The conversation started in the second.
And it never really stopped.
In the bottom of the second inning of Thursday’s 6-4 Giants win, Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager was hit by an 87 mph sinker from starter Tyler Anderson to lead off the frame. Seattle manager Scott Servais — who witnessed two of his players get plunked the night before, including a 99 mph heater that hit Dylan Moore in the helmet — let Anderson know from the dugout that he didn’t appreciate the placement.
When asked about the exchange after the game, a restrained Servais said simply: “I was upset he was hit.”
The Mariners proceeded to make more of a statement than Servais ever could. They scored four runs in the second inning, using four separate singles to pull ahead of San Francisco. After Seager stole second, Ty France cracked a line drive to left to advance his teammate to third. A Tim Lopes single to center plated Seager to start the scoring, and then right fielder Phillip Ervin smacked another single to center to bring France home. Shortstop J.P. Crawford successfully capped the inning with yet another line-drive single to score Lopes and Ervin.
“I thought we got to Anderson. He had our number the last time we were here,” Servais said. “(He throws) a lot of changeups. He’s got a lot of deception in his delivery. I thought we were able to get some big two-out knocks there in the second inning. We needed it. We were hoping to create as much separation as possible early in the ballgame. It was nice to see. Obviously we needed a little bit more at the end.”
In the following inning, Anderson continued the conversation. After Kyle Lewis walked on a 3-2 fastball that flirted with the bottom of the zone, Anderson made it known to home-plate umpire Edwin Moscoso that he disagreed with that decision. Moscoso promptly ejected Anderson, delivering an early ending to an inefficient start.
In two-plus innings of work, the sputtering and steaming starter allowed four runs on four hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
On the other side, Mariners lefty Nick Margevicius had no such worries — for a while. The 24-year-old starter cruised through the first five innings, allowing only a solo homer to left fielder Darin Ruf in the second. But San Francisco mounted a rally in the sixth, loading the bases with nobody out via a pair of singles and a walk. Reliever Joey Gerber surrendered an RBI single to Evan Longoria and a sacrifice fly to Brandon Crawford, before former Mariner Justin Smoak grounded sharply into a double play to end the threat.
Margevicius ultimately allowed five hits, three runs and three walks while striking out three in five-plus innings.
“I didn’t have my best stuff today,” Margevicius admitted. “I thought my stuff last week was a lot better. But I just competed. I knew that going in, and it didn’t change the game plan at all. I just had to make more pitches and work a little bit harder mentally and focus a little bit more to make those pitches.”
But, as has so often been the case, the Mariners’ bullpen couldn’t keep the lead. Trailing 4-3 with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, Giants first baseman Wilmer Flores belted a two-RBI triple off Kendall Graveman into the gap in left-center. After Anthony Misiewicz was called on to relieve Graveman, he promptly served up a single up the middle to Alex Dickerson to extend the San Francisco advantage to 6-4.
Meanwhile, after that four-run second inning, the streaky Mariners offense managed just three more measly hits. It seems that Anderson’s ejection actually accidentally turned the tide.
Five Giants relievers — Wandy Peralta, Rico Garcia, Tony Watson, Tyler Rogers and Sam Selman — combined to blank Seattle’s bats in another unorthodox “road game” at Oracle Park. The Mariners stranded two runners in each of the final three innings.
“I thought there was a lot of really good at-bats in this ballgame, creating opportunities for us to add on to those four runs we had. We just couldn’t push anything across,” Servais said.
In all, the Mariners — who have dropped three straight — finished with an 0-4 record against San Francisco, while being outscored 31-13 in the process. Servais conceded that “the Giants had our number this year. I can’t really put my finger on it. They swung the bats very, very well against us and we struggled to close out innings against them.”
You could say it was the Giants who had the final word.
Editor’s note: The Times declined to send reporter Mike Vorel to San Francisco for this series because of COVID-19 safety concerns.