OAKLAND, Calif. — Even though he joyfully celebrated the Mariners’ memorable 1-0 win over the Yankees in 13 innings last week at T-Mobile Park, the frustration of not contributing more in the game burned inside of him, specifically striking out with two outs and the bases loaded in the 12th inning, which led to him snapping his bat over his knee in a fit of rage.
In the quiet of a mostly empty clubhouse, the normally ebullient Eugenio Suarez, who lives by the motto of “Good Vibes Only,” could be heard angrily venting to his longtime teammate Jesse Winker, “I’m sick of (expletive) striking out.”
Mired in a mild funk since the All-Star break, which grew particularly frustrating on that previous homestand where he had just two hits in 29 plate appearances, Suarez has found those vibes and his home-run stroke on this road trip.
On Friday night, he provided a large portion of a team-wide offensive display, blasting a two-run homer in the fourth inning and three-run homer in the sixth inning off Oakland starter Cole Irvin, to lead the Mariners to a comfortable 10-2 drubbing over the sinking A’s.
“I was so mad,” Suarez recalled. “I thought too much. I was trying to do too much. I was trying to be big, trying to be a hero. And that is not my game. That’s why I got mad. When I relax and see the ball longer, that’s when the results come for me. Whenever I get mad, I get worse and the results don’t come.”
He’s become a favorite of manager Scott Servais.
“He’s a fun guy to be around and he’s certainly has added a ton in our clubhouse,” Servais said. “You’re gonna look up at the end of the year and he’s going to have about 30 or 35 home runs — right where he should be.”
Suarez has played in all but one of the Mariners’ games this season. With his two homers, he now has 151 homers since 2018, more than any other player in baseball.
“He’s beautiful,” Servais said. “I just love the personality he brings every day. He’s a lot of fun, and he brings the energy every day.”
With the win, the Mariners continue to add to their high-water mark of season, moving to 66-54 and 12 games over. 500. They are 37-15 since June 20, which is the second-best record in baseball behind the Dodgers, who were 41-11 coming into the weekend.
The Mariners continued their dominance over the A’s, winning their 10th straight game at the Oakland Coliseum, dating to last season. The Mariners improved to 8-3 vs. Oakland this season and are 24-7 against them over the past two seasons.
The Mariners banged out 13 hits with 11 players registering hits, which hasn’t happened since May 13, 2011 vs. the Twins. It was the fifth time the Mariners have scored double-digit runs and the first time since 2019 that they’ve scored double-digit runs in back-to-back games with their 11-7 win over the Angels on Wednesday. They’ve scored 35 runs in their last four games.
“It’s unbelievable the way we’ve been doing it and the way we’ve been playing the game,” Suarez said. “We’ve been doing a lot of good things and have got good results coming.”
With the Mariners trailing 2-1 in the fourth inning, Suarez launched a hanging slider into the empty staircase behind the left-field seats for his 21st homer to make it 3-2.
Suarez made the A’s and shortstop Nick Allen pay for booting what should’ve been an inning-ending double play on Mitch Haniger’s hard ground ball in the sixth. A frustrated Irvin left a sinker in the middle of the plate, which Suarez deposited over the wall in dead center for his 22nd homer.
“Mistakes are gonna happen, but do you have the ability to capitalize on them,” Servais said. “We have done a nice job with it. Again, it says a lot about this group. They just show up ready to win every day.”
The excess run support was plenty for Mariners starter Marco Gonzales and the lockdown bullpen.
Gonzales wasn’t as sharp as hoped, pitching 5 1/3 innings, and allowing two runs (one earned) with two walks and a strikeout.
“I think my body and my arm feels way better than the results that I’m getting,” he said. “At times, it’s been frustrating, battling through that and trying to stay on track trying to keep my mind right. I just want to give my team a chance to win every time out. I’ve been frustrated, and I just gotta continue to work.”
He couldn’t finish the sixth inning when Suarez had given him a 6-2 lead with his second homer, allowing a pair of singles to start the inning and issuing a one-out walk. Servais wasn’t going to take any chances. He went to rookie right-hander Matt Brash to clean up the mess.
Brash struck out pinch-hitter Vimael Machin and got Tony Kemp to ground out to end the inning.
“He’s got such good stuff and if he throws enough strikes we’re in really good shape,” Servais said. “He executed tonight. It was awesome. Big outs in the game.”
Irvin pitched six innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits with two runs and two strikeouts, which is an improvement against a team he infamously said he shouldn’t allow hits to a team like the Mariners last season after his first start.
In five previous starts vs. the Mariners — all in 2021 — Irvin had an 0-5 record with an 8.69 ERA, allowing 19 earned runs on 35 hits in 19 2/3 innings with 10 walks, a hit batter and 14 strikeouts.