PEORIA, Ariz. — That extra work the Mariners are putting into small-ball aspects, such as better secondary leads, might pay off big, but a little muscle is still a good thing.
Leonys Martin and Luis Sardinas hit homers in six-run third inning Wednesday that erased a five-run deficit and carried the Mariners to a 9-6 victory over the San Francisco Giants at Peoria Stadium.
Shawn O’Malley added a homer in the fourth inning.
"We got power from our speed guys today," manager Scott Servais said. Those guys hit the ball well. Obviously, the ball was carrying very well today.
"We jumped right back after we got behind early, which was nice to see."
The Giants (6-10) jumped to a 5-0 lead against Hisashi Iwakuma, who lasted just 2 2/3 innings. Trouble started when Sardinas, playing third base, made a two-out throwing error in the second inning that led to two runs.
Iwakuma gave up three more runs in the third — there was nothing tainted about them — and didn’t survive the inning. He exited after a leadoff single and one-out doubles by Brandon Crawford and Angel Pagan.
It was 4-0 with a runner on first when Vidal Nuno replaced Iwakuma with two outs. A walk and an RBI single pushed the margin to 5-0.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija gave it all back before retiring a batter in the bottom of the third. Efren Navarro walked. O’Malley bunted for a single. Martin homered. Nori Aoki singled. Sardinas homered.
The Mariners weren’t done. Robinson Cano tripled and scored on a two-out single by Chris Iannetta. When O’Malley led off the fourth with a homer, the Mariners led 7-5.
Samardzija gave up seven runs and eight hits in four innings.
The Mariners (8-8) added two more runs in the fifth inning on Iannetta’s double against Steven Okert for a 9-5 lead. It was enough.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Luis Sardinas started at third base and bounced a throw when he had plenty of time in the second inning. The error extended what was already a long inning for Hisashi Iwakuma and led to two runs.
The Giants had runners at first and second with one out when Kelby Tomlinson hit a bouncer to Sardinas, who stepped on third for a force out before making the errant throw.
PLUS: Lefty Mike Montgomery, in his first relief appearance, worked a scoreless fifth inning on 10 pitches…Shawn O’Malley started at shortstop and had a bunt single and a homer in his two at-bats. His average is up to .545 (12-for-22)…Sardinas atoned for his error with a two-run homer in the six-run third inning…Leonys Martin had a homer and a single in three at-bats…Chris Iannetta went 2-for-3 with three RBIs after entering the game at 2-for-13.
MINUS: When lefty Vidal Nuno replaced Iwakuma with two outs and a runner at first in the third inning, he walked the batter: a left-handed hitter: Conor Gillespie…Iwakuma’s line wasn’t pretty (unless compared to Giants starter Jeff Samardzija): five runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings.
STAT PACK: Iwakuma had worked six scoreless innings over three starts before giving up Trevor Brown’s two-run single with two outs in the second inning.
"They put up good at-bats," Iwakuma said. "To be honest, I thought some of the pitches were in the zone, but the umpire was a little tight today. That’s a part of the game. We’ll see that in the season as well.
"I fell behind in a lot of the counts today. That’s what kind of cost me a couple of runs."
QUOTABLE: "Spring training is about timing," said Nelson Cruz, who broke a 0-for-17 start with a single in the fifth inning. "You want to get hits, but I want to feel good and know what I’m seeing is the right thing.
"That’s more important than getting hits."
UP NEXT: The Mariners make their longest trip of the spring — 45 miles — for a 1:05 p.m. game Thursday against Oakland at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.
Lefty James Paxton is slotted for five innings in his fourth spring start, while the Athletics list right-hander Kendall Graveman as their starter.
There is no live TV for the game.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners