Adam Lind felt he was building toward something after a sluggish start to his first season in Seattle.
Even he didn’t expect two home runs, four hits and six RBIs.
“There has been incremental improvements throughout probably the last two or three weeks,” Lind said. “Tonight it all worked out.”
Lind hit home runs in his first two at-bats and had a season-best six RBIs while the Mariners scored a season-high in runs in a 13-3 rout of the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
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The AL West-leading Mariners won their 11th series of the season and improved to 28-18. It’s the first time Seattle has been 10 games over .500 before the end of May since the 2003 season.
This time it was Lind’s hitting leading the way.
After struggling to start the season, Lind flashed the power that made him an offseason target for Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto. Lind hit a solo homer with two outs in the second inning to get Seattle on the board, then capped the Mariners’ six-run third inning with a three-run shot off Oakland starter Zach Neal, making the first start of his career.
Lind added a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning and an RBI double off the wall in the seventh that barely missed being his third home run of the game.
“It’s always a process,” Lind said. “As (hitting coach) Edgar (Martinez) says you have to enjoy the process, no matter how long it takes or what the process is.”
Nelson Cruz hit his 10th home run of the season in the seventh inning, a two-run shot that nearly reached the second deck in left field, and Robinson Cano followed with his 14th of the year an inning later. Leonys Martin, Seth Smith, Kyle Seager and Luis Sardinas all added RBI singles for Seattle, which inched to 10-11 at home after taking the final two games of the series. Seattle rallied from a 5-2 deficit to win on Tuesday night, capped by Martin’s game-ending two-run homer in the ninth inning.
But Martin was the focus of the only potential downside from Seattle’s victory Wednesday. Martin grabbed at his left hamstring after stealing second base in the third inning and was replaced before the start of the fourth inning by Shawn O'Malley.
Martin said it felt like a cramp in his hamstring and he will be evaluated on Thursday.
“When I got to the base and I came up it felt a little bit tight. They decided to take me out of the game to be smart,” Martin said.
Hisashi Iwakuma (3-4) threw seven strong innings and won his second straight decision. Khris Davis hit his 13th home run of the season in the second for Oakland and Coco Crisp and Billy Burns both had RBI singles in the third inning, but the A’s were unable to shake Iwakuma. The right-hander threw seven innings for the second time this month against Oakland and struck out four. It was his 50th career victory.
Neal (0-1) appeared in relief on May 11, but his first start in the majors fell apart in the third inning when Seattle had seven hits and sent nine batters to the plate. Neal finished four innings in his first start.
“It started off good and everything after that wasn’t ideal, for sure,” Neal said.