Servais on Roenis Elias’ dominant outing: ‘He really saved the game for us.’
The Seattle Mariners (22-23) posted a 4-3 win over the Oakland A’s on Tuesday night at T-Mobile Park.
Here are three takeaways from the win.
1. DERBY CONTINUES
The Mariners launched three more home runs Tuesday night to bring their MLB-leading team total to 83. Daniel Vogelbach, Tim Beckham and Mitch Haniger each teed off against the Oakland A’s in the win.
Haniger hit the decisive two-run dinger in the sixth inning to give the Mariners a two-run lead they never lost. After J.P. Crawford drew a one-out walk, Haniger watched three consecutive balls and one strike pass before crushing Brett Anderson’s 3-1 fastball to the upper deck in left field.
The 428-foot homer was Haniger’s second in as many days — he led off Monday’s win over the A’s with another shot to left — and his 11th of the season.
Vogelbach gave the Mariners their first lead in the second, sending a sinker into the right field seats after working back from an 0-2 count. The solo shot was also Vogelbach’s second long ball in two games, and his 11th of the season. He cranked a game-tying three-run homer to center against the A’s on Monday night.
Beckham pushed Seattle’s early lead to 2-0 three batters later with a solo shot to right center. His eighth homer of the season came on a first-pitch sinker from Anderson (4-3, 4.19) and traveled 425 feet. Beckham emphatically flipped his bat before rounding the bases, and greeted a fired up Vogelbach when he returned to the dugout.
“We went through a little skid there where we didn’t swing the bats as great as we wanted to, but it’s not like they went anywhere,” Vogelbach said. “Guys in the lineup can all hit. It’s baseball. You go through ups and downs, and I think things have kind of started to turn a little bit for the better.”
2. ELIAS RINGS UP A’S
Mariners reliever Roenis Elias was called from the bullpen with two outs in the seventh to try to work out of a bases-loaded jam, and blew three consecutive fastballs by A’s pinch-hitter Chad Pinder to retire the side.
Elias then struck out the side in the eighth, facing the heart of Oakland’s order. He got Matt Chapman with a curveball, Khris Davis with a changeup and Matt Olson with a fastball. Each of the first four batters Elias faced, he struck out, throwing an efficient 16 pitches.
“He had really good life on his fastball tonight, no question about it,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Changup has really become a weapon for him. Was great to see him drop the curveball in against Chapman. I don’t think Chapman was looking for it. I know we weren’t on the bench.
“He’s got all three weapons, but the fastball-changeup combo’s been very effective for him.”
He returned for the ninth, issuing a leadoff walk to Stephen Piscotty before striking out Ramon Laureano on three pitches. Pinch hitter Mark Canha then reached after sending a liner back at Elias. The ball hit Elias’ glove, and Crawford grabbed it, but Gordon dropped the throw to second, resulting in Seattle’s second error.
But, Josh Phegley grounded into a 4-6-3 double play on the next pitch to end the game. Elias, who has a spotless 2-0 record and 2.78 ERA, recorded his team-leading fifth save of the season.
Elias’ 25 punch outs this season are second among Seattle’s relievers behind right-hander Brandon Brennan (26).
“I’ve been working really hard, and I’m not trying anything different, I’m just trying to go after guys and throwing the ball over the plate,” Elias said through interpreter Manny Acta.
3. LEAKE WORKS INTO SEVENTH
Mariners starter Mike Leake (3-4, 4.00) snapped a four-game losing streak in five outings with a win Tuesday.
He posted his third consecutive quality start, and sixth quality start in nine outings this season, working 6 2/3 innings and allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
“As long as I can hit the spots that they don’t like to swing (at) the most, and can’t hit the best, that’s what I attack, and that’s what I attacked tonight, and beat them to the punch for the most part,” Leake said.
He worked 1-2-3 innings in the first, fourth and sixth before being pulled after allowing his only earned furn of the game with two outs in the seventh.
“Probably the best outing he’s had this year,” Servais said. “I thought his breaking balls were really good. Outstanding mix of pitches, really good tempo, and we hit enough home runs to hold them off tonight.”