No Dee Gordon. No Robinson Cano. No Nelson Cruz. And no Mitch Haniger. What sounded like a recipe for a loss instead turned into the Mariners' fourth win in a row, even if another injury might have been sustained in the process.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Robinson Cano was suspended. Dee Gordon was placed on the disabled list earlier in the day. Nelson Cruz’s aching and swollen elbow kept him out of the lineup. And Mitch Haniger was wearing an ice pack on his throbbing right forearm after the fifth inning.
Remove four of your best hitters from your lineup, and winning any game would seem impossible.
And yet the Mariners still found their way to a 3-2 victory in 10 innings on Tuesday night amidst the cold, the drizzle and the empty seats of the Oakland Coliseum.
“Really proud of our group,” manager Scott Servais said. “The guys are fighting, clawing and finding a way to hang in there.”
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Of course, that go-ahead run had to result in an injury because, well, that’s what the Mariners are dealing with this season.
Jean Segura’s wild dash around the bases from first base on Guillermo Heredia’s double to right-center was punctuated with an awkward headfirst slide into the legs of catcher Jonathan Lucroy for the go-ahead run. Segura’s left shoulder jammed hard against Lucroy’s shin guard, leaving him on the ground in pain.
Following the game, Segura had his left shoulder wrapped in ice.
“It’s pretty sore,” he said. “We’ll wait till tomorrow to see how it feels to swing a bat tomorrow and then go from there. Hopefully, tomorrow it feels better.”
He wants to play Wednesday if possible.
“I know I’m going to be sore,” he said. “I will try to do my best. Everybody knows in here that I like to be out there. I don’t like be sitting on the bench watching games. I want to be out there as much as I can. Right now, we’re missing a lot of guys.”
Segura felt his issue could’ve been avoided. He wasn’t pleased about Lucroy’s positioning on the play.
“He was trying to block the plate before the ball got to him,” Segura said. “He is trying to not let me get to the plate. If you don’t have the ball, why are you blocking the plate all the way up front? I saw him when I rounded third that his foot was right on home plate before he had the baseball. I know he’s doing the best he can to get me out. But he didn’t even have the ball.”
With nobody left on the bench to play shortstop, Segura went out to his position for the bottom of the 10th and watched as Edwin Diaz closed out the game for his 16th save. Diaz got a little help from Kyle Seager, who made a ridiculous diving stop on Chad Pinder’s rocket ground ball for the second out of the inning.
It was an amazing win that improved the Mariners to 28-19, but at some point the injuries are going to catch up with them. They can’t keep sacrificing players for victories. Before Segura’s play in the 10th, Haniger was already out of with a wrist contusion.
In the top of the fourth, he was hit by pitch on a 92 mph sinker from A’s starter Trevor Cahill on his right wrist/forearm. He went out to right field for the bottom of the fourth, but was replaced by Andrew Romine in the bottom of the fifth.
X-rays came back negative.
“No breaks so that’s the most important thing,” Haniger said. “Hopefully it’s just a day or two max and I will be ready to go soon. It didn’t feel great. I couldn’t really throw the ball and when I came in to see if I could pick up a bat, I couldn’t really grip it too well. So that’s why I came out.”
The Mariners may have to make a roster move of some sort, perhaps send out a reliever to get an extra position player.
“We’ll have to look at the roster tonight,” Servais said. “Our position players are really banged up right now. Understanding that, we have to make sure we have enough bodies here tomorrow.”
Down 2-0 and with most of their at-bats listless and unproductive against Cahill, Mike Zunino tied the game with one violent swing. With Daniel Vogelbach having drawn a one-out walk, Zunino yanked a sinker over the wall in left field for his seventh homer of the season.
“My at-bats the last two or three games have felt a lot better, just sort of my timing and rhythm in the box,” Zunino said. “I felt like I was seeing him pretty well.”
The Mariners got a solid start from Mike Leake, who pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Seattle’s bullpen was again dominant. James Pazos and Nick Vincent (3-1) combined to work 2 1/3 scoreless innings to get the ball to Diaz.