Seattle hit three home runs and survived three Milwaukee homers to hold off the struggling Brewers 7-6 Friday night at Safeco Field (box). 2B Robinson Cano, 3B Kyle Seager and 1B Adam Lind went deep. Closer Edwin Diaz barely escaped with the save in the ninth after issuing three walks and a two-run single. The Mariners (65-56) are 20-12 (.625) since the All-Star break, second-best record in the majors behind the Cubs.
With two outs in the eighth, Lind hit his 18th home run of the season, which looked to be a bonus run with a 7-4 lead — until Diaz’s stumble in the ninth made it decisive in delivering the Brewers a fifth consecutive loss.
Tom Wilhelmsen was Seattle’s most effective pitcher – again – as his comeback story continues to get better. The veteran reliever pitched a scoreless eighth to hold a lead before Diaz struggled to make it stand.
Diaz walked the bases loaded, then gave up a two-run single to Ryan Braun, but wriggled out of it to earn his ninth save.
Starter Wade LeBlanc turned in another serviceable outing, although he was tagged for the three HRs. LeBlanc got the first 10 batters and didn’t allow a hit until the fourth, but he served up solo shots to Chris Carter, Jonathan Villar and Keon Broxton in the fifth and sixth. LeBlanc improved to 3-0, leaving with a 4-3 lead. He allowed six hits, without a walk, over 5.1 innings. Arquimedes Caminero had another shaky outing in the seventh.
Cano survived a scary collision at second base in the top of the fifth inning to hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the frame. His 28th homer of the season gave Seattle a 3-1 lead, following Seager’s solo shot in the fourth. Seager’s one-out homer was the Mariners’ first hit. Seattle had 11 hits, one more than Milwaukee.
“He’s human. He’s not a robot. He’s not going to strike them all out every night throwing 100 miles per hour. We asked him tonight to go out and get three outs before they got three runs, and that’s what he did.” – Manager Scott Servais on the shaky save of Diaz
Friday officially marked day one of the post-Howard Lincoln era. The longtime CEO’s retirement became official when the sale of the team was approved by MLB owners. Lincoln took over as CEO in September 1999 and saw the Mariners turn into a postseason contender quickly. Since then, he’s become the face of the franchise’s 15-year playoff drought – longest in baseball . . . The Mariners made four roster moves Friday, most notable being the demotion of 1B Dae-Ho Lee. The man who made Harry Belafonte popular in Seattle again was sent to Triple-A Tacoma after hitting .109 after the All-Star break. OF/1B Stefen Romero was promoted to take his place. He could end up platooning with Lind at first base. Former closer Steve Cishek was activated from the disabled list, while RHP Joe Wieland, who made one start with the Mariners, was on his way back to Tacoma . . . Milwaukee starter Brent Suter was the first left-handed starting pitcher used by the Brewers since August 2013 – a span of 474 games . . . The official game-time temperature at first pitch was 90 degrees, which felt like a cold front after the scorcher that was Friday afternoon.
Another nerd night at the ballpark at 6:10 p.m. Saturday features a post-game screening of “The Empire Strikes Back,” though it’s a couple of days too early to accommodate the arrival of that empire from New York City. Those fans who come for the baseball will have to put up with the Brewers again, although with RHP Felix Hernandez (7-4, 3.34 ERA) on the mound, it should be festive. RHP Wily Peralta (5-8, 6.00 ERA) is scheduled to start for Milwaukee.