Outfielder Tyler O’Neill and right-hander Andrew Moore will be recognized Saturday as the Mariners’ minor-league hitter and pitcher of the year in a ceremony prior to the game against Oakland at Safeco Field.
O’Neill, 21, was picked Friday as the Ken Griffey Jr. Minor League Hitter of the Year after batting .293 at Double-A Jackson with 24 homers and 102 RBIs. He was a third-round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft.
Moore, 22, is the Jame Moyer Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going a combined 12-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 28 starts at Jackson and Hi-A Bakersfield. He was a second-round pick in the 2015 draft.
The Mariners announced four other award winners:
***Infielder Dalton Kelly is the Edgar Martinez PTPA (Productive Team Plate Appearance) Award recipient. He batted .284 with a .384 on-base percentage in 130 games at Lo-A Clinton. Kelly, 22, was a 38th-round pick in the 2015 draft.
***Infielder Zach Shank won the Alvin Davis Mr. Mariner Award, which recognizes leadership skills on and off the field. He batted a combined .290 with a .354 OBP in 120 games at Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma. Shank, 25, was a 28th-round pick in 2013.
***Lefty reliever David Rollins won the Dan Wilson Minor League Community Service Award. He was also one of three players to win a similar award at Tacoma. Rollins, 26, is 1-0 with a 7.71 ERA in 11 big-league appearances after going 5-0 with a 3.37 ERA in 37 games at Tacoma.
***Clinton manager Mitch Canham is the Dave Henderson Minor League Staff Member of the Year after leading the LumberKings to a franchise-record 86 victories. Canham, 32, was in his first year in the Mariners’ organization.
Manager Scott Servais identified his hot button: It’s a base-running mistake with two outs. Servais admitted he required some alone time in the dugout runway to vent Thursday after Leonys Martin ran into a fourth-inning out.
"Every manager is going to have hit pet peeve," Servais said. "It’s a missed sign. A guy can’t get a bunt down. We don’t hit the cutoff man. Whatever. For me, it is, unequivocally, running into the third out on the bases."
Martin pulled a two-out RBI single into right field that gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead. Kyle Seager scored easily from second base, and Adam Lind chugged to third with no issues.
But Martin kept running, and the Athletics easily trapped him in a rundown between first and second. When Lind tried to salvage the play by breaking for the plate, he was thrown out easily for the third out.
A classic tootblan —slang for "thrown out on the bases like a nincompoop."
What made it worse is that Martin’s ill-conceived try for the extra base had no initial effect on the other runners. In contrast, Nori Aoki was thrown out at third base Tuesday at Houston while attempting to advance on a sacrifice fly.
While Aoki drew a throw, which ensured Ketel Marte would score, Servais didn’t like that decision either — even though it’s a strategy that many clubs favor.
"We see it all the time," Servais said. "`Great job.’ Pat them on the back. Well, guess what? The pitcher just said, `Whew!’ And he walks to the dugout. He got out of it.
"If it’s bang-bang at home, and he’s out, I’m OK with that. Most managers say, `Give me the run.’ Not for me. I trust (third-base coach) Manny Acta. He knows the arm strength of the outfielder. He knows the speed of our base-runner. He’s going to make a decision and go with it.
"Keep the inning going. Keep the pressure on. That’s one thing we’ll continue to talk about and address it moving forward."
By the way, Servais noted his brief tantrum Thursday didn’t go unobserved.
"Alvin Davis is a great guy," Servais said. "He happened to be hiding out down in the runway…he’s looking at me with big eyes. `Skip, you OK?’ `Yeah, I’m OK, Alvin.’"
Shortstop Ketel Marte repaid Servais on Thursday for sticking with him after he made a costly throwing error in Tuesday’s loss at Houston.
Marte made a sparkling play from deep in the hole to help blunt an Oakland rally in the seventh inning. He then delivered a two-out RBI single in the eighth inning for what proved to be the winning run.
"Like I said the other day (after the error)," Marte said, "it’s part of the game. When you make a mistake, you make a mistake. I just come back and try to give my 100 percent."
