KANSAS CITY — It wasn’t Edwin Encarnacion or Jay Bruce, nor was it Daniel Vogelbach or Ryon Healy or any of the expected home run bashers.
So it had to be Mitch Haniger, the team’s best overall hitter, right?
The Mariners went into Major League Baseball’s record books thanks to the home-run power of Dee Gordon.
Yes, Dee Gordon.
Seattle’s spindly second baseman smacked a solo home run in the sixth inning of Thursday’s game vs. the Royals, giving the Mariners a home run in their first 15 games of the season. That streak surpassed the MLB record of 14 previously held by the 2002 Cleveland Indians.
Gordon sat on an 0-1 curveball from KC starter Jorge Lopez, pulling it over the wall in right field for his first homer of the season. It was just the 16th homer of Gordon’s career, which has spanned nine seasons and 866 games. His blast measured 361 feet per MLB statcast.
Because Daniel Vogelbach hit a game-winning homer in the 10th inning, Gordon felt like his homer didn’t actually extend the streak. Even when it was argued that his came first and technically extended the streak, he said, “It don’t count for me.”
MLB asked for Gordon’s home run ball and asked for one of his bats to send to the Hall of Fame to commemorate the record. But the bat that hit the homer and also notched a RBI triple in the game and a key single to help the ninth inning rally?
“I can’t give them my bat,” he said laughing.
Gordon was the 11th different player for the Mariners to hit a home run this season.
The Mariners believe Jay Bruce’s sore left Achilles isn’t a major injury. They hope a few days off will help clear up the issues.
Seattle has signed veteran right-hander Neftali Feliz to a minor league contract. Feliz, 30, has 357 MLB appearances with five MLB teams and 107 career saves. He spent all of last season pitching at the Class AAA level.