Michael Morse put Seattle ahead with a line-drive, three-run homer, his first since re-joining the club from the Washington Nationals during the off-season, and the Mariners won 7-1 over the Oakland Athletics Tuesday night. Hisashi Iwakuma allowed two hits over six innings as the Mariners improved to 2-0 for just the fourth time since 1995, and the eighth time in franchise history.
Take this lightly: The Mariners lead the American League West ahead of the Los Angeles Angels (1-0), Houston Astros (1-1) and Texas Rangers (1-1).
Morse, who played in the Seattle organization from 2004-08, followed his three-run shot in the third inning, after Oakland had gone ahead on a Yoenis Cespedes solo blast, with a solo homer in the ninth inning, giving him his sixth career multi-homer game. In the first two games, the Mariners have outscored the Athletics 9-1.
“He’s a big, strong guy, but he takes pride in being a hitter first,” said manager Eric Wedge.
After Morse gave Seattle a 3-1 lead, Kendrys Morales drove in his first run of the season with an RBI single in the fifth inning.
Kyle Seager also had a big game, going 3-for-3 with two doubles, two walks, two runs scored and an RBI.
Iwakuma, elevated to the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Felix Hernandez, threw an outstanding game, the only blemish being Cespedes’ home run. Iwakuma retired the final 11 batters he faced before turning over to the Seattle bullpen.
The four-game resumes series Wednesday with LHP Joe Saunders, who joined the Mariners as a free agent during the off-season, facing off lefty Tommy Milone at 7:05 p.m.