Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager each had four RBIs on Wednesday as the Mariners closed out their homestand with a 10-5 victory over Miami at Safeco Field.
Felix Hernandez labored at times while giving up 12 hits in 6 1/3 innings but got his 156th career victory, which matches former Mariners right-hander Freddy Garcia for the most in history by a Venezuelan-born player.
There was a feel-good moment in the ninth inning when Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, a long-time Mariner, hit a home run in what might be his final at-bat at Safeco Field.
The victory completed a 6-3 homestand that helped erase the sour taste from starting the season with a 1-6 road trip. The Mariners now head back to the road for 10 games: four at Oakland and three each at Detroit and Cleveland.
Three takeaways from Wednesday’s victory:
***Haniger sizzling: One day after breaking up a no-hitter in the ninth inning, Haniger reached base in all five of his plate appearances, drive in four runs and boosted his average to .323.
He was in the middle of everything — as he has been much of the season. (VIDEO LINK)
"You can’t say enough about him," manager Scott Servais said. "The quality at-bats. The walks. The big hits. Working into his count. Understanding situations. It’s been huge for us. When the guys behind him get rolling, we play really well."
***King keeps form: Hernandez was far from his best, but it’s worth noting that he stuck with the new plan: He continued to throw strikes, feature his fastball and pitch to contact. (VIDEO LINK) He has just one walk this season in 24 2/3 innings in four starts.
That’s no small thing.
Club officials privately wondered whether Felix would revert to his old approach — trying to make the nastiest possible pitch — whenever he ran into trouble or heard the King’s Court bellowing for a strikeout on every two-strike pitch.
"Where you see him get frustrated now," catcher Mike Zunino said, "it’s when he’s losing that ability to throw strikes. When he can throw his off-speed stuff in the strike zone, when he can command his fastball, he can get out of some jams."
***Perhaps a fond farewell: The fans at Safeco Field did their best over the last three days to show their appreciate for long-time Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki, who is now a backup outfielder in Miami.
It’s anybody’s guess whether Wednesday was Suzuki’s last game at Safeco, but he’s 43 and playing for a National League club. If this was it, though, what a way to go out!
Suzuki turned on a first-pitch fastball from reliever Evan Marshall for a leadoff homer in the ninth inning. The crowd of 27,147 stood and roared as Suzuki circled the bases.
"It was my last at bat, obviously, and the last chance," Suzuki said. "With the game the way it was going, that's what I wanted to hit, right there. I saw the ball go over the fence, and I had to pinch myself to make sure that really happened."
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners