are really hitting the ball well, using the whole field, driving in runs and just getting on base. It’s been a pretty dangerous lineup so far.”

To start the seventh, Leake gave up a solo homer to Tim Anderson, who had three hits off him, and allowed a pair of singles around a strikeout before Servais called on right-hander Brandon Brennan. There would be no repeat of yesterday’s bullpen fiasco with Cory Gearrin.

The Rule 5 draft pick has been one of the Mariners better relievers early in the season. He proved so again, striking out Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu to end the inning.

“Brennan threw the ball great there,” Servais said. “He came in a tough spot there. We have a comfortable lead but it was two big hitters in their lineup.”

The Mariners grabbed a 1-0 lead off of Giolito in the third inning. Mallex Smith worked a two-out walk and scored easily on Mitch Haniger’s double into the left-center gap.

Seattle tacked on three more runs an inning later off Giolito. Bruce’s first of two homers, in the fourth inning, sparked the rally. Ryon Healy later plated a pair of runs with a double to right field to make it 4-0.

Abreu took a small piece out of Seattle’s lead with a solo homer in the bottom of the inning to make it 4-1.

But Beckham got that run back and two more against Chicago reliever Jose Ruiz. His three-run homer just got over the wall in left field to make it 7-1. He finished with four hits on the day to push his batting average to .410 on the season. Domingo Santana made it 8-1 with a run-scoring single in the sixth inning, adding his team lead in RBI with 14.

“We are putting together great at-bats right now,” Bruce said. “Everyone is sort of pulling on the same end of the rope. We talk a lot about the approach and a lot about the pitcher and what we are trying to do. Like I said earlier in the week, you don’t to be the one to take a bad at-bat. It’s been great.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lake Stevens’ Cole Becker celebrates a touchdown with teammates after putting his team up against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
State champs!: Lake Stevens captures 1st-ever 4A football title

The Vikings edge Kennedy Catholic 24-22 in the state title game to complete the elusive final step in their program’s ascent.

Lake Stevens quarterback Kolton Matson drops back to pass against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Patterson: QB Matson ‘had that dawg in him’ during Lake Stevens’ state title win

The sophomore quarterback’s growth since last year’s championship loss was the biggest difference for the Vikings on offense this time around.

X
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Nov. 28-Dec. 4

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Nov. 28-Dec. 4. Voting closes… Continue reading

The Everett Silvertips acquired defenseman Niko Tsakumis from the Seattle Thunderbirds in exchange for two WHL draft picks. (Brian Liesse / Seattle Thunderbirds)
Tips boost defensive depth with trade for Thunderbirds’ Tsakumis

The 17-year-old defenseman, who was acquired for a pair of WHL draft picks, played in both of Everett’s games over the weekend.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith throws during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Grading the Seahawks in their 27-23 victory over the Rams

Quarterback Geno Smith leads the way as Seattle stays in the hunt in the NFC West

A gang of Lake Stevens defenders stop Xe'Ree Alexander against Kennedy Catholic in the WIAA 4A State Football Championship game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Notebook: Defense shines in Lake Stevens’ championship game victory

The Vikings set the tone with an early interception and seal the game with key defensive stands.

Haji Wright of the United States is comforted after losing the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between the Netherlands and the United States, at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
U.S. falls to Netherlands, knocked out of World Cup

The Americans’ run ends with a disappointing 3-1 loss to the Dutch in the round of 16.

Prep roundup for Saturday, Dec. 3

Prep roundup for Saturday, Dec. 3: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Los Angeles Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner (45) against the San Francisco 49ers in an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. The 49ers won 31-14. (AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)
NFL preview: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams

Seahawks icon Bobby Wagner faces his old team for the first time with the Rams.

Most Read