Down 12-2, the Mariners didn’t fold — they scored 14 runs in the sixth and seventh innings against the Padres. Maybe it was a flashback to the “two outs, so what?” days. It was the largest comeback win in Mariners history.
SAN DIEGO — It’s a phrase that hasn’t been forgotten. It’s been said in hopeful and wistful memory of a golden time in franchise history. It’s also been said in bitter sarcasm during the many failures of past seasons.
But in this surprising start to the 2016 Mariners season, it has been said on several occasions in earnest belief.
“Two outs? So what.”
M’s @ Texas, 5:05 p.m., ROOT Sports
That long-ago battle cry of past Seattle teams that produced wins and playoff appearances might just become prescient again. No game will represent that rejuvenated mindset more than the Mariners’ improbably absurd 16-13 victory over the Padres on Thursday night at Petco Park.
“It was just another game,” manager Scott Servais deadpanned.
“What can you say about our club? Guys don’t quit. They just keep battling. It just kept going and going. The momentum builds. Everybody was involved in this win.”
Servais even credited Leonys Martin, who is on the disabled list, but with the team. He served as cheerleader.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Mariners' magic number gets lower despite their struggles continuing vs. Rangers
- Why both Geno Smith and Russell Wilson have given Seahawks fans solace
- Shane Wright makes his debut as Kraken extinguish Flames in second preseason game
- Mariners snap out of funk long enough to beat Rangers, lower magic number to 3
- How hard-hitting Husky legacy Carson Bruener embraced his role as UW's special teams ace
“He was going nonstop, screaming, yelling and getting the energy going,” Servais said. “And the guys just kind of fed off it.”
Seattle needed just two innings to rally from a 10-run deficit for the largest come-from-behind win in franchise history. The previous record was an 11-10 win vs. the Angels in 1996 after Seattle trailed 9-1.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of anything like that,” said Kyle Seager, who had three hits and drove in five runs. “That was incredible. The fight was pretty special.”
The win improved the Mariners to 31-22 on the season and moved them into a tie with the Texas Rangers atop the American League West standings. The two teams open a three-game series at Globe Life Park on Friday night.
“It really says a lot about our team,” Servais said. “(Down) 12-2. I’ve been around a lot of big-league games and I’ve never seen a 10-run comeback. I think I’ve seen seven or eight, but never 10. I can’t say enough about our guys and the belief in each other. It’s kind of what it’s all about.”
Down 12-2 after an abysmal start from pitcher Wade Miley and less-than-stellar relief work from Mike Montgomery, the Mariners looked destined for their first road series loss of the season as well as their first back-to-back road losses.
Instead, they somehow rallied to take the lead, scoring a total of 14 runs over the sixth and seventh innings to take their first lead since the top of the first inning. The most absurd aspect of it came in the nine-run seventh. Yes, all nine runs were scored with two outs.
Having scored five runs in the sixth inning to make it 12-7, the Mariners seemed on the cusp of adding more to make things respectable, loading the bases with one out in the seventh. But when Nelson Cruz lost a 10-pitch battle with lefty Ryan Buchter, striking out swinging for the second out of the inning, the possibility of a miracle was fading.
But the Mariners wouldn’t allow that third out of the inning to be made. Instead they ripped off seven straight two-out hits to push across the nine runs. For the season, the Mariners have 102 RBI with two outs — tied for third-most in MLB. It played out like this:
• Kyle Seager, two-run single to right, 12-9.
• Padres replace Buchter with right-hander Brandon Maurer.
• Dae-Ho Lee, RBI single to right, 12-10.
• Chris Iannetta, line-drive RBI single to left, 12-11.
• Stefen Romero, pinch-hit line drive to center on a 3-2 count, 12-12.
• Another pitching change, Matt Thornton replaces Maurer.
• Shawn O’Malley, RBI single to center, 13-12.
• Norichika Aoki, ground-ball single to center to score a run, 14-12.
• Franklin Gutierrez, two-run single on a ground ball up the middle, 16-12.
“Even when a couple of guys took some big swings, guys were yelling from the bench, ‘be humble, take a single,’ ” Servais said. “It got to that point. Don’t try to hit the big homer and be the hero. It’s what we’ve talked about all year, just do your job and keep the line moving and trust the guy behind you.”
Robinson Cano finally made the last out of the inning with a ground out to second. The Mariners scored nine runs on eights hits while the Padres used three pitchers, who threw a total of 66 pitches.
Given a four-run lead, the Mariners were able withstand a run allowed by Nick Vincent in the seventh. Joaquin Benoit worked a scoreless eighth and Steve Cishek worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 13th save of the season.
Cody Martin, who was called up earlier in the day, got the win in relief. He pitched a scoreless bottom of the sixth inning.
“That was a pretty amazing way to do it,” he said.
The win helped ease the awful outings by Miley and Montgomery. Miley worked 42/3 innings, giving up nine runs on 12 hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Montgomery gave up three runs on four hits and a walk after replacing Miley in the seven-run fifth inning.
“I knew if I just held them to 12, I’d have a chance,” Miley joked. “The way those guys picked me up out there tonight, that was awesome. As bad as I struggled for them to do that, it’s pretty special. In all seriousness, I have to do a better job. It was pretty pitiful.”
Seattle’s comeback really started in the sixth when the Mariners picked up the five runs. Seager had a two-run, bases-loaded double and Lee belted a pinch-hit, three-run homer to make it 12-7 and give the Mariners a pulse.
|Biggest comeback wins|
|Thursday’s rally eclipsed the Mariners’ previous team record for a comeback victory. In 1996, down 9-1, Seattle staged an 8-run rally at the Kingdome.|
|10 runs||June 2, 2016 at San Diego||Win, 16-13|
|8 runs||April 15, 1996 vs. California||Win, 11-10|
|7 runs||April 11, 2011 vs. Toronto||Win, 8-7|
|7 runs||July 3, 1999 at Texas||Win, 13-12|
|7 runs||May 14, 1994 vs. California||Win, 10-7|
|7 runs||Sept. 27, 1991 at White Sox||Win, 10-8 (11 inn.)|