Saturday, June 25, 2016

Lind walk-off carries Mariners over Cardinals

Adam Lind launched a three-run walkoff home run off Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal as the Mariners snapped a six-game losing streak with a dramatic 4-3 win Friday at Safeco Field.
"That was a much-needed win," Lind said. "It's nice to come home and get a win for the fans. They came out tonight and we sent people home happy on a Friday night."
The Cardinals scored three runs in the eighth inning without a hit to pull into a 3-1 lead before the Mariners erupted with a double by Kyle Seager, a walk by Dae-Ho Lee and Lind's 11th homer of the season.
"Just a shame," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said, "that we couldn't finish it off."
Mariners left-hander Wade LeBlanc, making his first Major League appearance since 2014, filled in admirably in a spot start for Taijuan Walker as he allowed just three hits with one walk and three strikeouts over six innings before turning a 1-0 lead over to his bullpen, but St. Louis rallied against relievers Joaquin Benoit and Donn Roach with three walks, a hit batter and an error for three in the eighth. More >
Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez allowed just four hits and one run, with Lee scoring Seth Smith from third on a bases-loaded chopper in the sixth. But that was all the Mariners could manage until their late comeback, as Martinez posted his third straight start of at least seven innings with no more than one run allowed.It also marked the 13th consecutive quality start by the Cardinals' rotation. 
St. Louis saw its eight-game road win streak snapped and now sits 10 games back of the Cubs in the National League Central at 38-34.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gift wrapped: The Mariners provided all sorts of assistance to the Cardinals in St. Louis' three-run eighth. The Cardinals tied the game without getting a ball past the pitcher and then plated another two runs when Seager let Matt Holliday's groundball sneak under his glove. Seager was charged with an error on a ball that came off Holliday's bat at 103 mph after Roach had entered the game for his season debut in relief. Benoit walked three, including one to Aledmys Diaz with the bases loaded, and hit a batter to open the inning.
"He threw me everything -- slider, changeup, fastball in," Diaz said of battling against Benoit. "I was thinking I have to hit a fly ball. Everybody knows they have a guy like Cano who is a great second baseman. Every time you hit a groundball, they make double plays."
Dae-Ho drives him in: Lee is going to get more playing time against right-handed starters in the coming days after Seattle sent Norichika Aoki down to Triple-A before the game and the 33-year-old rookie from Korea came through with the game's first RBI with his high-chopper to third in the sixth inning. Lee has been platooning at first base with Lind, but now will see time against right-handers as well, according to manager Scott Servais, since Nelson Cruzwill now see more time in the outfield in Aoki's absence. Lee has 28 RBIs, as well as 10 home runs, in just 134 at-bats.
Not so Rosey: Rosenthal's grip on the closer's job may be slipping as Friday marked the fourth time in his last seven appearances that Rosenthal has been scored upon. His June ERA bloated to 14.14 and June WHIP to 3.00 as all three batters he faced in the ninth scored. Rosenthal had previously held Lind to two singles in six at-bats.
"I just have to go out there and do it," Rosenthal, when asked how he can work on improving his command. "It's pretty simple. It's what we're trained to do. It's nothing new. It's nothing I don't know how to do or need to learn to do. I just have to do a better job of it." More >
Lind with the lumber: Lind's game-winner was his fourth walkoff homer of his career and first since 2011 when he was with the Blue Jays. And this one came at a most-opportune time for the Mariners, who had lost their last eight one-run games as the season seemed to be slipping away with 19 losses in their last 27 outings.
"We've had that happen to us a few times," Servais said. "We've had it happen a few times here in this ballpark against us. It's nice to flip it and hopefully we can build on that and guys can relax a little at the plate." More >
QUOTABLE
"I haven't seen that too often, but kind of the streak we've been on, we've seen a lot of things I haven't seen too often. It's baseball. I think a credit to our guys. I thought our at-bats against a very good pitcher were very competitive." -- Servais on his team giving up three runs without a hit, but still coming back to win
"We are trying to tire out each other. He's obviously looking for the fastball, and I'm trying to throw him something else. I have to be really careful because he's really talented and makes a lot of contact. My main focus was keeping all my pitches really low." -- Martinez, on a terrific fourth-inning, 12-pitch battle against Robinson Cano that he closed with a called strike three
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Mariners lead the Majors with four walkoff homers this season and they've come from four different players -- Leonys MartinChris Iannetta, Lee and now Lind.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Cardinals were unable to steal another run from the Mariners in the eighth after Matheny unsuccessfully challenged that Mariners catcher Chris Iannetta left Diaz without a lane as Iannetta took a throw from Seager. By rule, catchers are required to provide a path for the baserunner while waiting to receive a throw. The out call was confirmed after a one-minute, 10-second review.
WHAT'S NEXT
Cardinals: Mike Leake will make his second career start against the Mariners when he takes the mound in Saturday's 9:10 pm CT game at Safeco Field. Leake, 5-1 with a 2.70 ERA over his last eight starts, lost to Seattle back in 2013 when he was with Cincinnati.
Mariners: Nathan Karns (5-2, 4.38) starts Saturday's 7:10 p.m. PT game against the Cardinals as he looks to turn around a recent rough stretch. The 28-year-old right-hander is 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in four June starts and hasn't gone beyond five innings in any of those games.

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