The Mariners liked what they saw from newcomer Sam Haggerty in his first four games in Seattle.
They liked what happened Sunday even more.
Haggerty hit the first home run of his major-league career in the fifth inning, a sky-high blast to left field against veteran left-hander Mike Minor that gave the Mariners a 4-0 lead.
In his third at-bat, Haggerty worked the count to 3-2 for the third time against Minor, then lifted an inside fastball over the fence and into the netting in Edgar’s Cantina.
Haggerty, a switch-hitting utility player, was called up from the Mariners’ minor-league training site in Tacoma on Wednesday and hit safely in his first four games in Seattle, going 5 for 17 (.294) with two doubles and two stolen bases.
With Dylan Moore (wrist) placed on the injured list Saturday, Haggerty was back in the starting lineup Sunday, hitting in the No. 2 spot and playing left field. He made a sliding catch in left field in the seventh inning to rob Texas’ Rougned Odor of a hit.
Haggerty grounded out after working a 3-2 count in his first at-bat, then drew a walk from Minor in the third. In the fifth, Haggerty fell behind 1-2 in the count before laying off two close pitches just out of the zone, working the count full again before hitting the sixth pitch out.
“Sammy’s played really well,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said before Sunday’s game. “The switch-hit tool is always nice to have. … I think he’s done a really nice job in left field. You can see what kind of athlete he is. He can really run. He can do a lot of things on the field. I’m excited about how he’s swinging the bat. … He’s been very, very competitive and a nice guy to have to fill in with Dylan Moore being out.”
Haggerty, 26, was a 24th-round draft pick by the Cleveland Indians in 2015 out of the University of New Mexico. He made his major-league debut with the New York Mets last September, striking out three times in his four plate appearances. The Mets designated him for assignment in the winter.
The Mariners claimed him in January, and he said he’s eager to be part of Seattle’s rebuild.
“It’s exciting,” Haggerty said. “There’s a lot of energy here, a lot of guys who want to get better and turn this thing around. I’m happy to be here and want to be a part of where this is going. We’ve got a lot of good pieces being pushed forward.”
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