John Jaso made it clear he believed the key to the Seattle Mariners six-run eighth-ininng in what became their 10-3 victory over the Texas Rangers was the double that Kyle Seager hit off the top of the fence.
“Home runs are notorious rally killers, and if that ball goes out, we don’t score six times,” Jaso insisted. “A double keeps the rally going. The pitcher has to pitch with a man on base. The hitter knows a single gets a run home.”
What about Jaso’s own two-run home run in the second inning – the one that put Seattle ahead for good?
“Like I said, that home run killed the rally,” Jaso said. “That’s a selfish guy for you.”
The Mariners and their .226 team average jumped on Texas for 14 hits and emerged batting .229. Seager and Michael Saunders each had three hits, Dustin Ackley and Jaso two apiece.
“These kids have battled and fought all season, and put us in position to win most of the games we’ve played,” manager Eric Wedge said. “We haven’t always finished those games off, but they always come back ready to win the next day.
“Even before that eighth inning tonight, our at-bats – our approach at the plate – was as good as I’ve seen all year. It’s not just that we won, it’s how we won.”
Jason Vargas won his sixth game, going 6 2/3 innings and getting solid relief from Shawn Kelley, Lucas Luetge and Tom Wilhelmsen. The win snapped a five-game losing streak, and that eighth ininng matched the best they’ve produced all season.
“You want adjectives? How about refreshing, overly welcome?” asked shortstop Brendan Ryan. “We didn’t get a grand slam or a three-run home run, we did it one base and one run at a time.