PITTSBURGH — Scott Servais can surely speak for everyone who bore witness to Kyle Lewis’ first week in the big leagues.
“It’s been really, really fun to watch,” the Mariners manager said Tuesday.
There were a lot of firsts for Lewis during his first week with the Mariners back in Seattle last week: His first home run in his first game … then his second home run in his second game … then a third homer in his third game … and then a fourth Sunday, making him one of just five players in major-league history with four home runs and nine runs batted in his first six games.
Another first for Lewis: a road trip across the country for a seven-night, six-game swing through Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
“Pretty cool, huh?” Lewis said before Tuesday’s game against the Pirates at PNC Park.
“I’m just trying to take everything in stride,” he added. “Right now, everything’s new — everything’s an ‘ah-ha’ moment. It’s been fun.”
The 24-year-old outfielder, called up from Class AA Arkansas a week ago Tuesday, has reached base safely in each of his first six games, batting .360 (9 for 25) with a 1.290 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
His 23 total bases through six games are also a Mariners record, ahead of Jose Cruz Jr. (19 in 1997), Alvin Davis (18 in 1984), Bucky Jacobsen (16 in 2004) and Ichiro Suzuki (15 in 2001).
Lewis’ one hiccup came Saturday at T-Mobile Park, when he went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts (and one walk). He responded Sunday with a three-hit game — including a three-run home run in the eighth inning to spark the Mariners’ rally from a 10-5 deficit to their second straight walk-off win against the White Sox.
“There will be some bumps in the road along the way. He’ll have his games where he strikes out two, three times. It happens to all young players,” Servais said, adding: “He’s going to have those days when you play in this league for a while — and he is going to play in this league for a while.
“His skillset, how he’s handled his at-bats, the ability to make some adjustments in the course of an at-bat, is something we’ve seen, based on how the other team is going to pitch him and attack him. So really impressed with all that stuff.”
Servais first got to know Lewis during spring training, and said he appreciated Lewis’ approach then. That’s carried over to the big leagues.
“He’s very even-keeled. He doesn’t get too high or too low,” Servais said. “That’s not the case for all players. Some guys like to ride the rollercoaster, so to speak. He likes to keep it right there, which is great. You have a good chance at having stronger mental health when you do that, otherwise this game will really tear you apart because there’s so much failure involved.”
The best part of being in the big leagues, Lewis said, is the chance to hang around veterans like Dee Gordon and Kyle Seager.
“They’ve been around so long, it’s cool to be able to ask them questions that I never thought Id’ be able to ask them,” he said.
He said he’s simply trying to enjoy the moment.
“I just feel like if I continue to go about my process, then that’s the most authentic way to go about it,” he said. “For me, that’s kind of always the way it’s been. I’ve never tried to make it some big, huge thing. Because then it could spiral out of control. So just keep it small.”
Dunn set for second appearance
Rookie right-hander Justin Dunn is scheduled to make his second appearance for the Mariners on Wednesday. He will be the opener ahead of Tommy Milone.
Dunn recorded just two outs in the first inning of his major-league debut last week against Cincinnati — walking five and allowing two earned runs. Nerves, no doubt, played a big role in that. In 131.2 innings pitched in Class AA this season, he issued just 39 walks (with 158 strikeouts).
“Hopefully, it goes a little bit better. I’m pretty sure it will,” Servais said. “But he’s got to learn. Talk is cheap. You have to go through it, experience it and experience how to handle your emotions.
“Justin’s a pretty sharp guy. He’s going to learn from it, and he knew right away what happened. Now can he make an adjustment? We’ll find out.”
Outfielder/designated hitter Domingo Santana was activated from the injured list Tuesday, and he will be available as a pinch-hitter in the Pittsburgh series, Servais said.
Santana was placed on the IL with right elbow inflammation on Aug. 20 and missed 24 games.
King’s Court special promotion
The Mariners are advertising a promotion for what is expected to be Felix Hernandez’s final start for Seattle on Thursday, Sept. 26.
For $15, fans can get a main level tickets, a “Forever the King” T-shirt and a “Thanks” for what the Mariners say is “sure to be a special and emotional night.” Tickets are available at mlb.com/mariners.