Servais noted: "He had the rough error over in Houston, but we believe in our guys. You have to trust them. They’ve got us to this point, and he’s going to have nights like he did (Thursday)."
A CLOSER’S MENTALITY
Steve Cishek escaped an inherited two-on, one-out situation Thursday in the seventh inning of a tie game by getting Max Muncy to ground into a double play.
Cishek then pitched a one-two-three eighth inning. A long-time closer with 120 career saves, including a club-leading 25 this season, Cishek reflected on difference between being a closer and a late-inning, high-leverage reliever:
"I’m starting to learn the eighth inning isn’t much of a difference from the ninth," he said, "other than the fact you might have a little more wiggle room. But the eighth inning is just as important. I’m trying to treat it the same way."
Cishek has a 1.23 ERA over 16 appearances since surrendering the closer’s job in early August to rookie Edwin Diaz.
MORE AWARD WINNERS
Second baseman Robinson Cano was picked as the Mariners’ most valuable player for the second time in three years in a vote by the Seattle Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Right-handed Hisashi Iwakuma was picked as the most valuable pitcher for the second time in four seasons, while designated hitter Nelson Cruz was the recipient of the Unsung Hero award.
That latter selection likely requires an explanation since Cruz, who leads the clubs in homers and RBIs, isn’t generally viewed as an unsung member of the club. A year ago, he won the MVP award.
The Unsung Hero award is intended to cover numerous activities in addition to on-field performance, such as community service, accessibility, etc.
Seattle Chapter chairman Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times presented the award prior to Friday’s game against Oakland at Safeco Field.
COUNTING IT DOWN
One result of the Mariners winning their three-game series earlier this week at Houston is the Astros were eliminated from the postseason race when Baltimore won Thursday at Toronto.
The Mariners entered Friday still alive: two games behind both Toronto and Baltimore for one of the American League’s two wild-card berths with three games remaining. The Mariners were also one-half game behind Detroit.
A reminder: The Mariners put individual-game tickets on sale Friday for a possible AL Wild Card game and two possible AL Division Series games at Safeco Field.
Tickets can be purchased at at www.Mariners.com/tickets and by phone at 888-732-4487. If and when the dates become firm, they will also be available at Ticketmaster outlets, Mariners Team Stores and the Safeco Field box office.
Subject to other factors, such as play-in games, the Wild Card game is Tuesday; and the two possible LDS games at Safeco Field are Oct. 9-10.
Here are the remaining schedules for the four remaining contenders for the AL’s two wild-card berths. Records do not include Friday’s results:
Toronto (87-72): Saturday and Sunday at Boston.
Baltimore (87-72): Saturday and Sunday at New York Yankees.
Detroit (85-73): Saturday and Sunday at Atlanta. Monday (if necessary) vs. Cleveland.
Mariners (85-74): Saturday and Sunday vs. Oakland.
It was 12 years ago Saturday — Oct. 1, 2004 — that Ichiro Suzuki got his 258th hit of the season with a single up the middle in the third inning against Texas starter Ryan Drese at Safeco Field.
That broke the previous MLB record of 257 hits by George Sisler, set in 1920 while playing for the St. Louis Browns. Suzuki finished the season with 262 hits, which remains the MLB record.
First baseman Adam Lind entered Friday with a 10-game hitting streak. It was the ninth double-digit streak in his 11-year career. His career best are two 14-game streaks in 2010 while playing for Toronto…Thursday’s victory gave the Mariners an 11-5 edge in the season series. The Mariners have won the series for four straight years, but Oakland still holds an 332-269 all-time advantage…the Mariners, through Thursday, were 40-30 since the All-Star break. Only two American League clubs were better: Boston at 43-29 and Texas at 40-29.
The Mariners and Athletics continue their four-game series at 6:10 p.m. Saturday at Safeco Field. Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (16-12 with a 3.96 ERA) will face Oakland right-hander Jharel Cotton (2-0, 1.44).
The game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest and heard on the Mariners Radio Network, which includes 710 ESPN.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners