Trailing 3-0 after five, the Mariners erupted for eight runs in the final four innings and whipped the Reds 8-3 Friday night at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark. 1B Dae-Ho Lee came off the bench as a pinch hitter and delivered a tie-breaking, two-run single in the seventh and added a solo homer in the ninth to make a winner out of Hisashi Iwakuma (2-4), who departed after six in a 3-1 hole (box).
Seattle (24-17) remained 1.5 games ahead of Texas, a 2-1 winner Friday over the Houston Astros, in the AL West. The Mariners are 3-1 on their six-game road trip.
In the seventh, Seattle trailing 3-1, the Mariners loaded the bases against Cincinnati’s Blake Wood and then scored on a walk and a hit batter to tie at 3. With two outs and reliever Tony Cingrani having replaced Wood, Lee hit for 1B Adam Lind and drilled a two-run single to right, for a 5-3 lead. The Mariners had been 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
The Mariners added a run in the eighth on SS Ketel Marte’s sacrifice fly and two more in the ninth on home runs by RF Nelson Cruz and Lee. Cruz’s homer was his ninth, Lee’s his third. Cruz has reached base safely in all eight career games against Cincinnati . . . 2B Robinson Cano received credit for an RBI in the seventh when he was hit by a pitch with the sacks full (37th of the season), but had his 10-game road hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-3 . . . The Mariners collected 10 hits with 3B Kyle Seager (2-for-4) and Leonys Martin (2-for-2 with a pair of walks) producing Seattle’s only multi-hit games . . . The Mariners had a chance for a big inning in the second when they loaded the bases, but Iwakuma struck out and Marte grounded out . . . The Mariners went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Iwakuma (2-4, 4.39), winning for the first time since May 3, allowed three runs on six hits with six strikeouts and three walks. He threw 96 pitches before being lifted for pinch hitter Nori Aoki in the seventh inning . . . Mike Montgomery worked one inning of scoreless relief, ending the seventh by inducing Joey Votto into a double play . . . Nick Vincent and Joel Peralta added two innings of shutout ball . . . The Cincinnati bullpen has blown 10 of 14 save chances.
“We had a chance for a big inning early (second), but missed it. Then we put it together late with some good at-bats. Lee had a big, two-out single. He squared up on a fastball and hit it the other way. And then the home run (ninth) was icing on the cake.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais
The Mariners improved to 11-2 all-time vs. the Reds, to 1-0 in interleague play this season and to 3-1 on the road trip . . . Seattle is 19-9 in its past 28 and 16-7 on the road, best mark in the American League . . . The Mariners are 9-5 in the first game of a series with a chance to go 10-3-1 in overall series this season with a victory Saturday . . . The start of the game was delayed by 45 minute due to rain.
The series’ second game is Saturday at 1:10 p.m., PT. RHP Felix Hernandez (3-3, 2.47) will work for Seattle opposite LHP John Lamb (0-1, 5.79). Lamb is coming off a 15-6 loss to Cleveland, and the Reds have lost all three of his starts this season.