video thumbnail

Smoak blasts another three-run homer

ARLINGTON -- Flexing their new-found muscles for a second straight night, the Mariners blasted Texas, 21-8, on Wednesday as Justin Smoak hit a pair of three-run home runs to lead the onslaught at Rangers Ballpark.

The 21 runs were the most in the Majors this year and the most by Seattle since a 21-9 win in Anaheim on Sept. 30, 2000. The Mariners' record for runs in a game is 22, set in 1999 against the Tigers, and they've now scored 20 or more runs three times in club history.

"These guys really put it together these last couple nights," said Mariners manager Eric Wedge, whose team outscored the Rangers, 31-11, in back-to-back wins. "You're seeing a lot of what we've been talking about with the potential of these young players. It's fantastic to see."

Seattle put together its best inning in two years with eight runs in the second off Texas starter Derek Holland, then duplicated that in the third against a pair of Rangers relievers.

The Mariners became the seventh team to score eight runs or more in back-to-back innings in Major League history, the last coming May 5, 2001, when the Cubs accomplished it against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field.

The Mariners' 20 hits included four home runs, with a three-run shot by Dustin Ackley and two-run blast by Jesus Montero joining Smoak's double dip on his six-RBI night.

Kyle Seager went 4-for-6 with two doubles and is 7-for-11 with four doubles over the past two games, while Michael Saunders and Montero had three hits each. Montero came up a triple shy of the cycle after getting a home run, double and single in the first three innings.

"This was a big one," said Montero, the 22-year-old rookie designated hitter. "We did it together, and that was nice. Home runs, doubles, base hits, amazing."

And all this from a Seattle club that entered play hitting .229 and had finished last in the American League in scoring for three straight years. Prior to a 10-3 win over Texas on Tuesday, the Mariners had scored 11 runs in their previous five games combined.

The 23-30 Mariners, who also beat Texas two out of three games last week at Safeco Field, are now 5-5 this season against the two-time defending AL champs. It was Seattle's first series win at Rangers Ballpark since 2010.

Montero said he hit for the cycle last year in Triple-A for the Yankees.

"It's funny because I hit the triple first in that game and had to hit a home run later," said Montero. "Today everyone was telling me, 'Hit a triple,' and I was like, 'That's not going to happen. I'm too slow for that.'

"In Triple-A, I hit the top of the wall and the outfielders were looking for the ball and were chasing it and I had time to get to third base. I think they have to die first so I can get to third."

Nearly lost in the offensive avalanche, Mariners right-hander Blake Beavan threw five scoreless innings on two hits before giving up five runs in the sixth. Beavan lost a rare 1-0 decision at Rangers Ballpark in his previous outing this season, but had a little better run support this time as he improved to 3-4 with a 4.72 ERA.

"You're obviously not worried about giving up a couple runs when you've got a substantial lead like that," said Beavan, "so I was just trying to go right after them and go as deep as I could."

Holland was 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his previous five starts against Seattle, but gave up eight runs in the second before being pulled with two outs. His ERA jumped from 4.05 to 5.11 for the season in that one frame.

"It was just one of those days where I got beat," said Holland. "They hit everything we threw at them."

Ackley's three-run home run, followed by a two-run blast by Montero, were the big blows against Holland. But this was a total team effort again as -- a night after scoring six runs on six hits in the eighth inning -- Seattle strung together eight runs on eight hits by sending 13 batters to the plate in the second.

Then they did it again in the third, with eight more runs on seven hits, including Smoak's first three-run blast. The first baseman did it again in the eighth against his former team, which traded him to Seattle along with Beavan in the Cliff Lee deal in 2010.

"To be drafted by this team and debut with them, it always means something to come back here," said Smoak, who now has nine home runs on the season. "You want to do good all the time, but it means a little bit more to do it against them. And Beavan pitched his butt off tonight and we were able to put up some runs for him. This was a fun night for everyone."

Seager got four hits, four runs and two RBIs hitting in the No. 3 spot for the first time as Wedge gave Ichiro Suzuki his first day off of the season.

"If we're going to take something from this game, it's just confidence," said the 24-year-old third baseman. "We were hitting with a lot of confidence up there tonight and hitting is contagious. Once we got on a little roll there, everybody was relaxed. It was just one of those days."

MLB.com Comments