Dae-Ho Lee hit two huge homers to lead the Mariners to an impossible 9-8 comeback win over the A’s on Wednesday, giving the Mariners a three-game sweep in Oakland.
A seat on the bench for Thursday’s game in Houston. With right-hander Chris Devenski getting the start for the Astros, manager Scott Servais returned to his platoon lineup that featured Adam Lind at first base.
“We’ll get back to playing the numbers a little bit,” Servais said. “Yesterday was a great day for him. We had a hunch and we rode the hunch and it worked out great. But we’ll get back to playing the regular lineup.”
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Servais shrugged off a question about Lee’s splits in Japan or Korea against right-handed pitchers and if they were good enough to keep him in the lineup.
“I don’t know,” Servais said. “I do know that Adam Lind has quite a track record in our league of hitting right-handed pitching. So that’s what we’ll stay with. Adam is swinging the bat a little bit better over the last week to 10 days. His numbers still aren’t where they want them to be yet. But I’m not that concerned with where he’s going to be. You’ve got to keep him playing. We’ll stay with the original plan. The original plan, quite frankly, is working out ok.”
Servais’ decision to keep Lee in the lineup when lefty Sean Manaea was lifted from the game and letting him hit against right-handed relievers worked out well. The decision wasn’t made only by gut feeling.
“Once the game starts that’s kind of where the feel comes in,” he said. “That’s from years of playing, years of watching the game at this level. Yesterday was one of those games. It was kind of more of a feel moment. I’m not really into that too much. There was also data and numbers tied behind the decisions that were made, based on who the pitcher was and what Dae-Ho had done. If you remember, Dae-Ho had hit a double off of Axford in spring training. He pinch hit against him in Seattle. What Axford throws in certain counts, if we could get into those counts, it might work out in our favor. And it did. So there was some thought that went into it. It wasn’t just, ‘oh let’s run him out there again.’ There was a lot of thought that went into it.”
There is a process when acting on hunches and gut feelings.
“I think you have to,” Servais said. “He could have popped the ball up yesterday, but I still think it was the right thing to do at that point.”
Injury update: Tony Zych out 4-6 weeks
General manager Jerry Dipoto mentioned it on the radio during Wednesday’s game and manager Scott Servais confirmed on Thursday that right-handed reliever Tony Zych will be out 4 to 6 weeks with rotator cuff tendinitis.
“I’m very hopeful he can bounce back,” Servais said. “From the reports I got, there are some issues, but I don’t think there is any serious structural damage. He has a sore shoulder, he has some inflammation and we need to quiet it down.”
Servais hopes that Zych is out the minimal amount of time, but he also knows that they have to be careful with the best power relief arm on their 40-man roster.
“It’s a special arm and we just have to get it back to fully healthy,” he said. “And not just so he can go back out an throw an inning, but throw an inning, bounce back and be available the next day, which has been an issue this season.”
*** Charlie Furbush threw another bullpen session of 20 pitches in his comeback from shoulder issues.
“It’s a long progression,” Servais said. “He has to go through spring training. He never went through it. It’s going to be more than two or three outings. It’s going to be a regular spring training with six, eight, 10 outings.”
*** Joaquin Benoit is scheduled to throw a bullpen when the Mariners return home next week.
Batter vs. pitcher matchups
The Mariners have never faced rookie right-hander Chris Devenski, who is making the start tonight. Devenski is making his second straight start after pitching out of the bullpen earlier this season.
“He’s pretty good,” Servais said. “I know that. He was in the bullpen the last time we faced them. He was one of the more intriguing guys when you go through their reports. I know his minor league track record is pretty good. He’s got a very good changeup. He probably has a little more success against left-handed hitters than right-handed hitters because of the changeup. But we’ll stick with our regular lineup and get a look at him.”
Here’s Devenski’s pitch info from Brooks Baseball
Astros numbers vs. Wade Miley
On this day in Mariners history
- 1985 – Ivan Calderon’s 3-run homer capped a 4-run, 4th inning for the Mariners as they defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-1, in the Kingdome. Mark Langston went the distance for the Mariners, allowing just five hits, while striking out seven.
- 1991 – Greg Briley hit the game winning HR off Rich Monteleone to end the longest game in Kingdome history, a 16-inning 5-4 win over New York. Ironically this would be Briley’s last HR of the season as he did not homer in his last 320 at bats for the year.
- 1998 – The Mariners hit five solo home runs, with David Segui belting two of them, in Seattle’s 8-1 victory vs. Chicago.
- 1999 – Dan Wilson hits 1st HR of the year at Cleveland helping Mariners win 6-5.
- 2001 – Dan Wilson hits his 1st career pinch-hit home run to lead off the 7th inning against Toronto. The homer marks Wilson’s first of the season.
- 2002 – The Mariners beat the Yankees 10-6 to complete a three-game sweep of the defending AL-champs at New York.
- 2010 – Ken Griffey Jr. tied Rafael Palmeiro in 6th place on the all-time extra base hits list. His double put him just one behind Ted Williams on the all-time doubles list. Williams is 35th overall.
- 2012 – Kyle Seager went 2-for-4 with 4 RBI and Felix Hernandez allowed 1 hit over 8.0 shutout innings as the Mariners defeated the Twins 7-0. Steve Delabar added a perfect 9th inning for the 3rd combined one-hitter in club history.
- 2014 – The Mariners beat the A’s 4-2 at O.co Coliseum. Right fielder Stefen Romero hit his first Major League home run. Michael Saunders became the third player in club history to play left field, center field and right field in the same game.
AL West Standings